School Shoes

It's not long before the school year begins and at the top of every parent's shopping list is a good pair of shoes, but it can be tough to find the right footwear for your little ones.

Podiatrist Daniel Gibbs says it's important to buy the right shoes early on in life.

According to Dan there are five things Mums and Dads need to know before they hit the shoe store:

First up: Don't buy short shoes; give your feet some wiggle room.

"You don't want your toes jamming up against the end of the shoe. You need to get a thumb width from the longest toe, that's what the length of the shoe should be."

Number two: No Ballet flats, give those ballet flats the flick.

"The lack of support that they have can cause problems with flat feet down the track and that can last for life."

To really find the perfect shoe, look inside the shoe.

"Remove the insole from the shoe, have a look underneath and make sure there's no staples or nails or bits and pieces that shouldn't be there."

The fourth tip: Don't expect shoes to last all year, those shoes are only supposed to last 6 months.

"A shoe company knows not to go much longer than that because of the rate of development and the rate of change that these feet undergo"

Most important of all, don't shop alone. Get that fit right with a proper fitting.

"If you don't bring your kids along with you, then you may fall into the trap of buying a shoe that's too small. As adults we go shoe shopping, we find that one shoe might be more comfortable than another. And it's important to get that feedback from your child as well."

When kids aren't fitted correctly the roll on effect can be long-term and painful. Problems like ingrown toe nails, toes that have been scrunched in the end, stunted growth of the feet because they are squashed into a shoe, it can lead to aching legs, aching feet at the end of the day all those problems that we have with growing pains.

When choosing a school shoe make sure it includes:

A firm heel counter for support

A rigid middle

And some laces, buckles or a Velcro strap to secure the shoe on the foot.

You don't have to spend a lot of money to get a good shoe, but you need to have the right elements to justify going for the cheaper option.

And just remember, if you're worried about your kid's feet then make an appointment with a podiatrist