You’ve managed to survive the summer holidays, but now you have the final hurdle before your little darlings go back to school – shoe shopping.
Those two words are enough to fill any parent with feelings of dread, especially after the kids have been running around barefoot for most of the summer, or living in trainers and flip flops.
So as we approach the beginning of term, the realisation that soon your children will have to be back in sensible leather shoes can be quite terrifying, but you had to leave it until now because otherwise their feet would have grown out of them before they’d even worn them!
We’ve all been shoe shopping and your choice of shoe is very different from your child’s – there are the shoes that have flowers on them, those with flashing lights and, for reasons unknown to sensible parents, the ones with heels that you vow your little girl will not be wearing until she’s older.
Shop assistants fawn over you initially, until they realise that your darling children have suddenly turned into monsters and refuse to do as they’re told unless they can have the impractical high-heeled shoes or Moshi Monster trainers which cost the earth and which you know they’ll refuse to wear in a month or two.
So how do you cope with the kids in tow, stores full of other poor parents tearing their hair out and time running out?
Top tips for buying school shoes:
- Take socks with you. Trying on school shoes in bare feet is not only unhygienic, but it’s unlikely that your children will be wearing their shoes without socks or tights so this helps with the fit.
- Make sure you have your child’s foot measured in every store you visit as not all shoes are standardised and they might be slight differences.
- Natural materials like leather are best for school shoes as they wear better and provide more support. Some parents prefer patent leather for girls’ shoes, but others dislike the shine. Whatever you choose, Scotchguard™ the shoes before your children wear them outside.
- Avoid slip on shoes – not only can these be dangerous if kids are running around but ballet pumps in particular lack proper support to the inner border of the foot and have no shock absorption. If your children can’t tie their laces, Velcro® straps or buckles provide support.
- Shoes should be approx. 1.5cm longer than the end of your child’s big toe to make sure that there is room for growth and comfort when walking. Shoe heels should be broad and shock-absorbent with a maximum height of 4cm, lower for younger children.