If the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) surveyed children’s school shoes, it may find that school shoes come close to Singaporean teachers’ average workweek of 48 hours, considering that school children could be in school from 7am-5pm on days with extra-curriculars. It’s therefore important to make those school shoes work well for them.
Duties of the School Shoe
School shoes must provide sufficient shock absorption for a whole day of tramping around and be breathable in our hot Singapore weather. It should be a good fit with just enough growing room to ensure proper foot development.
Tips for Fitting School Shoes
1. Correct Sizing
Though it may be tempting to buy shoe sizes a little bigger for growing feet, a loose shoe might lead to foot slipping. This is sometimes how injuries like ankle sprains occur when the child makes a sharp dart on the badminton court. The rule of thumb is that there must be a thumb-width allowance between the toe and the end of the shoe.
2. Velcro or Laces
The debate between Velcro straps and shoelaces continues, and it’s your call to decide depending on the child’s age, shoe-tying ability and the overall structure of the shoe. Either is acceptable as long as they can make the shoe snug. However, if your child is active in sports, laces might be better as they allow you to customize the tightness at different parts of the foot for better performance.
3. What a good shoe looks like
Check for a firm support at the heel counter and more flexibility at the ball of the foot (i.e. the place where the toes begin). At the mid-foot area, the shoe should be firm and not bendable. Other things: Padded support at the ankle and breathable materials.
4. Socks and Insoles
Cotton socks work well most of the time as they absorb sweat well. For children with active lifestyles or sweaty feet, socks made of synthetic fibres are more efficient at wicking moisture. On days with P.E., your child could even bring an extra pair to change into to stave off fungal growth that comes with a hot and moist environment.
For additional internal support, fit the shoe with an insole. Remember to bring along your child’s insole when buying new school shoes and ask to try on the shoes with the insoles. You would have to remove the shoe’s original insole and replace it with your own one. Rest assured; this is a perfectly acceptable customer right.
5. There’s never too much of a good thing
Alternate between shoes if possible to allow shoes to dry and prevent fungal or bacteria growth. Both pairs would last longer this way too.
6. Too Cool for School
For parents of fashion-conscious teenagers, try introducing them to ‘cool’ but still supportive shoes like Brooks Trance or New Balance shoes in their favourite colour while suggesting they will be the alternative subculture in the mainstream crowd . If they insist on trendy, casual shoes that have little support, fit them with an insole.
Have a great term ahead!