Buying boys' school shoes can be tricky, as indeed can buying girls' school shoes. What should be avoided? Which styles are best?
Is it possible to find robust school shoes for boys that are practical and comfortable and girls' school shoes that are fashionable and functional whilst still being affordable?
Before you start looking, here are some things to consider.
Carefully measure your child's feet to ensure you purchase the correct size. Wide fitting shoes are available for children with broader feet.
Make life easier for everyone and get easily fastened shoes for younger kids, such as Velcro. It is important to be able to adjust fastenings easily for comfort.
To allow for growth there should be approximately a finger's width between the toes and the end of the shoe, the toes should not be squashed together.
The heel area should be an exact fit, neither too loose nor tight. Never dress your child in footwear that is too big or too small.
Don't put your child in second-hand shoes; they will be moulded to the foot shape of the original wearer.
Shoe heels should have a broad base and be low. Older children can wear up to a 4cm heel. However, heels force feet downwards and pressure can be placed on toes so it is best not to wear them for prolonged periods as this may cause problems when feet are growing. Also remember heels can mean more twisted ankles.
Look for shoes offering arch support. Ensure there is adequate cushioning and avoid wearing shoes such as plimsolls all day long.
Breathable manufacturing materials allow children's feet to breathe.
Remember that little feet can get into all sorts of scrapes and that shoes should be robust enough to offer good protection.