The world of kids shoes is huge, with so many different styles to choose from it can give even the most patient of parents a headache, however we want to let you into a little secret that will make all their shoes not only super comfy but easy for them to get on and off themselves.
Picking shoes with the best fastenings is so important when it comes to choosing styles for little feet, they not only keep their feet safe and secure but they also help when it comes to adjusting and readjusting which is essential for their rapidly growing feet. In this blog post we are going to talk about all the different fastenings out there and weigh up the pros and cons to help make shopping for your little girls and boys as easy as possible.
So, pop the kettle on, grab five minutes and read on as we talk you through the best fastenings for kid’s shoes…
How to Choose Children’s Shoes
Kids feet grow at an alarming rate, they can grow up to two sizes in just one year! Picking the right shoes for your little ones can affect their overall health so it’s important to invest time and effort into getting them the best possible footwear. Shoes not only affect their balance and alignment but improperly fitted shoes can lead to all sorts of health problems later on in life, including flat feet and joint pain.
It’s important they have different shoes for different occasions and we think these top seven styles are essentials for any kids wardrobe:-
School Shoes– must be sturdy and long lasting as they will be worn the most. With lots of walking to and from school and playground games, they also need to offer them lots of support.
Wet Weather Wellies– because jumping in puddles is so much fun! They also come in handy during those cold Winter months when the snow hits, helping to keep the kids cosy and warm.
Trainers– for little ones on the go, they are super comfy and lightweight. For mini footballers swap their trainers for a pair of tough football boots.
Slippers– because there’s nothing better than cosy feet on a cold Winter night or Sunday evening after a bath. Choose full slippers featuring their favourite characters for a fun look.
Sandals– perfect for the beach, the park or the garden! A Summer must have!
Party Shoes– for little party animals choose something sparkly and non-slip for the dance floor.
Boots– because cold feet are a no go! Choose something stylish with a grip sole that’s perfect for those crisp, frosty mornings. Fur collars and warm linings are perfect for keeping the kids warm and cosy.
When it comes to picking out kids shoes there are a few golden rules to remember. Always start by measuring their feet correctly, ill-fitting shoes will not do and you will end up with a very grumpy child on your hands. Always make sure there is roughly 1.25cm – 2cm from their longest toe to the front of the shoe, that way they have plenty of room to spread their toes out.
**Top Tip: There are handy foot measures in all Shoe Zone stores, so do take advantage of these and find out their correct size, as we mentioned kid’s feet can grow so quickly, their size might keep changing so it’s always best to check before purchasing a new pair **
For shoes your children are going to be wearing all the time, such as school shoes, additional padding is always welcome, this could be a collar around the ankle, which will give them that bit more support or perhaps a padded insole to make walking even more comfortable. Shock absorption is essential for little feet, all that running, jumping and climbing they like to do can take its toll on their delicate feet and cause injuries. Always try and choose shoes that are made from natural, breathable materials to keep the shoes smelling fresh and clean, breathable materials let in air which is perfect for those hot Summer months.
Lastly styles with arch support promotes good growth and keeps their feet well supported, the arch is usually found on the inside of the shoe so always look out for this when choosing their footwear.
With so many different styles out there to choose from, one important feature is the fastenings and there is a huge choice when it comes to those too. There are:-
Hook & Eye
Children’s Shoes With Velcro Fastenings
Velcro fastening shoes are one of the easiest styles for your little one to get on and off by themselves, which is perfect when they have to take them off for PE lessons at school and you are not there to help.
They can easily be done up using one hand and are normally the first shoe fastening a toddler will have, this small task of getting their own shoes on and off gives them confidence in other tasks such as picking up a colouring pencil or putting together a jigsaw puzzle, they are great for giving them that little bit of independence which they need for when they start school.
There are however a couple of cons when it comes to this popular fastening, it’s so quick to rip the Velcro on and off it doesn’t really teach little ones about taking care of their footwear, there is also some arguments out there that suggest there is not as much support or adjustment with this fastening compared to laces, however we find that as long as you fix them tight they will stay on their little feet perfectly.
Here at Shoe Zone we love Velcro, we think it is a great fastening to have on their first pair of shoes and the choice of styles with an easy Velcro fastening is huge. When the warm months come around and they want to be outdoors in the garden or playing on the beach, Velcro fastening sandals are perfect as they can be easily removed should they want to jump in the paddling pool or the sea. With many styles designed with a double Velcro strap, with one going around their ankle you can rest assured they will be secure to their little feet.
As Summer holidays give way to the Back to School period, kitting their feet out in some Velcro school shoes gives them the chance to be not only more independent but super smart too. With so many different designs to choose from for both girls and boys that include some truly eye-catching details such as embroidery, studs and even flashing lights, choosing shoes for school has never been easier. Picking out a style that is slightly bigger on their feet, gives them the extra bit of room their feet need to grow while the Velcro strap is super handy for pulling them tight to their feet.
We know that kids love nothing more than running around and playing games so make sure they do so in style and comfort with some bold and bright Velcro trainers. Perfect for wearing at the park or in the garden, the Velcro fastening will keep them secure to their little feet during their football matches or games of hide and seek. Many of our kid’s trainers here at Shoe Zone are designed with a double Velcro strap fastening so there is that extra bit of security for their little feet which is perfect for kids on the go!
Buckle Fastening Kid’s Shoes
As your children start to get older you may feel that Velcro shoes are a little babyish and want more of a grown up style for them which is where the classic buckle comes into its own. Buckle fastenings offer your children a smart look that will also help to keep their shoes secure to their feet. This is a classic fastening that can be dated back as far as Ancient Rome, where soldiers would use them to keep their own shoes safely on their feet. During the 15th century they became more readily available and today they are a popular and trusted fastening.
Buckles are super easy to adjust, however toddlers and younger children might find them too fiddly to deal with which is why we would advise that you help them when it comes to fastening. They do offer accurate tightness to their feet although over time they can become loose so it’s always best to keep an eye on that as you don’t want them to slip off your childs feet, however as we mentioned before a little extra room can be a good thing as their feet can grow quickly.
There are many styles that use buckles as a fastening and one of the most popular is a T-bar shoe, these are a fantastic style for your little girl to wear for the new school term, they are super smart and offer a grown up look that would be perfect for a girl going into secondary school.
Buckles also make an appearance on a lot of sparkly party shoes, fitting in with the glitzy look they will keep her shoes safe and secure on her feet so she can dance with her friends without them falling off, for added security there is usually a strap that crosses over the feet. For those long hot Summer holidays, sandals with buckles offer a bit more security if you are taking them on a nature trail or for a walk in the park, they really add a lovely nod to the bygone era and with cute Prince George being seen in buckled sandals, they seem to be making a bit of a comeback.
Buckles tend to be used more for decoration when it comes to Winter boots with many being designed with a zip fastening instead. The buckles add that classic touch without running the risk of the buckles and straps becoming too loose.
Children’s Slip On Shoes
The range of kids slip on shoes out there is huge; they are an easy style that is perfect for children of all ages to slip on and off themselves without any issues. One of the biggest pros is that they encourage your kids to be more independent as they pop them on and off by themselves, they are quick and easy when you are in a rush and there is a huge choice of styles that both you and the kids will love.
For those glorious Summer holidays spent playing in the sunshine whether it be in the garden or on holiday there is nothing more simple for the kids to slip on their feet than a pair of canvas shoes. With so many bright, bold colours and eye-catching patterns to choose from, they can have a different look for every day. Here at Shoe Zone our range of canvas shoes is huge for both boys and girls and even includes their favourite characters, these are perfect for toddlers and older children as a casual shoe.
For school and play, little girls will love nothing more than a fashionable pair of ballerina shoes, the majority of these styles tend to be of a slip on variety however there are some styles for younger girls that include a strap that fits across her feet for extra security. Ballerinas for school include decorative bows, buckles and diamantes giving her a personal touch while for parties there are some sparkly styles she will love. Ballerinas are a very popular choice; however they do come with some risks for your kid’s feet.
Slip on shoes can cause children to clench their toes to help keep shoe’s on, this can cause pain when walking and issues with their feet in the long term. Flat shoes such as ballerinas can also cause kids to develop flat feet; this can be very painful and can make finding shoes difficult. Slip on shoes have no fastenings so unless it is a tight fitting shoe, it will make keeping them on their little feet tough.
Kids Lace Up Shoes
One of the biggest rites of passage as a kid is learning to tie your shoelaces, however with so many different fastenings out there nowadays kids are learning to lace their shoes later in life or not at all. It is a great skill to learn as it teaches them practice makes perfect, patience and achievement. Kids as young as six can learn to tie their own shoelaces along with a bit of help from their parents. Once they have mastered it, whether that is the easy two loop and knot way or the more complicated way, they will have no issues when it comes to lacing their own shoes.
For toddlers and younger children, its sometimes important for them to have a smart look, for example there might be a wedding or party you have to attend. A pair of lace up shoes will add a smart finish that is seriously cute. If you can’t find a smart style then a pair of lace up canvas shoes will work just as well, they can be dressed up or down and will feel great on their little feet, enabling them to walk around with ease.
As your kids start to get older, they might start taking more of an interest in their appearance, wanting a more fashionable style for their feet. There are some stunning styles out there that are perfect for adding a bit of personality to their school look. For girls, a classic lace up brogue looks just as great with tights and a skirt as they do trousers, with classic brogue detailing they add a grown up touch like mums without sacrificing her comfort. For your smart young man an almond shaped toe shoe with laces add a stylish twist to his otherwise boring uniform, choose from black or brown.
We know that kids love a cool, edgy look so if that’s the case then a pair of lace up canvas shoes would be perfect. Super comfy, these low and hi-top styles are easily tightened with laces; why not get them to customise their own shoes by adding in bright, bold laces or perhaps even patterned ribbons.
Laces are great for adding a little bit more security to your kid’s footwear, they can be tied as tight or loose as they require and have stood the test of time for years as a reliable fastening.
With fastenings constantly evolving the next laced shoes out there are self-tying laces. Coil laces are coiled plastic laces that once laced and locked into the top eyelet of the shoe allows your kids feet in and out of the shoe without any adjustment. Nike are even going one step further and creating a self-tying shoe….
Whatever footwear you choose for the kids or they choose for themselves always take into consideration the fastenings. For younger children easy fastenings such as Velcro are perfect for giving them their own little bit of independence. As they start to get older, spend some time teaching them how to tie laces and branch out into other more grown up fastenings such as buckles and laces. Always remember, the fastenings are there to help keep your kids feet safe, secure and comfortable so play around and see what works best for your children.