Choosing the Best Back to School Shoes for Your Child

Aug 27, 2021

Back to school time can range from a joy to a pain for any parent. Perhaps you are excited to have a little more time to yourself, or maybe you don’t like the feeling of your little one gone for so long (and needing to be picked up after practice).

The same goes for back-to-school shoes: some parents love finding new shoes, while others (including some kids) dread the idea.

Regardless of the feelings on the matter, finding a good pair of shoes for going back to school is about more than good looks. It also serves as a good natural point in time to keep up with your child’s changes in shoe size!

Shoes Must Match with Fast-Growing Feet

You likely already know this by now, but kids can grow much faster than we expect them to. Their feet in particular can sprout up quite quickly, especially during earlier years.

Every child is different, of course, and their feet will not always grow at the same rates. General estimates for expected growth, however, include the following:

  • Ages 4-6: an increase of a half to whole shoe size every 4-5 months.
  • Ages 7-10: an increase of a half to whole shoe size every 5-6 months.
  • Ages 11-17: an increase of a half to whole shoe size every 6 months.

It is not uncommon, then, for a child to need new shoes 2 or 3 times per year. If you are only changing shoes on an annual basis, the chances are higher that your child’s feet may be suffering problems from it.

Shoes that don’t fit well can cause distracting discomfort during your child’s school day. On top of that, the compression and friction tight shoes can cause may also be responsible for ingrown toenails, blisters, and other lousy conditions.

Little girl chooses shoes

Don’t Try to Cheat the Shoe Game

We know that heading to the shoe store so often – whether it’s school time or not – is not everyone’s idea of a good time, and it can be tempting to “game the system” in ways that will save you some trips. We highly recommend not doing this, though.

To work best for your child, a pair of shoes must ideally fit their feet as they currently are. Buying a size larger than your child’s current size might seem smart at first glance as your child will “grow into them,” but this can also cause problems. Shoes that are too big can cause your child’s feet to slip and slide around inside them, which can also lead to problems such as blisters and damaged toenails.

Relying on hand-me-down shoes from older kids also isn’t a good idea. Not only are they not always guaranteed to properly fit your child, but they are often worn down and will not provide as much support for your child’s feet as they might need.

Always go for new shoes when possible, and here’s how to do it.

Keep Pace with Your Child’s Foot and Ankle Health

A good pair of shoes will help your child enter the school year at a comfortable advantage – but that advantage shouldn’t be lost at other times of the year as well.

And, of course, a great pair of shoes can do a lot to help prevent injuries and problems due to improper fit, but they can’t always guarantee that something unfortunate won’t happen.

Michigan Foot & Ankle Specialists are always here whenever you have questions or concerns about your family’s needs. We help children stay active and comfortable and give parents one less thing to worry about.

Schedule an appointment with our Dearborn office by calling (313) 582-6222 or by filling out our online contact form



7243 Chase Rd.
Dearborn, MI 48126


(313) 582-6222


Monday - Friday: 9am - 5pm


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