This post, Tips For Finding The Perfect Fit: Athletic Shoes For Kids is sponsored by Vocalpoint and Dick’s Sporting Goods. All opinions are my own.
Blisters, ingrown toenails, and sore feet are not a good way to start the school year that’s why we are sharing these tips with you before your kids head off to school.
I don’t know about you, but I miss the early years. The days when I could walk into a store and buy things based on my child’s age. 12 months check. 2T check. Today my life is not that simple. With four children and growth spurts happening on a weekly basis, long gone are the days of shopping without my kids or even online.
The girls start school in two weeks, and they both needed new athletic shoes so we headed to Dick’s Sporting Goods® because I knew they would have a huge selection to choose from. I always try to give the girls as many options as possible, so they don’t feel the need to buy shoes so that they don’t leave the store empty handed.
I have to admit this was the best back to school shopping experience we’ve had yet. I knew when we got there that the girls had no idea what they wanted, so I wasn’t sure how long it would take to bring home two pairs of shoes. Surprisingly, with as many pairs of shoes as Dick’s Sporting Goods had to choose from the girls quickly found colors that caught they loved (I think it’s funny that Anna always sticks so closely to what Lexi chooses).
If you don’t usually think of Dick’s Sporting Goods as a one-stop back-to-school shop, you should! I love shopping at Dick’s, and I never realized how much they have for the back-to-school season. They have EVERYTHING! Obviously, we got our shoes there, but they also have clothes, backpacks, lunchboxes, and more! Don’t believe me? Check it out for yourself!
- BYOS: That’s right! Bring your socks! Don’t get me wrong; I love watching my kids try to stretch those little pantyhose sockets over their heads but if you want to get a good fit bring your child’s socks. The socks they wear every day are likely thicker than the disposable socks they provide in store so if you want to know how well your child’s shoes will fit when they get home, make sure, you bring their socks with them to the store.Funny story. The last time we went shoe shopping my daughter Anna tucked her socks into her waistband and just when I thought she had forgotten them whipped them out like some kind of Secret Service Agent. It was adorable, but also a you would have had to have been there kinda thing! 😛
- Standing Room Only: When your child is trying on shoes, they need to stand up. This is not the time for slouching. All of your child’s weight should be evenly distributed between their feet so you can see how the shoes look. This is especially important if your child has wide feet. If the shoes look strange when you stand over them looking down or appear stretched out at all they are not wide enough. While your child may be in love with these shoes if they aren’t available in wide you can forget about it, within a month you will be tossing them in the trash because they will start to come apart at the seams. Wide feet need support!
- Toe Testing: We’ve all done it, but are you doing it the right way? When you test your child’s toes, do you know what you’re looking for? The toe test is super simple, but there are a few things to remember. Ask your child not to curl their toes. It is a natural reaction for your child to curl their toes as soon as you start to press on the end of the shoes. Most parents automatically test the big toe are of the shoe, but your child’s big toe may not be their longest toe. Always measure from your child’s longest toe and make sure there is 1/2 inch of space between the longest toe and the shoe. A spacious toe prevents those nasty ingrown toenails.
- Heel Testing: Party in the front, business in the back. The shoe is the opposite of the mullet! The toe should be where the party is happening so keep it loose, and the heel is all business so keep it snug, Make sure the heel of your child’s shoe fits well. A snug heel will prevent blistering.
- On The Catwalk: Watch your child walk the walk. So you’ve brought the socks, you’ve poked and prodded your child’s feet and heels, and now it’s time for your child to take these shoes out for a test drive. Watch your child walk the store. We don’t just walk up and down the aisle; we pretend like we are buying a car, and we take our potential new shoes out for a spin. The goal here for the child to forget they are wearing new shoes while I see just how well they fit. I watch for bowing on the sides, sliding off the back, and tripping over their own feet (which let’s be honest may or may not have anything to do with the shoes).
I have learned a lot about finding the perfect fit for my children’s shoes. Most importantly, I have learned that you can never, and I mean never trust a child in a shoe store. They will always tell you the shoe fits. Always. Even if the shoes are falling off of their feet while you watch them stumble through the store knocking over everything in their path like Godzilla in Tokyo. I have played their game before and been burned. We buy the shoes they desperately want and end up listening to complaints about blisters and sore toes. It’s never worth it, and it’s never the shoes. It’s always the socks, or heaven forbid the poor toe’s fault. If for whatever reason you visit the shoe store, and your child is so zoned in on one pair of shoes that they are willing to chop their toes off to wear them home, just ask if they can order them online and have them shipped to your house. It’s not nearly as messy!;)
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