Would you like some tips on choosing footwear for your child and being certain that you have chosen the right pair of shoes? Here you will find all the answers to the questions asked most frequently by people buying shoes:
1/ Will my child know how to get the shoes on and tighten them unaided ?
At about the age of five or six years, children can do up their laces unaided. Having said that, to make putting on and tightening footwear child's play, we recommend that you choose rip-tab shoes or elastic laces combined with a rip-tab, such as Newfeel children's shoes. These systems will save your children time and make them totally independent.
2/ Does the footwear properly support their feet ?
As we explained in our article on the benefits of children's shoes: fact or fiction ?, it is your child's heel which must be supported, rather than the ankle. If children are not properly supported at this part of the foot, they may deviate towards the right or left. In the long term, this may alter their posture and natural gait.
In order to be sure that the heel is properly supported, we recommend that you check whether the shoe has a good rear stiffener. This part must be rigid, so that the child's foot does not tilt.
At the instep, check that it has a suitable tightening system. For the front part of the shoe, the child must be able to move his/her toes freely: always allow 6mm between the tip of their toes and the front of the shoe. This comfort leaves room for the feet to grow and develop stability.
3/ Can my child do sports with this footwear ?
In order to be suitable for a range of children's activities, footwear must comply with 4 criteria :
grip: tried and tested for the sole: rubber! This is a naturally non-slip material. What's more, it is 'non-marking' on our children's footwear, which is ideal for schools that require non-marking soles. Feel free to rub the footwear on the ground, as if you were rubbing out a pencil mark. If it does not leave a mark, you can be sure that it is made of rubber.
flexibility: for making very precise movements such as staying balanced on the edge of the pavement or completing a zigzag path 'without overstepping', your child must be able to keep their balance. The shoes must not restrict the natural flexibility of the forefoot. Therefore select flexible footwear! You can check this by bending the front of the shoe before purchasing the footwear.
stability: children make lots of sideways and linear movements during their activities. The footwear must provide stability in every situation. We therefore recommend that you opt for a stable sole that is not too high. Have you ever tried to sidestep with heels? ;)
cushioning: depending on the age of the child, the cushioning required will be different. All of the information is provided in our final article: do children need cushioning?
4/ Is the footwear durable? Will it be durable over time ?
The two most common materials are leather and synthetic :
leather is a hygienic material, which breathes. Its quality is widely recognised and it resists the wear of daily use. It provides maximum comfort as it's the shoe that adapts to the child's foot, and not the other way round.
synthetic is a material that's very easy to wash. When it comes to maintaining the shoes, just wipe with a damp sponge and the stains will disappear! What's more, from an aesthetic point of view, these shoes round off any outfit nicely.
Some materials are more durable than others. Moreover, as children quickly wear out the front of the shoe, there should ideally be a reinforcement in this area. The raised outsoles at the front and rear are ideal and will provide guaranteed durability !
5/ Will the shoe prevent water from getting inside ?
Only a few shoes are genuinely waterproof. Most children's shoes are water repellent, that is, they allow water to slide off without penetrating inside the fabric. On the other hand, if you leave the shoe in water for too long, water will eventually enter through the stitching. For more details, read our article: waterproof footwear versus water repellent footwear.
In order to increase their waterproof properties, you can employ a waterproof spray, which can be used on most materials (leather, fabric, synthetic materials). We recommend that you do this as soon as you buy a new pair of shoes! Read our article: How can I waterproof my shoes ?
Do you have any other questions about children's footwear ? Feel free to ask us any questions by commenting on this article.
In the meantime, discover all the Newfeel children's footwear here.