If the shoe fits. . .
If the lug-soled, clunky shoes your children deem fashionable make you question their style sense, at least make sure the ones they choose fit properly.
To do so, here are some tips from the American Podiatric Medical Association, as reported in the San Jose Mercury News:
Measure both feet. Before the 10th birthday, a child's shoe size changes an average of 30 times.
Always try on both shoes before buying. If one foot is larger than the other, buy the larger size.
Forget "breaking in" or "growing into" shoes. They should be comfortable and the right size when you buy them.
Since feet swell during the day, it's best to shop for shoes in the afternoon and evening.
When trying on shoes, have your child wear the type of socks he or she usually wears.
In checking fit, the widest part of the shoe should correspond with the widest part of the foot. The heel should not slip or gap. The toe area should be wide enough to keep toes from rubbing together, and high enough to prevent pressure. Shoes should be a half-inch longer than the longest toe when standing, and the outside ankle bone should clear the top of the shoe without friction.
Feel the inside of the shoes for smoothness. Misplaced labels or raised seams can cause discomfort at best and blisters at worse.