GREENFIELD, Wis. - Although we hate to admit it, the school year is right around the corner and soon parents will be rushing to do back to school shopping for school supplies, clothes and shoes. But did you know that there are a number of things you should be considering before you go shoe shopping with your children?
What Shoes do your kids need?
According to Jim Sajdak, certified pedorthist and president of Stan’s Fit For Your Feet with locations in Brookfield, Greenfield and Glendale, “Before you go out shoe shopping think for a moment about what types of shoes your child will be needing for the school year and how active he or she is. Will your child be required to wear a dress shoe with a school uniform? Or, will he need special gym shoes that stay at school? Is he going to be participating in any extra-curricular activities? And, how rough is your child on shoes? These are all important things to consider.”
Sajdak also says that while it may be tempting in this economy to save a few dollars by accepting hand-me-down shoes from a family member or friend, you really should shy away from this practice.
“Your child is born with only one set of feet. You must protect them so they can last a lifetime. Used shoes are already worn to the shape of another child’s foot, and as a result they probably won’t fit or support your child’s foot properly.”
In order to make sure that your child will be able to run, play and get through their school days in comfort, Sajdak says parents should always have both of their youngster’s feet measured by a trained fit specialist every time they go shoe shopping.
“Children’s feet are constantly growing and it’s not uncommon for them to change a size every three to four months, so having your child’s foot measured each time they get new shoes is critical for a proper fit. This also why we don’t recommend purchasing your children’s shoes online.”
Sajdak also recommends that parents purchase shoes with laces or Velcro to help ensure a proper fit where the child’s heel is snug enough so it isn’t slipping but yet not tight enough that will cause a blister. The shoe should also fit the contour of the foot with no obvious gaps on the sides particularly around the ankles, and your child’s toes should be approximately an inch away from the front edge of the shoe.
“Plus, the sole of the shoe should be flexible at the ball of your child’s foot yet sturdy enough to protect the entire foot. And, living in Wisconsin, there should be some sort of traction on the sole of the shoe so your child won’t fall on slippery surfaces as it becomes colder outside, adds Sajdak”
Finally, Sajdak suggests looking for shoes that are made of breathable material such as leather, mesh or canvas versus vinyl.
“Breathable materials are better at keeping a child’s feet cooler. They also wick away perspiration which ultimately helps the shoes to last longer, reduces chances of blisters and keep shoes from getting smelly in your mud room after a long day at school.”
In honor of the new school year starting, from August 15 until September 6, all three Stan’s Fit For Your Feet stores will be hosting a “Design-A-Shoe” Contest. Children up to age 12 can pick up a shoe template at any of the stores and then create their own unique design on it. The grand prize will be free Clarks shoes for the whole family; and the first prize for each of the three Stan’s locations will be a pair of Clark’s kids shoes (a $70 value). Official rules are available at Stan’s.
Help Children’s Hospital
Because Stan’s believes in giving back to the community, for every pair of back to school shoes purchased in August a percentage of the sale will go toward the Children’s Hospital School Room Fund which helps children stay current with their school work while they are hospitalized.
Stan’s Fit For Your Feet Brookfield location is in The Plaza at at17155 W. Bluemound Road. Their Greenfield store is located in the Layton Plaza at 7405 W. Layton Ave and their Glendale is located at 505 W. Silver Spring Drive, across from the Bayshore Town Center. Each location is open Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. or Sundays from Noon to 5 p.m.
Stan’s is locally owned and operated. It has been in business since 1950, and specializes in quality footwear from around the world for children and adults. Its three stores are home to Wisconsin’s largest collection of regular and hard to find shoe sizes.