Are you about to buy school shoes? Read this practical guide before hitting
the shops!

Step 1 | Take this quiz!
Should your child see a podiatrist before you buy school shoes?

  • Do your child’s shoes show uneven wear and tear, or scuff marks?
  • Do you feel that your child has a ‘hard to fit’ foot?
  • Is it hard to understand which shoe types are most suited to your child’s different activities?
  • Does your child experience skin rashes, hard skin on their feet, lumps, bumps, excessive sweating, itching or ingrowing toenails?
  • Does your child complain of foot or leg pain?
  • Does your child often trip or fall?

If you answered ‘yes’ to one or more of the above questions, consider taking your child to see a podiatrist before you buy school shoes.


Step 2 | Review this checklist
Before buying school shoes, answer the following:

  • Did you bring your child’s uniform-issued school socks or stockings to ensure the shoes fit well in these conditions?
  • Did you have your child’s feet measured correctly for length and width at a store that offers trained assistants?
  • Did you make sure that your child could wriggle their toes freely in their shoes, both up and down and side to side?
  • Did you check that there is about 1cm of growing room (no more!) between the end of their longest toe and the end of their shoe?
  • Do the shoes match their activities and the season? Such as podiatry-approved sandals for summer, or breathable upper material for their summer sports shoe.
  • Do the shoes have a method of attachment (like laces, buckle or Velcro)? This allows the shoe to be adjusted to meet the growing needs of your child. Avoid elastic shoes and slip-ons as these don’t support developing young feet.

If you answered ‘yes’ to all of the above questions go ahead and make your purchase, knowing that you are helping to support your child’s foot health!


A quick guide to buying school shoes patient information
An APodA member resource © Australian Podiatry Association 2023