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Health vs Style:

How to negotiate school shoes with your child
By Expert Tips
Date: January 24 2018
Editor Rating:

For most parents, the post-holiday frenzy starts to kick in when the countdown for back to school looms closer. Those dreaded “mum” questions start to surface and the frantic checklist begins to get longer. Lunchboxes, school uniforms, backpacks and hair ties – oh my!

Whether it’s the initial first day back to school or returning to the giant concrete playground, the biggest opponent that a parent will face is negotiating with their children when it comes to one of the most important items on the back-to- school list; school shoes.

We chatted with Podiatrist and Co-Founder of Skobi School Shoes, Sophie McLellan, about the top tips for parents when it’s time to negotiate with your children about style and adequate support in school shoes.

Tip 1: Choose a shoe that fits and meets their needs

Every child’s feet are individual and no two feet are the same. Foot shape and growth patterns change from child to child so it is important to choose a shoe that fits the needs and measurements of the child who will be wearing them.

When it comes to fit, the key things parents need to consider is that the shoe is not too long or too short, and the width suits their individual foot. A shoe that is too big or too small causes excessive movement or restriction and can result in blistering or toe deformities. Whether your child is or isn’t super active is also a characteristic that comes in to play when considering style – should they be more flexible or should they be more robust? Another important factor is weight. As a first point of call, consider the activities your kids take part in in order to decide upon a lightweight shoe or one that is heavier (plus the style they like) in order to get the best result.

Another common consideration is whether their child prefers laces or velcro. At the end of the day, appearance should not undermine the right level of support. Rather than choose by appearance, consider the shoe that is easiest for your child and gives them that added independence.

Tip 2: Compromise

As parents, it is one thing to find a school shoe that your child likes but actually finding one that also meets their needs is a whole new realm of frustration.

Negotiating is a challenge a lot of parents face and it can be a very exasperating time as a ‘back to school’ first timer. Our biggest tip to balance fit and needs with style is by getting them involved in the selection process. We’ve found that it is a lot easier if they get their child involved in the decision making and will result in a selection that ticks all the important boxes – fit, form, function and of course, style. Engaging with their kids and giving them the opportunity to join in gives parents a higher success rate.

Tip 3: Avoid this common mistake

A concern many parents face is the cost of school shoes versus their quality. Generally, children roughly get 700 hours of wear out of their school shoes or about half a year before they start to show signs of excess wear. When you think about it, children spend over 40 hours a week in their school shoes. That’s about 80 per cent of their day, Monday to Friday, jumping, skipping, running and all the rigorous fun on hard surfaces. When parents consider how important the developmental outcome of their kids is in their formative years and how much they rely on their shoes day to day in the present day, parents tend to understand why the value of spending more for a good pair of
school shoes that will last the distance.

About Sophie and Skobi School Shoes
Sophie is a certified podiatrist as well as the co-owner of Little Big Feet, an exclusive Children’s podiatry clinic. Sophie co-founded Skobi School Shoes with husband Jason, Australia’s first school shoe specifically designed by Paediatric Podiatrists and loved by kids. Skobi School Shoes recognised that every kid is different and puts all their individual requirements at the forefront of a school shoe design, creating the ultimate feel, form and function. The Skobi Range comprises of four collections purposefully designed for Aussie kids and includes options for children with sensitive feet.

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