As parents, we think a lot about our kid’s cognitive fitness, health, nutrition, ports, intelligence and various hobbies. However, we rarely indulge in discussions around our kids’ feet and healthy foot development. This in spite of the fact that all of us have faced so many challenges with our feet and shoes through our childhood and are living with the after effects of it as adults.
Well, buying kids play shoes is a tough decision indeed. There are always multiple things on our mind like the shoe shape, design, texture, fabric, feel, laces or without laces, comfort, fit, longevity, brand and of course, the cost. It is also a tough decision because the choices available are not the best.
The objective is to buy the best kids play shoes that are comfortable and flexible enough to let the kid BE - to explore the world freely without being hindered by the wrong shoes.
Buying the best kids shoes is essential for the kid’s growth and comfort. We all have evaluated multiple offline and online shoes for kids. After spending a considerable amount of time, we still can’t figure the best kids shoes that fit all criteria- but first, do we know what these criteria are?
Here are five crucial things to keep in mind when trying to buy the best shoes for kids:
1. Measurement - Getting it right
The very foundation of finding the best shoe is to get the measurements right. Measure your kid's feet every time you go for shoe shopping, whether online or offline. Shoes that fit too snugly or feel pinchy or easily slip off from the start are a big NO. To get the RIGHT foot size, you can use the Skoodo Size Guide.
2. Comfort - Choose the right mix
Let’s define comfort first - Shoes that have a balance of flex, fit and feel and never come in the way of their FREEDOM TO MOVE.
Flex: Unrestricted flexing and solid grip
Fit: Not too tight and not too loose
Feel: Comfortable cushioning without getting in the way of ground-feel
Find shoes that feel comfortable from the start. Do keep an eye out for the third “F” in Flex | Fit | Feel in particular. Check for the right cushioning -- is the sole providing enough ground-feel to let the nerves at the bottom of their growing feet FEEL THE GROUND and send the right signals to the brain for better muscle and arch formation.
3. Include the Kids- It’s essential
Kids are the real judge of their shoes, no matter what the online advertisement or salesperson tells you. During the first shoe trial, make sure they are wearing the same type of socks that they would be wearing with the shoes later. Let them walk around for a bit to feel the shoes - both from a comfort and style perspective. Better still, let them hop, skip, jump, run around the store or at home to make sure the shoes don’t restrict their freedom to move.
4. Style and Colour – It matters
Shoe fastening style is an equally important thing to keep in mind. Choose from Lace/Velcro/fastening systems - that allow the shoe to expand as the foot develops and grows. Kids love lace-less, which is both more comfortable and convenient, when they are in a rush to get out to play!
Kids play shoes come in a range of colours; the reason is solely to make them attractive to the kids. Once you have decided on the right shoe, please give them the option of choosing the colour so that the kids enjoy wearing them.
5. Buying decision - Don’t make it impulsive
Don't make an impulsive decision - after all, your kid's feet are still growing, and you still need to think about THEIR FEET development in the right way. Don't get carried away with the offers and discounts but instead, keep the above criteria in mind while evaluating different options. Remember, a miniature version of an adult shoe is not the right answer.
An Extra Tip – A little bit of research like this blog is always handy. Do check out the Skoodo page on our extensive research on kids foot development and our inspiration for designing the only Kids Play Shoes in India with a unique rubber sole that flexes fully; a wide fit, and comfy ground-feel -- for long hours of non-stop PLAY.