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||Why are school shoes important?
I believe I was destined to become a Podiatrist from a young age, because one of my favourite days of the summer holidays would be when Mum would take my brother, sister and I school shoe shopping! Having gone to a primary school where we wore black leather school shoes four days a week, it was important that we were 100% satisfied with the comfort and fit before purchasing.
Personally, I think there are many advantages to a uniform policy that requires wearing school shoes. I like the idea of all students looking the same, and not feeling embarrassed that they don't have the latest sports shoe. A simple black or brown school shoe puts all children on an equal playing field and prepares primary school aged children for the likely high school regulations and then even into working life.
School shoes can be regularly maintained for extra life, such as using a polish to reduce scuffs, replacing frayed laces, having a Cobbler repair soles and even replacing the sock liner. Allowing your child to participate in regular polishing and caring for school shoes fosters a sense of responsibility for their own property and promotes sustainability.
School shoes are often made with a variety of fasteners such as laces, Velcro or buckles. This creates options for children of varying ages and abilities to independently apply their own footwear. Children can progress through fastener options as their fine motor skills improve over time.
Appropriate school shoes can also help protect children's feet from the elements, a covered in leather shoe is protective against the cold and rain, a solid grip on wet ground and a quality leather allows breathability on a hot day. A thick sturdy sole protects our kids' feet should they step on something sharp and covered in style reduces the risk of foreign objects such as gravel or tanbark ending up inside the shoe.
The benefits of quality school shoes are endless, but in my opinion the dominating factor is how comfort can improve mood, concentration and ability to learn in the classroom.
How to buy the best school shoes？
Researching which school shoes to buy can leave parents feeling like they're failing at comprehension. Why are some so expensive? Are the cheaper ones OK? Buckles, Velcro or laces? And why-in-the-name-of-all-that's-holy do my kids wear them out so quickly?
It's an annual dilemma for parents of school-aged children (and sometimes a biannual dilemma if they have a growth spurt) – and it can be a costly decision to get wrong.
The bones in young children's feet don't fuse together until puberty. This means their feet can lack muscle strength and be prone to hypermobility, which is why they need firm, supportive shoes to help protect them while they're growing.
"A good school shoe provides a stable home for immature bones," says Charlotte Bodell, a podiatrist and spokesperson for the Australian Podiatry Association.
"Without that support, children are in danger of developing flat feet, sore knees, shin splints and even back pain. A good shoe that fits properly is important."
Bodell adds that good footwear alone isn't enough. "It's also important for children to carry out regular daily exercise to keep their feet and lower limbs strong and healthy," she says.
Kids' feet grow quickly and can change shape as well as size. Experts recommend doing a size check at these intervals:
One to three months up to the age of three years.
Every four months up to the age of five.
Every six months until your child stops growing completely.
How to measure your child's feet at home
Whether you're minimising shopping trips because of COVID-19, or you can't get to a shoe store, there are ways to measure your child's feet at home so you know which size to choose.
Clarks sells an at-home foot gauge, which you can use to measure the length and width of your child's feet, and to calculate the right shoe size.
Williams offers an online measure and fit service called Strutfit. This guides you through the process of taking pictures of your child's feet to be uploaded and analysed. It will then recommend a size.
DIY foot measurements
Alternatively, you can follow this general step-by-step guide to measuring your child's foot, then use those measurements to find the right size shoe for whichever brand you're interested in. (Most stores will have a size guide on their website.)
Until recent times, footwear made for children generally mimicked the idiosyncratic styles of the adults of their time and place (taking into account the special characteristics of the feet of infants and young children). It was not until the twentieth century that footwear highly divergent from the dominant adult prototype evolved specifically for children. However, in premodern times there were some circumstances concerning children's footwear that are of historical interest.
In ancient Greece, sandals and slipper-like shoes predominated for both children and adults. Boys were "sandaled" around the age of seven when they first left their homes for school, a rite of passage similar to a boy's receiving his first pair of breeches in later eras. Young girls making their first departure from home, which took place with the girl's marriage shortly after reaching biological adulthood, also went to the shoemaker's for their first pair of sandals. A survey of Tanagra terra-cotta figures from the first half of the third century B.C.E. suggests that young children, perhaps specifically girls, wore slippers before their official departure from family life. There is much debate surrounding the question when and if children in ancient times were shod.
In the nineteenth century as the making of shoes became more systematic, particularly in New England, evidence emerges of the development of particular styles of shoes for children. The Reverend Richard Manning Chipman noted, for example, that "cack" was a specific term developed in Massachusetts around the year 1820 for a baby's soft leather-soled heelless shoe. On the other hand, the Oxford English Dictionary discloses that the word "bootee" or "bootie" did not occur in popular English usage as a description of infant's shoes until its appearance in a Sears, Roebuck and Co. catalog in 1929.
Throughout the nineteenth century, periodicals encouraged women to try their hands at creating shoes for their young children. Patterns appeared in Godey's Ladies' Book (1830-1898), and Peterson's Magazine (begun 1842). In the anonymously written The Workwoman's Guide (1838), the author gives patterns and sewing directions for baby's first and second pair of shoes, as well as a pair made of ticking material (A Lady, pp. 173, 174). One hundred and fifty years after Monsieur Rousseau encouraged the possibility of childlike-children, footwear began to be developed specifically for them, albeit in the form of variations on already existing adult shoes. In 1890, George Warren Brown opened the Brown Shoe Company in St. Louis, Missouri, but it was not until the 1904 World's Fair that his variation on the Oxford tie for boys came into its own. In that year a young executive from Brown's company met artist Richard F. Outcault and the "Buster Brown" shoe was born. Of equal importance is Buster's sister "Mary Jane" who gave her name to the ubiquitous girl's low-strapped shoes.
The twentieth century increasingly saw shoe manufacturers appealing directly to children through such techniques as tie-ins with television shows such as Howdy Doody, The Lone Ranger, various cartoons, and Sesame Street. The 1980s saw catalog and department store giant Sears, Roebuck and Co. introduce Grranimals, a line of children's clothing with accompanying footwear that had strategically placed emblems that aided children in creating coordinated outfits on their own.
White Sneakers Every Girl Must Own To Match With Every Outfit
White sneakers are definitely a must-have in every girl's wardrobe because it's extremely versatile and can match with almost any kind of outfit.
Plus, sneakers are just so comfortable and if high heels are not your kind of thing, it won't hurt to perhaps have more than one pair of white shoes in your collection!
While white sneakers are a dime a dozen, here are some classic ones that every girl must own.
What's Up with Your Son and His Sneaker Obsession?
When little boys get into their first superhero costume, magic occurs. They know they have super powers. They think they can fly, bend steel and outrun the wind. A few years later, when it dawns on boys that maybe their Batman capes don’t give them these powers, they seek out something else. Sneakers.
A boy's love affair with his “kicks” is intense. If you’ve ever seen a boy lace up his new sneakers (that word moms usually use) and run around the shoe store, you know what I mean. In the right pair, boys believe they will jump higher and run faster. You can see it in the gleam in their eyes—they are invincible.
But there's nothing new about shoes being a big deal for boys. From Vans to PF Flyers to Chuck Taylors (“Chucks”), shoes matter. The love of kicks is deep. And for this generation of boys, it's basketball shoes.
The first Air Jordans came onto the market in 1985, right after Michael Jordan first laced up those black-and-red shoes to match the colors of the Chicago Bulls. David Stern, the NBA commissioner at the time, fined Jordan five thousand dollars each time he stepped out on the court because his shoes didn’t have enough white on them. There was nothing David Stern could have done to make Michael Jordan or his shoes look cooler. Jordan was breaking the rules and he looked good doing it.
But why else are shoes such a big deal for boys?
Shoes are the fashion choice that all boys can participate in without being teased. When you go with your son to a store like Foot Locker and the salesperson in that black-and-white striped shirt comes over to your son, what does he ask? Does he ask what size shoe your son wears? No. The smart ones say, “Hey, man, what are your colors?” What other article of clothing could that happen with? Where else could that question be asked without drawing embarrassment from your kid?
The last time I went with my sons, I had a hard time holding back my laughter as I listened to their intense discussion with the salesman. I watched them wander in front of the wall of shoes, saw their intense gaze and subsequent handling of the shoes while they each stared off visualizing their future greatness on the basketball court. The entire thing was completely ridiculous—a fact that I kept to myself.
What isn’t ridiculous and what parents need to be very aware of, is that shoes are a huge indicator among boys about status and money. The shoes boys most covet are heavily marketed to them and extremely expensive. (Nike Kobes are about $170 and LeBrons can go up to $250.) If parents are willing to pay for them, that says a lot about how they’re buying into the marketing campaigns that are targeting our boys and, by extension, our wallets.
Also keep in mind that boys often have judgments about who has the right to wear these shoes. As in, if you wear them but you can’t hold your own athletically, boys are going to make fun of you to your face or ridicule you behind your back.
I am writing about this to suggest that when your son is begging for new shoes and spends hours looking at his various options online, don’t make fun of him or belittle his apparent superficiality. Instead, see this an opportunity to talk about financial responsibility and perception of his image. Tell him how much you are willing to spend. If he still insists that he has to get expensive shoes, tell him he has to use his savings or work to pay for the rest. Then ask him how he thinks his life will be better if he has the shoes he covets and really listen to his answers, because he is giving you a window into his world.
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