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Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it’s off to school we go…

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Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it’s off to school we go…

Jane Lawler

It’s that time of the year again, the time that every parent of school aged children dreads….the notion of having to fit school shoes for another year is enough to make parents cringe.
Instead of putting it off, for yet another week, it’s a good idea to  check old shoes well before school starts, so as to make sure any orthotics fit well and function is optimal. Most kids grow at the speed of light over the summer holidays, so most parents will need to buy new school shoes. But they may forget that the orthotics they used last year were specially fitted and are not always easily transferred into new shoes. The same thing happens in reverse when they upgrade their kids’ orthotics, but don’t replace footwear.
 
Orthotics can be useful in cases where your child has pain which may be related to a flat foot or excessive pronation. A medical-grade orthotic provides biomechanical support and restores your child’s natural walking pattern.  A poor fitting orthotic may slide within, or stretch the shoe and it will not provide the support required. Sometimes only a half-length orthotic is needed, and your podiatrist will discuss this with you after making a careful assessment. When your child is being fitted by a podiatrist, bring their footwear in to your appointment – whether school or sports shoes.

To start the new school year with your best foot forward, remember that last year’s shoes and orthotics might be too small to be of much use. Just like we need new tyres when the tread wears down, shoes are our form of transport - wear and tear can affect function, alignment, cushioning and stability.