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Tips to check shoes are suitable before investing in a new pair

Start-Rite Technical Development & Fitting Manager, Wayne Lubbock, has over 30 years’ experience in his field and is passionate about making children’s shoes that provide the correct support to enable the child to grow healthily.

If you have bought quality shoes, you can expect them to last until the child outgrows them. If you are unsure if the pair of shoes a child is wearing are still fit for purpose, Wayne has provided five important factors below to check for erosion.

Start-Rite children’s shoes are designed with the child in mind, so each contact point must provide the correct flexibility, support and protection.

1. Sole Unit

Check the tread pattern. Is it worn down? Imagine it’s like a tyre tread. Soles are designed to give underfoot protection, so thickness is important not only for grip but to protect the child from the harsh everyday environments.

2. Insole or Footbed

The insole will help you establish if your child’s shoes are too small. There should be roughly 12-15mm space between the toe imprint on the insole and the toe end. This is the magic ‘growing room’ we talk about at Start-Rite.

Replace the insole if the big toe has become eroded and worn through as this should be supporting the child and not misshapen.

3. Upper stitching

Is this still connected? Less quality pairs of shoes will use stitching that wears more quickly and will compromise protection. Because this is so important, at Start-Rite we use twin rows of stitching for added security.

4. Fastenings

Have they loosened? Is the rip-tape intact? Will they be capable of holding the foot in place inside the shoe without toes needing to grip the shoe down?

5. Top line or the ‘padded collar’ at the back of the shoe

If the collar or ‘back part’ is eroded, the shoe cannot support the heel and will enable the foot to slip inside. Start-Rite uses methods and materials so that the back of the shoe grips the heel in place to enable the growing room and comfort for the toes at the front of the shoe.

When you do purchase children’s shoes, the most important factor is to choose carefully to protect your investment – the right style for the shape of the foot and the correct measurement are two important elements that will help the shoes last longer. We have created a handy 8-point Check-the-Fit guide. Following these eight rules will ensure you get the very best fit to protect the child and the longest wear from the shoes.