Shoe shopping tips for back to school

It’s that time of year when kids start heading back to school. And with each new school season, comes back to school shopping for supplies, clothes, and shoes. Having the right shoe gear for your child is as important as having the right equipment for their sports or having the right supply for their projects. 

Today, we share with you tips on what makes for a good shoe, how to properly size to your child’s foot type, and when you should replace shoes, along with other helpful tips to keep your child’s feet healthy and happy from the playground to the gym!

Finding the proper size sounds pretty obvious, but when it comes to young kids, they may not tell you that their toes are hitting the front of the shoe until you’ve noticed their toe is sticking out of their shoes!

Educating kids on when to inform parents that their shoes are either uncomfortable or they’re outgrowing them can help prevent ingrown toenails or toenails that turn dark or fall off from chronic irritation or rubbing against the shoes. Children grow at different rates, and it’s not uncommon for their shoes and sock sizes to increase every few months. The following tips can help achieve the best and most comfortable size.

How do you overcome the battle between what’s considered “cool” versus what is functional?

Knowing what features to look for in a shoe can help you reach a compromise with your child and allow them to pick the color or look they want to achieve, as long as the shoes fit these guidelines:

Why should you replace their shoes if they haven’t outgrown them?

For the reasons you replace your car tires when the treads are worn to prevent your car from slipping or sliding, you should replace your child’s shoes if there is excessive wear and tear and the treads are visibly wearing down.

A good way to assess this is to look at the shoe sitting on a flat surface from behind, if either edge of the shoe is worn, or the shoe easily rocks back and forth when you tip it, then it’s time to replace the shoe .

Loss of structure can compromise stability and cause the foot to compensate resulting in foot pain and fatigue. 

If you feel that there you are having to replace your child’s shoes sooner than normal or the wear pattern doesn’t seem normal, consider making an appointment with a podiatrist to have their foot structure assessed and determine if they need orthotics or similar supportive devices.

What are the signs that your child maybe having foot problems?

Pay attention to their behavior, pattern of activities, or their complaints. Your child may be tell you when something hurts, but sometimes, problems can present initially as fatigue or discomfort and children may not communicate this with you. Consider making an appointment with one of our podiatrists:

These signs may be indicate that there may be associated foot problems that can affect their daily routine and patterns.


At Bluebonnet Foot and Ankle Institute, we are here to help you and your child take steps in the right direction to start off a great school year!

If you need help or want to discuss in detail the right shoe gear with one of our podiatrists or feel that your child may need a foot evaluation, call us at 512-394-5108 or visit us at to schedule an appointment online. 


Dr. Babak Kaviani

Dr. Babak Kaviani is a board certified podiatrist and founder of Bluebonnet Foot and Ankle Institute. He demonstrates his love of podiatric medicine in his continued charity work and mission trips to Latin America. When he is not practicing medicine, you can find Dr. Kaviani spending time with his wife and two kids, cooking, swimming, or enjoying a good book.