If you’re a parent, you probably know how fast kids can grow out of their shoes and clothes.
Understandably, some people dress their kids in pre-worn items to save a little money. While this is fine for pants, shirts and outerwear, you should think twice before putting your kids in used shoes. Here’s what you should know.
3 reasons to avoid second-hand shoes
There are three main reasons children shouldn’t wear hand-me-down shoes:
Shoes mould to the shape of the wearer’s feet. When a child wears a shoe that has conformed to someone else’s foot, their own feet are forced into a space that was made for someone else. This can cause pain, blistering and other problems.
The tread and sole of the shoe may be worn, leading to less stability and support. This is especially a problem for toddlers, who are still learning to walk.
Fungal infections thrive in dark, warm environments like shoes. If your child has a blister or cut on their foot and they wear a shoe that’s contaminated with a fungus or mould, it will likely enter the foot.
How to pick good shoes for your children
Always bring your child with you when shopping for their shoes so their feet can be measured. Here’s what to look for in a shoe:
Length. You should be able to insert your index finger between the heel and the back of the shoes without any trouble.
Width. Remove the insole and have your little one step on it. The foot should land close to the side of the insole without going over the edge.
Flexibility. The front part of the shoe should be flexible enough to bend when your child walks, while the heel area should be firm and supportive.
Support. The arch should be firm and provide the support your child’s foot needs.
Buying hand-me-down shoes
While new shoes are always best, many people prefer to buy used ones for a variety of reasons. If you prefer to buy second-hand, carefully inspect the shoe before buying it. The insole should be flat and smooth and have no trace of another foot. Also, the sole and tread should be intact enough to provide sufficient traction.
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