Back to School Shoe Shopping
As a child, there are a million different memories I have: running around on our farm with our animals, play dress ups, going for ice-cream but there is one vivid memory that always sticks with me and that is the yearly shoe shopping trip to the city. Though we lived on the farm, it was extremely important to my parents to get good quality shoes that would last the entire year. Now as a mother of two (Finlee 4 and Chloe 11 months), I also feel it’s important to buy appropriately fitting shoes however, find shoe shopping for children quite a challenge.
So many questions about shoes… what size does Finlee need? Is his foot wide? Do I buy bigger shoes so I get more wear out of them? As you can see, shoe shopping is not my speciality so I was extremely grateful when approached by The Athlete’s Foot to take Finlee to their Chermside Shop and experience first hand how to purchase the correct pair of shoes for your child.
Let the Games Begin…
Keys… check. Child… check. Snacks… check. Chermside Athlete’s Foot here we come. Finlee and I arrived The Althlete’s Foot and were greeted by Ben our Master Fit Technician (this person has undergone the highest level of training – including a 3 day course by Podiatrists, health professionals and the Medical Training team). Ben got down to Finlee’s height and started to casually build a rapport with him by asking him about his day, what he had for breakfast etc (this was very important to me because Finlee is a very shy child). Ben explained how important it is to fit a child for shoes and that many parents don’t do this and explained that there were a few things he wanted to do in order to make sure we got Finlee the right pair of shoes.
Shoe Fitting Process
Step 1 Manual Foot Sizing: Ben brought out his trusty foot measure and measured both of Finlee’s feet and to my surprise Finlee’s feet were slightly different in size.
Step 2 FITZI: this is the new in store fitting analysis system – it’s been 2 years in the making, and is the most evolved fitting system on the global market. This was super fun for Finlee. The way it works is that Fitzi takes digital images of Finlee’s feet while he walks across a motion censored mat; capturing the specific movement of Finlee’s feet.
Step 3 Results: Ben then brought out an Ipad Mini to take us through the entire analysis of Finlee’s feet on FITZI. Definitely something I haven’t seen before! With Finlee’s age, foot type and what type of activity he’d be using the shoes for (ie Everything in Preschool), he darted off to bring out several pairs to try.
Step 4 Fitting: Ben brought out a variety of shoes that ranged from different colours to size. Ben carefully put on some socks for Finlee and tried on the first pair and prompted Finlee to walk around the store (insert Finlee running around the store). Ben suggested we also try the slightly bigger size too to get a baseline as to what the best fitting shoe was.
Step 5 Decision Time: After speaking with Ben and including Finlee, we decided to go with the slightly bigger sized shoe based on Finlee’s foot structure.
Step 6 Waterproof Spray: Ben put a waterproof spray on Finlee’s shoes to give the shoes a protective coating that will protect the materials and extend the life of the shoe and also making them water repellent.
Important Facts You Might Not Know… 1. Did you know that… children’s feet change up to 34 times before the age of 11? So it’s so important they have the right fit from the start of their school life though to adulthood. 2. Did you know that… The Athlete’s Foot do School shoes for kids of all ages? Their variety starts from velcro and lace options and all the way to sports shoes, cross training shoes, netball, football and spikes.
The Athlete’s Foot is the exclusive sports footwear retailer of Sports Medicine Australia. Tim Pain, Podiatrist and Sports Medicine Australia Member, also commented on Finlee’s FIT and feet! …
The most important thing for Finlee (only 4) is to be fitted in shoes that support his growing feet. As children grow their footwear needs can change and in fact the needs of one child to that of another will be completely different. The level of support provided by a shoe will be determined by the amount of excessive movements of the feet that occur beyond a normal range and any injuries the child may have. The shoe should fit the foot in length as well as width as well as providing appropriate supportive and cushioned features for the individual child.
When it comes to buying shoes for my children, I want to ensure I not only have the correct type of shoe, but also want to create a memory. A memory, that when years to come, Finlee and Chloe will remember going to the shoe shop, looking through the shoes and having an experience. If you’re interested in investing in a pair of quality shoes, accompanied with a wide variety of shoes and great service from experienced staff then I suggest a trip to your local The Athlete’s Foot or by heading on over to the new School Zone Page.
WIN 5 X $500 Shoe Packs from The Athlete’s Foot Back! Super easy to enter, simply hashtag your child’s photo with #backtoshoes to entire to win the prize. Click here for additional information: The Athlete’s’ Foot Competition will run from January 8th, 2014 to February 15th, 2014.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by The Athlete’s Foot. All views and materials (including photographs) produced are my own.