For many families, summer holidays means time at cottages, beaches and pools. Flip-flops have been a long-standing go-to for summer footwear, but are they the best choice for your kids this summer?
No matter the season, well fitting, supportive footwear is essential for healthy play and growth. The standard foam flip-flop simply does not provide support for most children’s activities. When simply going from the house to the pool, or from the dock into the lake, a flip-flop is an OK choice. For all other activity, supportive sandals are always a better choice. Kids love to run, jump and engage in all kinds of explosive activity that can lend to ankle, knee and foot injuries without proper support and protection.
Here are some basic tips when choosing footwear for your kids this summer:
- Look for shoes or sandals with support in the heel and shank. You shouldn’t be able to bend, twist or contort the shoes in your hands with little effort. Keen and Teva offer some great options for sandals for kids.
- Always buy footwear to fit the child’s feet. Don’t buy shoes with “room to grow”. Shoes that are too long or wide may increase incidence of slip and fall injuries, or aggravate foot problems.
- Don’t buy second hand or use “hand-me-downs”. Wear patterns established by the first child can cause problems.
If your child insists on wearing flip-flops, avoid the standard flat foam style. Look for ones that have a thicker sole, arch support, adjustable straps and are made from durable materials.
If you have any questions or concerns about your childrens’ summer footwear, contact your SoleScience pedorthist!