Health Watch - Preparing for School: Shoe Shopping

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about getting ready to go back to school. Back-to-school shopping is a major summer ritual. When it comes to buying new school shoes, make sure you’re getting the proper fit.

Dr. Michael VanPelt, an orthopaedic surgeon at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says poorly fitting shoes not only affect foot development, but can also affect posture, leading to back or leg pain. You’ll know it’s time for new shoes when there’s wear in the toe or seams of shoes. Shop for shoes in the afternoon or evening because feet swell during the day. When buying children’s shoes, allow a finger’s width between the end of the longest toe and the tip of the shoe to make room for growth. Avoid backless shoes and shoes with high heels for children because they raise the risk for injuries. Look for shoes with good traction and arch support.

Visit to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in orthopedics.


August 2009

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