Throughout Highlands County, parents are preparing for their children returning to school in August, for many parents, shoe shopping may seem easier than a pop-quiz in gym class, but several important factors should be considered:

  • Children’s Feet Change With Age. Shoe and sock sizes may change every few months as a child’s feet grow.
  • Shoes That Don’t Fit Properly Can Aggravate the Feet. Always measure a child’s feet before buying shoes, and watch for signs of irritation.
  • Never Hand Down Footwear. Just because a shoe size fits one child comfortably doesn’t mean it will fit another the same way. Also, sharing shoes can spread fungi like athlete’s foot and nail fungus.
  • Examine the Heels. Children may wear through the heels of shoes quicker than outgrowing shoes themselves. Uneven heel wear can indicate a foot problem that should be checked by a podiatrist.
  • Take Your Child Shoe Shopping. Every shoe fits differently. Letting a child have a say in the shoe buying process promotes healthy foot habits down the road.
  • Always Buy for the Larger Foot. Feet are seldom precisely the same size.
  • Buy Shoes That Do Not Need a “Break-In” Period. Shoes should be comfortable immediately. Also make sure to have your child try on shoes with socks or tights, if that’s how they’ll be worn.

Do Your Child’s Shoes “Make The Grade?”  Take the 1, 2, 3 Tests

  1. Look For a Stiff Heel. Press on both sides of the heel counter. It shouldn’t collapse.
  2. Check Toe Flexibility. The shoe should bend with your child’s toes. It shouldn’t be too stiff or bend too much in the toe box area.
  3. Select a Shoe With a Rigid Middle. Does your shoe twist? Your shoe should never twist in the middle.

This month is the perfect time to check your child’s feet for painful flatfeet, ingrown toenails, and warts.  Many over the counter remedies are not effective and may delay healing.   Children typically should not be experiencing foot pain.  If your child is suffering from any of these problems, speak to your pediatrician or see your local podiatrist.  At the Gentle Foot Care Center, we wish every Highlands County child a healthy and safe school year.

Dr. Olga Garcia Luepschen and the Gentle Foot Care Center are located 2 Ryant Blvd (on US27) can be reached 314-9255(walk).  Check us out at


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