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Are secondhand shoes safe for your children?

When purchasing shoes for a child, care should be taken to ensure that the shoes fit properly and are appropriate for any particular concerns about the child’s foot structure. Secondhand shoes may seem like a great deal until you begin to really inspect them. Shoes that have been worn frequently or that are made of certain materials will mold to the foot of the wearer, including to the particular arch height, toe length, and biomechanics. After a pair of shoes has been molded to one person’s feet, they will not remold to the feet of another person.

Short term, wearing used shoes can lead to red, irritated skin, sore feet and leg muscles, or blisters. Used shoes may also come with unwanted diseases such as fungus or other germs that can lead to Athlete’s foot and other uncomfortable conditions.

In the long run, wearing secondhand shoes may result in abnormal foot growth and development. Eventually, secondhand shoes may cause bunions and other foot deformities, as well as posture and back problems. These conditions may become chronic — leading to a lifetime of pain and discomfort.

To avoid the numerous potential problems of secondhand shoes and to support the foot health of your children, only buy new shoes and take steps to ensure that they fit properly. Ideally, visit a shoe store that specializes in children’s shoes to have your child’s feet measured in length, width, and arch height. Ideally, your child’s shoes should fit snugly around the heel without squeezing, and provide adequate room in the toe box for the toes to move slightly without hitting the end of the shoe. Once you know your child’s measurements, shop around for the best price on new shoes. Several times per year, shoe stores offer sales and coupons. With your child’s shoe measurements in hand, you might also be able to find shoes on a budget at outlet stores or discount chain stores. Many of these stores carry brand name shoes that also happen to be brand new, but significantly discounted in price.

To learn more about keeping your children’s feet healthy and about proper shoe fit, please call Kansas City Foot Specialists today at (913) 338-4440. A child with healthy feet is much more likely to grow up to be an adult with healthy feet.