There has been a lot of press recently about how children are wearing ill-fitting shoes that have led to injury and could led to foot problems in the future, with a study from the University of Brighton revealing that 55% of UK children have suffered injuries by wearing shoes that are either too small or unsuitable for young feet – how do you ensure that Pilch offers enough choice so that parents can fit the right fitting shoe for their child?
When I am out buying for the upcoming season it is always top of my priority list to ensure I purchase shoes for all shapes and sizes of feet. Being a specialist sports store, this means for every category I am buying footwear for, be it hockey, rugby, football or just a general trainer, I am always looking to make sure we have a shoe for a wide foot, narrow foot, one with plenty of cushioning and/or support. No two shoes/brands are ever the same so it is important we offer a choice to tick all boxes.
How important is it for children to wear shoes that fit them?
Correctly fitting shoes are vital whatever you are wearing them for. An incorrectly fitting shoe can have consequences straight away with blisters or generally sore feet, but a badly fitted shoe from a young age could result in more serious foot/leg related issues in later life. In sport, however, the correct fitting shoe is even more important as often they will be used heavily and often for matches or a competition where an incorrectly fitted shoe could impact performance and be the difference between winning or losing! Equally important is ensuring the shoe is intended for the purpose they are buying it for. All too often parents are looking to buy one shoe for their child to play hockey, football, tennis, netball and to run in. Such a shoe does not exist and if you try to use a shoe to do everything it will damage the child’s foot, as well as destroying the shoe way before it should, meaning you will need to purchase two or three pairs anyway! This is why we sell specific shoes for every sport – it is not a sales ploy, but is essential.
What fitting advice do you offer instore?
We will measure feet, however, given the broad range of shoes and brands we sell it often does not mean very much as you can vary up to two sizes either way depending on the shoe you are buying. Because of this, our staff are trained to help guide you to find the correct shoe. We stock all sizes including half sizes (a half size can make a big difference when fitting a shoe particularly a football boot or rugby boot). We also stock wider fitting shoes in most categories, which our staff can advise on.
How often should children have their feet measured?
Young children grow quickly so it is recommended they have their feet measured every 6-8 weeks, however, as the child grows, every 3-5 months is fine for most.
Good fitting shoes means unfashionable shoes right?
No. When buying, fashion is always on my mind, be it footwear or clothing. All our footwear is absolutely current and on-trend for the sports they are intended for. Our football boots will be seen right now in the Premier League, our current rugby boots will be worn by England throughout the autumn internationals and our Adidas hockey shoes will be seen on the feet of the top England hockey players. All our trainers are from top brands – Nike, Asics, and New balance to name but a few. Comfort does not have to come at the cost of fashion!