It’s important to know which are the different parts of the shoes in order to be able to identify them in case your child needs extra support from a specific part.
For example, if you child is experiencing heel pain, your physical or occupational therapist will recommend a shoe with a firm heel counter. Another example is that if your child is experiencing arch pain or pain in the bottom of the foot, you will need to look for a shoe with a substantial sole.
Do you know where and how to find shoes with these features? Do you know which part of the shoe you will have to press to check whether the shoe has a firm heel counter or not?
I believe that you can strongly benefit from knowing which are the different parts of the shoe, specially if you have a child that is experiencing foot or leg pain.
I have been working for a specialized children’s shoe store for the last ten years. We specialize in children with foot and leg problems, but we also provide regular shoe fittings as well. I have fitted hundreds of children’s shoes and I am familiar with which styles provide more support than others.
When a child is experiencing foot pain, it’s highly likely that we will need to find a shoe style that provides better arch or ankle support.
I believe it’s important for parents to get familiar with which are the different parts of the shoe in order to be able to significantly reduce or fully eliminate the pain that the child is experiencing.
So, let’s START identifying what are the different parts of the shoe:
Heel Counter: This is the back part of the shoe that provides heel support. It’s important for the heel counter of the shoe to be firm, since the firmer it is, the more support it will provide. Take a look at the picture below to identify where the heel counter of the shoe is:
If your child is experiencing heel pain, it’s important to press on the heel counter of the shoes and make sure it feels firm. If you press on the heel counter fo the shoes and it feels flimsy or soft, then it means that the shoes won’t provide any type of heel or ankle support.
Let’s take a look at a shoe with a soft heel counter:
Sole: This is the bottom part of the shoe that provides arch support. It’s important for the shoes to come with a supportive, substantial sole in order to minimize the impact that your kids’ feet take every time they come in contact with the ground. Take a look at the picture below to identify where the sole of the shoe is:
Another reason why the shoes must provide a substantial sole is that it will prevent your child’s shoes from wearing down faster than expected.
Toe cap: This is the front part of the shoe that is often made of rubber or other highly abrasion-resistant materials and provides additional protection from scrapes and sharp hazards. Take a look at the picture below to identify where the toe cap of the shoe is:
Some children tend to drag their toes to the ground when walking or running that’s why it’s important for the toe cap of the shoes to be durable, in order to prevent the shoes from wearing down.
Toe box: This is also the front part of the shoe, but it covers the whole front of the shoe. You might have heard that certain children with wide feet require a shoe with a wide or a round toe-box, or children with narrow feet require a shoe with a narrow toe-box. Take a look at the picture below to identify where the toe box of the shoe is:
Shoes with round toe-boxes are the most effective ones when you have to fit an orthotic inside the shoes.
Eyelets: These are the holes where the shoelaces go through. Take a look at the picture to identify where the eyelets of the shoes are:
Tongue:The tongue of the shoe is a strip of leather or other material located under the laces of a shoe. Sometimes when a child has narrow feet you will hear the shoe fitter recommend a tongue pad to be fitted on the tongue of the shoe. Take a look at the picture below for clarification to identify where the tongue of the shoe is:
Now that you know which are the different parts of the shoes, you can identify them and provide your child with the correct pair of shoes.
I always recommend parents to take their children to be properly fitted for shoes at their local kids’ shoe store that they TRUST. The issue is that most parents don’t have a local shoe store in they area (since most of them have been closing down).
I have been helping parents find their children’s shoes ONLINE for the last three years and I always tell them to remember one thing: It doesn’t matter how narrow or how wide your children’s shoes are, there is always at least one shoe style out there that will FIT the shape of your child’s feet and I will HELP YOU find it!
I created a TOOL that allows you to filter shoe options by your child’s unique footprint. The tool involves a simple process in which consumers select the child’s age, the type of shoes that you are looking for (every day, summer, winter, dress shoes, etc), whether they want Velcro closure or shoelaces, and other important features such as whether the shoes need to be deep for the child with a high instep, and/or is capable of accommodating an orthotic.
You can find that tool here:
If there is a specific part of the shoe that you are still unclear of where is located or what it is please let me know and I will tell you exactly where that area is located and the purpose that it serves.