Are you having a hard time finding shoes for your child? Does he or she always complain while trying shoes on? If your child can’t stand the way shoes and socks feel, I totally understand what they are going through! Be patient! They are complaining for a reason! I have been working for a specialized children’s shoe store, where I handle 200 fittings and try-ons per week! Every time I try-on a pair of shoes on a child with sensory issues they will always complain and say:
The wrong pair of shoes can be a source of great discomfort for children who experience sensory issues in their feet. If your child has sensory issues, finding the right pair of shoes can be quite a stressful experience for you and your child. Your child will express great discomfort and complain about the shoes feeling too tight, too loose, too narrow…
The last child I helped who had sensory issues tried several pair of shoes before yelling in the middle of the store, “What in the world are these shoes made of?!”
It is important to have a great deal of patience and understanding when dealing with this issue. I have fitted shoes for several children with sensory issues, and one of the things you must understand is that the child is NOT being bratty, they are just experiencing foot discomfort!
At the shoe store that I work for, I have fitted thousands of shoes and I am familiar with which shoe brands and which shoe styles are better than others.
I will guide you and help you find the best type of shoes for kids with sensory issues! The first step when you go to the shoe store do not hesitate to tell the shoe fitter or the person assisting that your child has sensory issues. This allows the shoe fitter to understand the situation better and act accordingly.
Kids With Sensory Issues – Finding The Perfect Shoes For Their Feet!
Sensory issues call for innovation in shoes that fit the demands of your kid. Let’s take a look at some guidelines you can follow when buying shoes for kids with sensory issues! I am also going to share certain techniques that you can follow to help you handle the situation better.
The first thing I am going to emphasize is the importance of wearing the correct pair of socks! Please keep in mind that the type of socks you get for your child will play a HUGE role in how his shoes feel!
In order to find the perfect pair of shoes for your child with sensory issues you MUST follow these 6 steps:
1- Get The Right Pair Of Socks!
The first step before your child even tries on the shoes MUST be to make sure that your child is wearing the right type of socks since they WILL affect the way the shoes feel. Seamless socks are a must for your child! These socks will prevent your children from throwing themselves on the floor and howling! It is important to choose a fabric which feels soft to your kid’s feet.
I describe the best socks for a child with sensory issues in this post:
2- Seam-Free Fabric Shoes!
Finding a soft, seam-free shoe, made from soft, premium leather will be a great place to start when trying shoes for your child. Ideally you will also want to find a shoe with a tongue that opens widely, so it’s easy for your child to get the shoe on without pressing on the foot too much. I will describe these type of shoes below!
3- Elastic Heel Counter!
The heel counter of the shoe should not be too stiff or too tight. The heel counter should be able to provide good ankle support but avoid any contact or pressure on the foot.
4- Lightweight But Supportive Shoes!
Shoes should be lightweight and flexible, but NO minimalist shoes! There are plenty of shoes now that are lightweight and flexible while also being supportive for your child to wear everyday. Avoiding bulky and heavy shoes will allow your child to stop focusing on the weight of the shoes, hence shifting the attention away from the shoes!
5- Finding The Perfect Pair Of Shoes!
Follow all the guidelines I mentioned before and chances are, the shoe will feel much better on your kids’ feet! If you don’t have a local children’s shoe store to take your child to be properly fitted for shoes, I will provide you with a description of the best fitting shoes for a child that has sensory issues. Below you can find a list of some of the best shoes that kids with sensory issues have loved in my experience fitting them!
The shoes below will fit a child that has narrow, medium, or wide feet (choose the width accordingly).
This first selection of shoes fit “short”, which means that you need to go a whole size longer of the size that your child measures in the shoe measuring scale in order to allow for growing room.
The shoes below will fit a child with medium, wide, or extra wide feet.
This selection of shoes fit “true to size”, which means that you need to go a half a size longer of the size that your child measures in the shoe measuring scale in order to allow for growing room.
Once you order a pair of shoes for your child, try them on with the right type of socks and ask how the shoes feel. This will help you clarify whether you need to get a longer or wider size. In most cases, children with sensory issues like their shoes to be fitted loosely.
Don’t get frustrated when your child keeps telling you that every single pair of shoes feels too tight; keep trying shoes on until you find the perfect one. However, NEVER get a larger size to accommodate for the tightness, try shoes in a wider width instead. This works 90% of the time, and this way we don’t compromise your kids’ stability by fitting them in shoes that are too long.
If you are not sure if you got the correct pair of shoes for your child, take a look at this post where I explain how to make sure your kids’ shoes fit. The post is called:
6- Desensitization Of Feet
In case you followed all these steps and your kid is still having a hard time putting on the shoes, try warming up his feet by massaging them before putting the shoes or socks on. This will help desensitize the feet and will make him less sensitive to the touch.
Shoes For Kids’ With Sensory Issues – The Secret Revealed!
Kids with sensory issues have special needs that must be taken care of. I have not only given you a set of guidelines to follow when shopping for shoes for your kid with sensory issues, I have also explained the importance of wearing the right type of socks! Let’s put a smile in your kids’ face! I want your children to go from:
“These are the worst shoes and socks in the world”
“I love these shoes!!!!! They are the best shoes in the whole wide world!”
Remember that accommodating sensory issues not not mean you have to compromise the style and fashion sense of your kid. Having sensory issues doesn’t mean that all socks and shoes of your kid will be devoid of charming details. Just be patient, follow my guidelines, and you will find the perfect pair of shoes for your child!
Do you have a child with sensory issues? Are you having a hard time finding a pair that they won’t complain about? Did you try any of the shoes that I recommended? Please share your thoughts and experiences below so we can all benefit from them!