Special care should be given to the selection of children’s shoes. Ill-fitting shoes are the most common cause of foot trouble among children and teen-agers. The problem often is that they outgrow their shoes. In this regard, The World Book Encyclopedia points out:
“In children from 2 to 6 years old, shoe sizes change every 4 to 8 weeks. From 6 to 10 years, sizes change every 2 or 3 months. Children from 12 to 15 should have their shoe sizes checked every 4 months. Children over 15 years old should have shoe sizes checked about every 6 months until their feet are fully developed.”
Many parents who have children that rapidly outgrow their shoes rather than wearing them out find that an inexpensive brand of shoes serves the purpose. When buying them, one can feel inside the shoes and check for rough edges that could cause discomfort.
The feet of children are growing and need careful attention to prevent deformities in later life. In the United States the American Medical Association estimates that 50 to 80 percent of children have some foot defects. So it is good to leave some “growing room” when selecting children’s shoes, possibly three quarters of an inch of space in the toe area. Watch for signs of wear developing in one place consistently, for this may indicate that the shoes are too small or poorly fitted and could produce foot abnormalities. It usually is not a good policy to pass shoes down from one child to the next, for shoes mold themselves to the characteristics of the wearer’s foot.
Look for Quality and Workmanship
Especially when shoes are for adults, quality and good workmanship are important, because you want them to last. Examine carefully the shoes you plan to buy. Be on the watch for signs of poor and careless construction. On the uppers, loose threads, seams with rough edges and excess bulk, enlarged needle holes and noticeable traces of adhesives are all things to watch for when buying shoes. Also check the sole stitch; if it is uneven and runs off the edge, it is a sign of poor workmanship.
Is the shoe lined? It should be, at least at the top opening, to prevent stretching and friction and to absorb perspiration.
Low-priced shoes are not always a bargain when it comes to durability, appearance and comfort. Really comfortable shoes usually cost more. Do not judge the durability of a shoe by mere thickness of outer soles. Durability depends more on the quality of workmanship and of the leather.
Important to the shoe’s life is proper care. Yet shoes are often one of the most neglected articles in a person’s wardrobe. When you buy a new pair of shoes, it is wise to lubricate them with a good polish before wearing them; this will protect the finish.
The first few times that you wear new shoes it is good to be sure that the tongues and laces are smooth and straight. Then they are likely to stay that way for the life of the shoe, but if they are started off crooked, they may stay that way.
A shoehorn helps in putting on shoes, and it is good to loosen the laces when removing them. This prevents seams from ripping and the back from breaking down.
If you have more than one pair of shoes, you can considerably lengthen their life by wearing one pair one day, and a different pair the next day. The airing between wearings helps to prevent perspiration from rotting the leather. As for the shoes not in use, many persons find it beneficial to put a form or shoe tree in them. This prevents curling and wrinkling. However, the type of form used should not cut off the free circulation of air and thus prevent the shoe from airing properly.
From time to time shoes should receive a cleaning. Wash with a moist cloth, sponge or brush, preferably using leather soap. This removes encrusted foreign matter and permits the polish to be worked in more freely. Do not neglect the edge of the sole and heel in the cleaning process. A brisk rub with a cloth warms the leather, making it more receptive to the polish.
Apply a moderate amount of shoe polish and work it in well with an applicator. A powder puff does a fine job as applicator and can often be kept inside a can of polish. Rub the shoe briskly with a polishing cloth. This works the wax into the leather, producing a dry, hard finish and leaving no excess wax. The luster will last for some time and can be renewed by a brisk wiping. To maintain good appearance, repeat this process as often as necessary, possibly once a week if the shoes are worn consistently.
Do not neglect to have heels and soles replaced as needed. Besides looking shabby, run-over heels and shoes out of shape place a strain on the feet.
The shoes you wear definitely have a great effect on your health and your enjoyment of life. Therefore, you are wise if you choose your footwear carefully, avoiding the excesses of fashion, keeping in mind the need for comfort, durability and a pleasing appearance.