This post is Sponsored by Ascent Footwear
I have always known that shoes are important for my kid’s feet but have never quite known why. All I knew is they had to be leather and that somehow if they were leather then they were a good pair of shoes.
That all kind of changed for me today. I was lucky enough to spend the morning with the Ascent Footwear team to ask some really specific questions about kids feet and school shoes, to find out for me and anyone else interested, what we as parents need to know about school shoes and some of the common misunderstandings around them.
There are 5 main things I discovered that are good to know when it comes to choosing a quality pair of shoes for my children’s feet. You can either watch this little video we put together below or keep reading.
1. Poor Fitting Shoes Can Cause Foot Problems
Many experts would say that most foot problems experienced by adults stem from poorly fitted shoes as kids, and foot injuries that happened during childhood. This obviously takes time to notice, however there are other more immediate problems that poorly fitted shoes can cause. Ingrown toenails, black toe, corns and heel spurs to name a few. Dale from Ascent explained that these problems become more obvious from around grade 3 and 4 which is when kids can start to notice more pain with their feet.
2. School Shoes should support and enhance the movement of the foot
Kids spend 1,500 hours a year in their school shoes doing a range of different activities which mostly involves running, kicking and jumping. Over 1/4 of the bones in our body are in our feet alone which makes them a very complicated part of the body. This is why it is so important that the shoes our kids wear everyday fit properly and are working with our kids natural movement rather than against it.
3. A firm heel counter is vital to the shoe’s structure
Today I learnt that it is really important to have a shoe with a firm heel counter . This is a major source of support for your child’s feet. A lot of your average school shoes appear to be firm around the heel to begin with, however some are made of weak material, in some cases cardboard, which breaks down within a short period of time due to the 250,000 sweat glands in your child’s feet which release 250ml of fluid every single day. Ascent school shoes are made with a thermoplastic heel counter, which remains firm all year round. You can test out any shoes yourself by pushing on the heel as pictured below …
4. A school shoe should bend in the right place
Midfoot stabilisers are normally found in running shoes and is the thing that allows the foot to bend and flex on a range of different surfaces e.g concrete, playground, grass, gravel. Ascent is the only school shoe brand on the market who have taken this sports shoe technology and built it into their school shoes, essentially making them ‘sports shoes in disguise’, and let’s be honest who wouldn’t want all of their shoes fitting and feeling like a sport shoe all the time! ha. You can see some pictures below as an example of the kind of bend and flex a midfoot stabiliser provides compared to shoes which don’t have this technology. Ascent school shoes are also the only school shoes in Australia that are endorsed by the Australasian Podiatry Council and my guess would be this is one of the reasons why.
Below is a picture of a quality midfoot stabiliser you would find in an Ascent shoe. As you can see the shoe bends in the same way your foot does providing solid support.
The picture below is an example of a shoe without a quality midfoot stabiliser. When bending the shoe there is no proper structure or support allowing it to completely fold into itself.
5. True cushioning is hard to find
Traditional school shoes have historically used blown rubber for the sole. The problem with this is it makes the shoes very heavy and limits the cushioning. As a way of addressing this many of the shoe brands have cut out the middle part of the sole however this can speed up the breakdown process of the shoe. And nobody wants to be replacing school shoes after a term or two. You want a school shoe that provides sport shoe technology and allows for lightweight quality cushioning.
As you can see in the picture below the shoe at the top has a heel which appears to be solid but is in fact hollow which will speed up the breakdown process of the shoe compared to the Ascent shoe underneath it.
Now I just want to say straight up that although this post is sponsored by Ascent Footwear and I have talked a lot about their shoes in particular I am more than happy to do this, as we have been wearing their school shoes for a few years and I truly think they offer our kids the best school shoes on the market. I love that they are made with sports shoe technology and feel like they are giving my kids the best support for their feet day in and day out.
Ascent also offers a 6-month rubber outsole guarantee on the majority of their shoes, which is great to know. The best place to get fitted is at The Athletes’ Foot which exclusively stock Ascent and you can also purchase their shoes online with free shipping and returns at … check them out here …