Little children sometimes like to dress themselves, pairing a floppy hat and tutu with leopard print pants and a plaid coat. While most parents find this cute, embracing kids’ creative expression and letting their personalities shine through, as children get older and start playing sports, it’s time to blow the whistle on those bunny slippers and mismatched high tops!
Wearing the right shoes for the activity and the right cleat for the sport is of the utmost importance to avoid injury and steer clear of pesky foot conditions. Don’t let kids pick out a pair of shoes just because they come in their favorite color or select cleats based on what their friends in other sports are wearing! Follow these guidelines for choosing spring sports shoes so you can be sure to get the correct cleats for the job:
- Shop at specialty stores or at least those with educated staff members familiar with necessary features of varying sports shoes. Never opt for hand-me-downs, and always measure your kids’ feet while wearing their uniform socks.
- Soccer -- cleats should be supportive, especially at the ankle, and the sole should be somewhat rigid with plastic molded cleats positioned on the heel and front of the shoe.
- Track – these are typically light weight, flexible, yet supportive with areas of cushion depending on the distance for which they are used (distance runners need a little more cushion in the heel, while sprinters need more in the ball of the foot). Spikes are metal and removable, located on the front part of the sole.
- Baseball/Softball – look for extra stability and large enough cleats on the bottom to provide traction on both grass and dirt. Make sure they offer plenty of support and toe room, too, for running bases.
- Lacrosse – similar to soccer, lacrosse cleats need to provide ample support due to the fact that there is a lot of changing direction and pivoting involved. Look for a higher cut at the ankle.
- Golf – these are typically wider for better balance. They can be spikeless, much like artificial turf shoes, or have metal spikes arranged strategically on the bottom for stability during the swing.
Of course, these are just guidelines for choosing sports shoes – it’s best to ask questions, do some research, and have your child try the cleats on – remember, they should be comfortable, not just functional! For more tips on taking care of children’s feet, you can contact us online or by calling (916) 961-3434 to reach our Carmichael, CA office.
Shoe shop wisely, friends, and may the best cleat win!