As a mother of three girls, I know how fast children grow out of their shoes, lose them or just simply destroy them with every day usage. Sports are becoming more and more popular among children, even as early as 4 years old! My daughter Alex was playing 4 on 4 soccer at age 4 and started running age-group track at age 7! After watching other parents having bad experiences trying to buy one shoe to fit all and ending up with a child in pain; I realized that most parents really have no idea what a good shoe for their child actually looks like. On top of that, if your child is playing multiple sports, it's even more important to have sport-specific shoes at an early age. This will not only help them with their performance, but also helps to keep them from being sidelined with a sports-injury!
So what does a good shoe look like?
Running Shoes: Summer track is just around the corner and we will all be sweating at 100+ degree track meets with our kids. Running shoes for kids are few and far between, but should be cushioned with light stability. Brooks manufactures the Adrenaline in kids sizes and Asics has a few choices in small sizes with the Nimbus and the Gel 2130. New Balance and Saucony also have small sizes but are more challenging to find. Bottom line: the Brooks Adrenaline is a great middle of the road shoe at a good price. This will fit the bill for most kids unless they have a really high arched rigid foot which would do better in the Asics Nimbus.
If your child has proper running shoes, stretches before running and does not fall victim to the age old "too much, too soon, too fast syndrome" they should survive the summer track season unscathed! If they are following all the rules and are still having symptoms like heel pain, arch fatigue, shin splints, knee pain, leg cramps, and back pain; they may benefit from custom orthotics. A simple biomechanical exam can shed some light on the cause of their discomfort and help alleviate major issues when they are just minor! Contact the office for an appointment if your child is having issues. Most parents wait too long to seek treatment for their children's pain because they think it will just "work itself out."
Run Happy! Alex, Caitlin and I look forward to a great track season in the Texas heat!
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