Wednesday, 3 September 2014

What Kids Should Wear on their Feet


Today I'm writing about shoes.  In my district, students need to have a pair of shoes just for inside.  This cuts down on the mud and dirt that makes its way into the building.  Also, we are often wearing winter boots or rain boots around here, and those really aren't practical for all day.  I don't think this is too different from other school districts, but you can correct me if I'm wrong.

I spend way more of my day on shoes than a person would think.  Do you have your shoes on? Tie your shoes please.  Did you tie your shoes yet?  Don't pick apart your shoe lace.  Your shoes are scuffing the floor, please clean it up.  I really just don't have the time for it.

I'm throwing my shoe suggestions (preferences!) out there, in the hopes that some parents may read this and understand why I am constantly complaining about shoes.  I understand why they send their kids to school with what they do - they like them, they'll wear them, it's a good deal... it makes sense.  Unless you spend a few days in a classroom, I don't think you would ever give shoes a second thought.

Girls are the worst shoe offenders in my opinion.  And, I try to go easy on them, because I wear a different pair of shoes nearly every day myself.  If I have a girl who can remember to change her shoes for gym, I usually don't hassle her too much.  But, when the pretty party shoes with the slick bottoms make it in the the gym, now I am concerned for her safety.

We really don't have much storage space either. So again, if the student can remember to take the fancy shoes home each day, I'm okay with that too. It's a girl thing, I get it. We just need to be safe and tidy.

These are all examples of shoes for girls I discourage:

 
 
The flip flop really goes both ways.  They are usually only an issue at the start and end of the year for me.  My problems with flip flops are:

1 - They are easy to take off.  This means I often have kids walking around the room barefoot.  Not safe with all the clutter that can fall out of desks.  What if someone left a pair of scissors on the floor, or a runaway staple?  It can happen, and I'd really rather we didn't have toe stabbings.

2 - They are easy to take off.  I know, I just said that.  But, if there is a fire drill, we don't have time for you to figure out where you left your flip flop.  We have to go, now.

3 - Kids usually wear them outside and in.  This means we are tracking in dirt and sand from the playground.  It gets everywhere.  Not cool for the custodian.


Another popular one is skate shoes.  Skate shoes have a few issues as well.

1 - Please test the bottoms first!  Most skate shoes will mark up the floor.  This means a student, myself, or the custodian is on their hands and knees erasing scuff marks.  Not enjoyable.

2 - Skate shoes don't have any support.  The bottoms are flat.  Day after day on your child's growing foot it can lead to problems.  I've had one student who wore skate shoes day in and day out and ended up needing orthopedic insoles for the rest of his life.  They can lead to back and knee problems as well.

3 - They just don't tie up tight enough.  They are often being slid off (see the problems with that above), or flying off in gym.  More than once someone has been smacked by a flying skate shoe.

Sometimes, kids come to school with shoes with a pull string. I can see why parents buy these. Shoes like these typically have great support and are well made shoes. It's also really easy for the child to pull that string, have their shoes on nice and tight, and be ready to go. If I was a parent, I probably would buy these too. Don't get me wrong, these shoes aren't bad. My only caution here is that after a few months the pull string gets all stretched out. At that point, it can become dangerous. It dangles on the floor and I've seen kids step on it and trip. It's really not easy or comfortable to just shove it into the shoe either. So, parents please, send an extra set of regular laces with these. That way, when the pull string gets all stretchy, we can switch them out and your child remains safe.

 
My favourite of shoes: the running shoe. There is nothing wrong with the traditional runner. It's got great support for your growing child's foot, most don't mark up the floor (beware black bottom shoes!), the laces last, and they come in flashy designs for your trendsetter kids. I wholeheartedly request that you send your child to school with a pair of regular running shoes. If they can't tie, a velcro pair works just as good (although, in grade 4, I am going to request that they learn to tie shoes, just because of the social aspect.)


Teachers: What shoes do you love (or love to hate?)
Parents: What shoes is your child wearing to school? 


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3 comments:

  1. Hahaha this post cracks me up!! I love it Angela. Leave it to a teacher to blog about the best shoes to purchase for kids in school. It is sooo frustrating when students don't have appropriate shoes for school. The girls with fancy party shoes, or big skater shoes really bother. Just thinking about it makes me cringe. I hope lots of parents get to read this. Thanks for a good read!!

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  2. Haha oh my gosh! This whole post I was laughing and "mmhm"-ing! Shoes are SUCH a problem. My top dislikes are crocs, flip flops/strappy sandals, and ballet flats.

    I really only recommend and wish for a simple pair of running shoes. Especially at a toddlers age, they need solid shoes!

    Great post!

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