Cindy Trames, Director of US footwear for Nike, says that replacing
shoes and deciding whether they can be handed down to another child,
depends on the child's growth rate and the amount of shoe wear.
The Problem With
Hand-Me-Down and Used Shoes
If new shoes are required due to foot growth, and you are considering hand-me-downs or used shoes, consider:
Whether they are too worn to offer adequate support?
the shoes have become so adapted to the original owner's feet that they
may actually have a negative affect on someone else's foot structure.
Compressed cushioning inside the shoe may have molded to the first
person's foot, causing problems for the new owner, including arch pain
from not enough arch support, and blisters.
Ages One To Three
Kids in this age group, Trames says:
shoes 4 times in a year. From the time a child begins walking (around
age 1 and a children's size 5) up until a children's size 10, he
outgrows his shoes about four times a year. As a result, it often makes
more sense for you to buy seasonal shoes in slightly larger whole sizes
than to worry about half sizes, since your child will inevitably
outgrow them in a short period of time.
before wearing them out. Because a child's feet are growing so fast,
they don't have time to wear them out before they need to get new ones.
Leave good hand-me-down shoes.
Because a child this young outgrows his shoes so fast, they will most
likely received very little wear affecting the structure of the shoe.
As a result, they leave ideal shoes for handing down.
Ages Four To Eight
Kids this age (from size 10C to 3Y), Trames says:
Put more wear
and tear on shoes. Kids in this age group begin to put a lot more wear
and tear on their shoes. The shoes get scuffed and beat up more as kids
begin such activities as riding bikes.
Outgrow their shoes about every 6 months. Kids outgrow their shoes less often.
Leave shoes less suitable for hand-me-downs. Because of the increased wear and tear, the shoes "might be so worn out you can't hand them down," warns Trames (see box).
Ages Nine To Twelve
According to Trames, kids in this age group:
about every 12 months. 8 and 9 year-old kids (at the top end of youth
sizes and moving into men's and women's sizing) may outgrow shoes every
12 months instead of every 6.
Wear shoes out
before outgrowing them. This is an age when athletic use tends to
become heavy. Kids may begin to develop favorite shoes that they don't
want to part with. It becomes especially important for parents to keep
an eye on the condition of their kid's shoes.
The Teenage Years
In the teen years, Trames says:
Foot growth slows.
Increased hormones cause sweat and odor. Teenagers "have the whole glandular thing going on," says Trames, "resulting in more sweat and odor in their shoes."
wear and tear is high. "At this point kids become hard on all their
clothes, and their lifestyle may be putting a high level of wear and
tear on their shoes, since they serve many roles, including school and
higher-level athletics," notes Trames.
just for sports are recommended. "It may be best for these kids to have
shoes exclusively for sports and to be keenly aware of when the shoes need to be replaced," she says.