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This is a story about first proper school shoes and the twins who will have to wear them. One with tiny toddler tootsies who loves to be shoe free and the other who can totally feel every individual thread in his socks. They are however, required to wear certain uniform conforming shoes to school. And those shoes have to last a long time while withstanding hours of activity and properly supporting their growing feet. Twin translation? You can’t wear aqua shoes nor go barefoot. What to do?
Getting fitted properly is the essential first step so off we went to The Athlete’s Foot at our local shopping centre.
Clover practically floated above the device to record her stride at The Athlete’s Foot store as she flitted down the mat. Three different times. Without registering as having been there at all. Maybe she really is part fairy. Eventually, I had to hold her hand to make sure she walked properly. Looking at the results, she has a very light stride (no kidding?!) and is exactly even in both weight bearing through the entire foot and positioning. That all meant that any of the shoes Ascent Footwear had on offer would be fine for her first school year. Clover being Clover, she picked the girly strap style, Adela, and wanted to wear them home. Clover is just one half size larger than the smallest proper school shoe made. They are so very cute and tiny! It looks like she is playing big kid instead of really off to Prep in a few weeks! (Just a note for those with little kids in ELC who need the more formal style of school shoes, I heard that Ascent has developed a range for preschoolers!)
Kieran was a different story. While he walked that fitting device like a pro, he has a slight turning in at the ankles, low arches and a clear heavy pressure through the heel. So the kid who has sensory issues that makes anything touching him in general a real problem, needs very supportive shoes. He is just so excited to be a big boy, that he put on the socks and shoes like a champ in store and was able to tell us in a calm manner what he felt without any problems. Since Kieran can’t tie his own laces yet, we went for a traditional style with Velcro closures, Academy. They are all leather, sturdy and will look handsome with his uniform. The best part, all Ascent school shoes are built on running shoe technology like sports shoes in disguise.
We got home and excitement over new shoes was building, so we put them on and took the scooters out for a ride in the neighbourhood as that is how we plan on getting to school while summer weather is on daily offer.
Getting used to the shoes is important for both of my kids so that by the time the school starts, they will not even notice they are wearing them. Otherwise, Kieran will start to fixate on the feel of them and not pay attention to his teacher and Clover will just take hers off to be barefoot. While those options could be managed in kinder, they will not fly in prep. The suggestion from Ascent was to have the kids simply wear the shoes while they were just sitting and eating breakfast everyday. Great advice, but my kids rarely just sit for any meal, rather stand, wiggle and bounce around. I tried it, however, and the technique has worked to get them used to the tighter and more supportive feel of these shoes. I recommend it and even suggest adding an extra pair of socks as well because when they put the shoes on for school without the extra layer, the shoes feel even more roomy. Clover ended up wearing hers for the rest of the day, but Kieran took his off and opted for bathing suit and nothing else. It is still summer break after all!
It will not be long before I am posting their first day of prep photos on the blog complete with their gorgeous new school shoes!
For more information and tips, check out Ascent Footwear’s Facebook page!
Now for the giveaway!
Aussies, here is your chance to win a pair of Ascent school shoes (valued up to $139.95) for your own child! After reading about the issues my kids have and what we needed from their school shoes, let me know your answer to the following question in the comment section:
What features do you consider when buying your kids’ shoes?
Giveaway T&C can be read here.