Skip Hand-Me-Down Kids Shoes!
Ask any parent and they’ll tell you that hand-me-downs definitely make life a lot easier and more affordable! After all, kids outgrow clothes, toys, strollers, and just about everything else at warp speed. Getting bigger sizes for free from family and friends often makes a lot of sense.
Unfortunately, this is a bad decision when it comes to shoes. Why? Finding proper support for your child’s growing bones and making sure they’re comfortable is a top priority for both their health and their well-being. Read on to find out why you should skip hand-me-down shoes!
Reasons Why Hand-Me-Down Shoes Are a Bad Idea
1. Shoes Adapt to Their Original Owner
Many shoes are designed to form-fit your child’s feet, preventing foot and joint pain and providing personalized support for the wearer. If your child starts wearing someone else’s shoes, they lose out on the customized comfort they could be getting from new shoes.
Everyone’s feet are different, so wearing shoes that have form fitted to another child’s foot will always bring more foot pain than comfort. This reason alone is one to prevent you from wanting to reuse shoes because doing so will prevent foot pain for your child.
2. Shoes Have a Limited Shelf Life
Shoes are designed to protect and support your feet, and when they start to wear down, they can’t do that job very well! This is why hand-me-downs can be so problematic for children, who need proper support for their growing bodies.
They also just wear down, period. Midsoles and insoles get compressed, soles lose their traction, and the shoes just can’t provide the level of cushioning and support that your little one needs.
Although kids might sometimes outgrow their shoes before they wear them down completely, the younger child getting the hand-me-down is still getting compromised footwear that may not be able to protect their feet properly for the full length of time that they’ll be wearing them.
Many shoes that you can find at a thrift store or that your older child has already worn have usually reached their shelf life. Shoes should not be worn until they are literally falling apart. If the shoes are falling apart, the support and cushioning have already long been gone.
3. Shoes Can Harbor Viruses, Bacteria, and Fungi
If you know the basics of bacterial growth, you know that dark, warm, and moist environments are perfect for growing fungi, and sometimes even viruses! When you pass hand-me-down shoes from one kid to another, the child that receives them is that an increased risk of these unpleasant infections.
This is true even if the older child has no obvious foot problems, as different kids can react differently to exposure for various reasons (including whether or not they have any breaks in the skin for a wart-causing virus to enter).
Fungus can continue to grow in shoes, just like in public pool areas and locker rooms. The best way to protect your kid’s feet from infections is to start with a new pair.