Kids 4 years ago

Importance of Fitted Shoes for Kids – Thoughts From Brid Gallinagh, Kids Footwear Buyer

Brid Gallinagh has been working in McElhinneys for 33 years and is the Buyer for Kids Footwear. I sat down with Brid to chat about the importance of your first shoes, what support kids’ feet need, and how Brid got to know so much about this industry!

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‘As a child I remember vividly the excitement of being taken to the shoe shop. Placing my foot in the foot size gauge to see if my feet had grown... evidently not too much seeing as I’m still a Size 3! My mother insisted on shoes that I found were dreary and brown, but with every visit came the hope that the shop may run out of those brown shoes, and she would have to buy me the red ones I wanted so badly! Against my wishes I was kept in my sensible brown structure shoes, but the lesson that 'tiny feet are precious' has stayed with me into parenthood.’

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I am a firm believer in the right shoe for the right purpose. Fitted shoes are always preferable to unfitted shoes. With such a wide variety out there, parents may feel they can judge the fit, however there is so more to a good fitting shoe than just the size. With the great range of amazing brands we have in-store and online at McElhinneys, you are sure to find the perfect shoe for every purpose. Our most popular brands including Geox, Clarks, Pablosky, Dr Martens, Dubarry, Lelli Kelly, Timberland, Levi’s, Vans, Xti and many more!

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For everyday wear, Ricosta is a great option – made from breathable leather, they are hard-wearing and won’t let you down when your kids are on the go! Geox are a great leather option for little feet also, with the high-quality soft leather exterior combined with breathable technology to keep feet from getting hot and sweaty! Clarks are another hugely popular brand, especially for school shoes. Their designers are very experienced, with 170 years behind them, and come up with great footwear options that move and flex with the natural movement of children’s feet. Lelli Kelly, hugely popular with the girls, keeps the fun in childhood with their glamorous designs, plus you are guaranteed a hard-wearing pair of shoes that will provide great support without feeling rigid.

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Here in McElhinneys, our trained fitters can judge a number of factors that parents may miss, including whether the arch is receiving the right level of support, and whether the style of footwear is right for the girth of the child’s foot, the heel shape and the foot proportions. Pablosky are a popular option, with added arch support, and available in sizes 20 up to 39, they have a great range of styles that will have minimal scuff toe.

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Young children’s ligaments are very loose, and so their feet can be squeezed into badly fitted footwear without them feeling any immediate discomfort, however long-term damage can occur. Children’s feet need to be measured every 3 months, and it’s so true that every child’s foot is different – some narrow, some wide, falling arches, etc. For sporty kids, finding the perfect trainer is so important. Asics runners have amazing arch support, and the heel structure is ideal for kids that are always on the go! Plus the Skechers range has a massive selection of style and colour, with the perfect amount of support for active kids!

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With tons of options available in-store and online for kids’ shoes so we encourage you to take a look at the selection online and certainly call in store and talk to the experts in our Kids Department! We will be able to measure up for any pair of shoes - from school shoes, to runner, boots, or even that all important first pair! Plus, don't forget you'll receive a free photo from our Kids Department when you purchase your first pair of shoes!

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- Niamh x

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Niamh Phelan

Content Marketing Officer

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Visit us online: www.mcelhinneys.com

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Featured Image: Photo by Yucel Moran on Unsplash


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