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school shoes help..drdance?


robin64
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I wondered if DrDance or anyone else could give me some advice please. My DD needs new school shoes and I am of the belief that she should choose wisely to take care of her feet because she dances almost daily, putting in many hours per week. In the past I have bought her the usual Start Rite/ Clarks shoes but last time she got some ballet flat type shoes from a girls chain shop (NL if I can hint) they look all baggy now and the sole is very thin. They must give no support at all and she does have quite big feet too (slim fit size 8). Am I being a fussy mum and should I let teen peer expectations (won't call it pressure but more along lines of "no-one wears clarks in y8 or 9") win. Any dance science I can use to convince her please.

 

Or has anyone else bought nice school shoes lately for a tip on where to go? DD isn't too stubborn so I can probably convince her to get a reasonable pair without too much argument but some feet facts would be helpful I think before hitting the shops.

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I can give her an (relatively unscientific) incentive. When I was in senior school, for a couple of years I wore unsupportive/no shoes. Up until then my Mum had made me wear proper shoes and my feet had been fine. After that, my feet started majorly pronating and I got plantar fasciitis and shin splints when I danced a lot. I have recently had to get expensive custom orthotics made because even the off the shelf ones weren't doing the trick any more. So if she wants to avoid pain and having to spend lots of money, and to be able to carry on dancing at the rate, I'd advise shoes with some kind of support!

 

Of course not everybody's feet would react as badly as that, and I do have a bit of hypermobility (everywhere except the knees, where it would look nice :D) which doesn't help, but I would still err on the side of caution if possible. I is sometimes possible to find nicer shoes with support if you're prepared to look around/pay a bit more.

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Completely flat shoes aren't good for the Achilles, she obviously needs to wear them in class so for school she should certainly try to wear shoes with a slight heel. I would say any young dancer should always get school shoes professionally fitted and try to go for more supportive styles.

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Thanks, it's what I thought. I have had plantar fasciitis before and my ankles really hurt in the morning. I wondered what it was for ages, just thought I was getting old and creaky but it seems to have gone now. I will have the chat and let you know how we got on.

 

Where do other people shop? I was thinking Clarks or Jones and I think there might be a Russell and Bromley...any other suggestions to try? we are in the South Midlands so Gloucester, Cheltenham, Hereford area.

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I would just like to wish you the best of luck. Shoes are a nightmare where teenage girls are concerned. I think shoes that have a small heel, with a good support around the back of the foot and fit properly is the best way forward. Hush puppies are a good shoe but dont know what range they have out this year. My own dd told me herself that she needed a good supportive pair of shoes as she has a tendon problem at the front of her foot at the moment. She did buy a pair in TK Max that were actually quite good. However if I had have had my way, she would have bought a pair from the ladies department from Clarks. The disgusted look on her face said it all.

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Ugh, school shoes for teenagers! If your teen doesn't need orthotics, then M&S or Next ladies shoes are reasonably acceptable to teenagers. Some of dd's friends wear flat shoes from New Look which tend to fall apart quite quickly and don't give any support.

 

In one way I'm pleased that dd wears orthotics as she knows those shoes are a no-no. It does mean that she's limited to black Vans/Converses/Dunlop Black Flash (which are all very Fashionable at school!) for fine weather, and ankle boots - the Victorian style ones - for Winter. Last autumn we found her a pair of black boots in Clarks ladies dept. which I was sure someone would comment negatively upon - but amazingly they didn't!

 

So for non-orthotic wearing teens, I'd go with a small heel, supportive shoe. Skechers do some nice ones: http://www.skechers.co.uk/style/21495/bikers-goldmine/bbk

and my niece used to love Etnies but I have no experience of those!

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I was a size 1 at 13 and still remember the horror at having to wear Clarks patent leather t bar shiny shoes when everyone else was wearing Doc Martens (I'm only a 2.5 now!). My daughter is 10 and a size 13 and will still wear Clarks but it sounds like a minefield as they get older! I have already had a discussion with her about having a rucksack to carry her books properly (which is NOT cool!) but if she is little and dancing so much I don't want her to damage her back!

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C4D I bet they look lovely. Best of luck with vocational school. My favourite shoes when the girls were younger were the lovely navy Mary Janes from Startrite and those sandals with the little hole patterns in the leather...wistful sigh.

 

We once found a pair of Bloch women's shoes - black pumps in TK Maxx and they are gorgeous and lasted for ages but they cost around £100 + normally.

 

Thanks for the link Spanner and Primrose that made me laugh..the look of disgust which also applies to my school bag suggestions! DD has woken up with a cold this morning so we won't do the shoe run today..phew.

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Oh robin64 I used to love the navy blue Mary Jane shoes from startrite. I even managed to find the ones with the little button fastenings the ones that prince William used to wear. I still have them in the drawers. Oh the memories. I used to love her wearing the little smock dresses with the little belt on the back. I wish they were young again. Sorry gone all nostalgic and off topic.

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Chuckling at the school bag issue! I insisted on a rucksack for years 7 and 8, despite moaning from dd! We found a lovely Roxy one on surfdome.com which was great quality AND acceptably fashionable.

 

For year 9 she has a lovely Superdry alumni bag - I gave in on the backpack on the proviso that she leaves some books in her locker!

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Primrose I have some wrapped in tissue too. I always wanted those button ones! I bet you had the little navy coat with the velvet trim too. My girls had those and the smocked dresses...no stop it...I'll be shedding a tear soon!!

Haha I did have the little double breasted navy coats from Sarah Louise with the little bar type belt on the back. I also had little velvet bonnets from michael Deleon. I did love dressing my little doll sorry I mean girls lol.

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Hi - sorry to be a bit slow on the uptake here! Thanks for asking for my advice, but the other mums have told you everything I would! Firstly a slight heel is good to allow the achilles a bit of recovery if dancing barefoot or in flats a lot, but too much of a heel can make those calves tight and affect posture so be careful there. Anything that is so sloppy that it's like being barefoot is comfy at first but like JCJC said, it's not great if you're even slightly pronated (naturally rolling inwards) and will often cause the wearer to use all sorts of odd muscles to keep the shoe on the foot (normal ballet shoes have elastics/ribbons for a reason!) and that can lead to problems.

 

I personally like M&S shoes and have just bought a nice pair for myself to wear at school (I'm a science teacher!) - I didn't want a high heel as a lot of womens smart shoes have, because they hurt being on my feet all day, but I want something that my mobile foot won't collapse out of like the ballet flats, which would give me leg ache by the evening too. I've ended up with quite nice shoes that look a bit like the old character shoes but with a low heel, and they're very comfy.

 

Plantar fasciitis can be helped with an arch support.

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Thank you DrDance I knew you would have some useful tips. Shopping trip postponed but we have had a chat about looking after her feet. DD has had some back ache recently but hasn't been dancing for a couple of weeks so I don't think it is related. It just reminded me of the need for DD to look after herself including feet.

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Thanks, it's what I thought. I have had plantar fasciitis before and my ankles really hurt in the morning. I wondered what it was for ages, just thought I was getting old and creaky but it seems to have gone now. I will have the chat and let you know how we got on.

 

Where do other people shop? I was thinking Clarks or Jones and I think there might be a Russell and Bromley...any other suggestions to try? we are in the South Midlands so Gloucester, Cheltenham, Hereford area.

We used Clinkards I think they are scattered all over the country and tend to have a good selection of varying brands and choice and will measure feet, there is also House of fraser and Kicker shoes are always quite well made and trendy.

Good luck

Ax

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It makes me feel better to know that I am not alone! I am going to have to tackle the issue of new school shoes on tuesday and i know it will not go well. I have a real thing about slip on "ballet flats" for school. I see so many of DD's friends slopping about in badly fitting, totally unsupportive shoes and i can just imagine their clawed toes inside struggling to keep them on. Bleurgh! Her school has really quite a strict uniform policy and stipualtes a maximum heel height for shoes, but no minimum. Personally I think that this kind of totally flat shoe is nearly as bad as high heels.

So far, my battleto keep her in shoes with a slight heel and with straps has succeeded (Skechers and Geox seem to have some styles which we can just about agree on) but as she gets older it's getting harder and harder.

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clarks black brogues seem to be popular at DDs school and she was persuaded to buy a pair (they have a small heel and good support but she says the small heel is a big 'no no' as far as the trend setting teen is concerned- sigh). I don't yet know if she will wear them- she's going to wear her old shoes with holes in and see what everyone else has before committing!

Beware flatter styles as often too narrow if they have wide feet- hence they spill over the side and this is why the shoes split so easily (as well as allow them to rotate outwards) very very bad for the ankles... this includes Jones shoes where even the sales assistant told me not to buy the £60 brogues as they wouldn't stand up to school wear..

A tip for outside school- the tendency for teens to wear very flat canvas shoes with NO support I have now managed to scotch by buying fitflop sneakers- they have almost identical look to canvas flats and do high tops as well as sneakers in huge range of colours and fabrics and as well as looking good they have incredible support for arch and heel (mine are the most comfortable shoes I have EVER worn- and far better than MBTs which I also tried). DS has a pair of high tops which he adores, DD has got some blue canvas ones she loves- they are expensive but there are lots of end of season sales at the moment esp if you are after smaller sizes (try amazon, soletrader, wardwalkers)...(NB they do have plain black leather too if lace up 'trainer' style acceptable for school). It's like walking on air- I can't recommend highly enough.....

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Thanks all, managed to end up with clarks and a pair of Keds which look like the old school daps! (but more expensive!) they lace up and are supportive. DD was pleased because the size 8 in these were too big and the 7 fitted. The uncoolness of Clarks school shoes was a bit of a sticking point for a while and we did have to trail round for ages looking elsewhere but the Clarks school shoes are £10 cheaper than ladies shoes and did in fact go up to an 8.5.I am afraid the 8.5 measurement did cause some tears to be shed outside the shop. Poor DD.

 

So no baggy ballet flats this year thank goodness. I did arm myself with some of your facts and advice and cyber sympathy which helped. :)

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Well I'm pleased to report that we had a remarkably trouble free time in the shoe shop today. DD chose a lovely pair of lace up shoes without me even having to lean on her. I think it did help that the lady in the shoe shop told her that this style was one of her current best sellers and that lots of girls from the high school had been buying them. Amazingly it took less time to sort out DD than her 6 year old brother who insisted on trying on every pair of shoes in his size in the shop before finally settling on the first pair the lady had suggested!

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Spanner DD is 5'8 and slim and I don't think her feet look big really. She does rather hope she has finished with growth spurts now though esp in the foot dept! In the holidays she was fitted with new point shoes and they look lovely - Bloch Balance European which we have never had before.

 

Well done pupsmum (and DD) - sounds like a good shopping trip.

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Having had a lot of difficulty getting shoes this year that were wide enough, gave support to dds high arch, were acceptable to me and her.....we found some brogue types in Clarks, called "softwear" .They give a lot of support and dd is happy with them. A bit more expensive than usual Clarks kids shoes but I am hoping they are worth it. I did find myself having a chunter though about how the good brands seemed to be giving in to the demands of fashion and producing school shoes with no sole or heel to speak of nor any real arch support inside. oh dear, it must be an age thing......

 

 

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Yes even Clarks do a ballerina pump in their softwear range.At least they are leather and come in different width fittings. I gave in to these as DD only rarely wears her school shoes with formal uniform and not on a daily basis. I couldn't persuade her to take any shoe polish to school tho'.

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