If you haven't started shopping for back to school clothes yet, you might want to give some extra thought to the shoes you buy for your kids.
As Barbara Vaughan reports, in spite of what they say, buying the right pair of shoes is much more than just a fashion statement.
Think of the pounding your feet take: podiatrists say an average day of walking puts a combined force of several hundred tons on the feet!
When you consider the stress and risk for injury, it's important to find the right protection.
In tonight's Parenting Project, what to look for when buying shoes -- plus, advice on hand-me-downs.
Kim Fischer has her hands full when she takes her triplets shoe shopping.
"They love shoes. They'll just be pulling the shoes off. I'll tell them what size and they'll just be grabbing them and trying them on," she says.
That enthusiasm is exactly what a foot doctor hopes for. When it comes to school shoes, Doctor Kieran Mahan recommends shoes that can handle recess and the classroom.
"I think the shoe that fits the bill for most of those things is a, is a sneaker type of shoe or an oxford kind of shoe," Dr. Mahan says.
Let the dogs "breathe" by picking leather or natural materials. And if your child has sweaty feet, consider an extra pair of shoes.
"Even if you had a couple of pairs of shoes, where you let them wear a different pair of shoes the next day, so that the first pair of shoes can dry out, sometimes that can be very helpful," Dr. Mahan says.
When you're figuring out if the shoe fits, use your thumb to feel a small space at the top of the toes.
"When you push your thumb down at the end of the shoe, you want to be able to feel the edge of your thumb should be feeling the edge of that toe," Dr. Mahan says.
And, don't forget: the big toe may not be the longest toe. Also, while some flexibility is okay, the shoe shouldn't be too bendy.
"We want just something that can be flexible where the toes are going to bend and then provide some good support in the back of the heel," Dr. Mahan says.
Before you know it, the new shoes will start looking worn out.
"Then you can see that the shoe itself is kind of rolling over on the inside," Dr. Mahan says.
Then it's time to start shoe shopping all over again.
Dr. Mahan says to be very careful about handing down shoes to another child.
Unless the pair is in scarcely-worn condition, he says they shouldn't be reused.
And this makes good sense: if the wearer had athlete's foot or plantar warts, the shoes should *definitely not be passed along.