Help Me Choose My Kids’ Running Shoes! ~by Dr. Julia Viscomi

Hi, everyone! Well, that’s it! Summer’s over and school is starting again. I can hear all the parents cheering and the kids groaning. With back-to-school here, a lot of parents are dragging their kids to shoe stores trying to find them the perfect runners. Here are 4 quick tests you can do in-store to help determine whether or not the shoe is of good quality and offer good support.


  1. Dishrag Test

Grab the toe of the shoe with one hand and the heel of the shoe with the other hand. Twist your shoe in opposite directions. If the shoe twists a little bit, then that is okay. If, however, the shoe twists as if it were a dishrag, this shoe has poor motion control and fails this test.


  1. Fold Test

Grab the toe of the shoe with one hand and the heel of the shoe with the other hand, as in the dishrag test. Attempt to fold the shoe in half. The shoe should not fold in half.  If the shoe folds in half, it provides poor stability in the mid-foot region. Rather, it should bend at the ball of your foot. It is imperative that the shoe bends slightly in this region to provide flexibility for toe-off propulsion.


  1. Pinch Test

With your thumb and index finger of the same hand, pinch the back of the heel (on the outer and inner edges, where your outer and inner ankles would be). These should be rigid and not give way. If the heel counter feels soft, the shoe would provide poor ankle support. Considering many children have fallen arches and weak ankles, this test is especially important in determining shoe quality.


4.  Shelf Test

The easiest test of all: Place both shoes on a shelf, heels facing you. If both shoes are standing upright symmetrically and not tilting to one side, the shoe passes the test.


And there you have it: Four tests that determine shoe quality to keep your kids comfortable all year long.

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