Equipment: How to Make Size Adjustments to Athletic Shoes

Equipment: How to Make Size Adjustments to Athletic Shoes

It's a common problem - students coming to class with athletic shoes that are too big. Many parents purchase shoes that allow some "growing room," but until those young feet do grow, the shoes can cause blisters and other foot discomfort during PE classes.

Here are some tips your parents can use to temporarily improve the fit of shoes that are too large.

First, try adding an insole. While insoles will add some extra weight to the shoe, they can take up one-half to a full size in extra space.

Be aware of the type of insole you add. Most PE classes involve sudden stopping, starting and lateral movements which will require insoles that are relatively stiff. Such insoles are durable and prevent the insole from bunching up during abrupt stops. Most drug stores now carry a selection of such "sport" insoles.

Felt Tongue Pads
If the student's shoes are still slipping you can apply felt pads beneath the tongue of the shoes to improve the tightening ability of the laces. Such pads are inexpensive, come with self-adhesive backing and can be found in shoe stores, some drug stores and online.

Areas inside the shoe can also be spot-filled to fill up extra space. Self-adhesive pads made from moleskin, felt, foam or foam rubber can be placed in the back of the heel or the sides of the toe box (front of shoe) to take up unwanted space and prevent movement within the shoe. Again, the foot-care area of pharmacies carry such products.

Reference: Dick Moss, PE, January 2009.

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