When it comes to kids’ shoes, cute doesn’t always cut it

Pam Edwards, owner of Chantilly’s Fit Right Kids’ Shoes, shares mistakes that parents often make when shopping for their children.

Photo courtesy of Fit Right Kids’ Shoes

After spending 20 years in the tech industry, Northern Virginia native Pam Edwards hung up her badge and jumped feet first (pun intended) into the world of children’s shoes.

In 2013, Edwards opened Fit Right Kids’ Shoes, an independent, family-owned children’s shoe store in Chantilly. Now five years later, the boutique maintains its success by proudly carrying a large selection of quality kids’ shoes, great customer service and knowledgeable fit specialists that can’t be found on the internet or at a big box store.

“Kid’s feet are constantly growing and changing, and at Fit Right Kids’ Shoes, we understand kids’ feet and the importance of having properly fitted shoes,” says Edwards.

Fittings here are a highly personal experience with specialists checking variables such as width, instep, and heel size. It’s also typical for an employee to spend extra time observing a child’s gait, recommending brands and educating parents.

“Kids’ bones are not fully developed and calcified until the teenage years,” informs Edwards, “A poorly fitted or low quality shoe can alter the body’s biomechanics and foot development, and around 70 percent of foot problems come from wearing ill-fitting shoes.”

Fit Right stocks shoes from infant to big kids’ sizes (size 7) and also works with children that wear orthotics and/or have special needs. Shoes and accessories are handpicked by the staff, who usually get “the best of the best” from manufactures such as Pediped, New Balance, See Kai Run, Tsukihoshi, UGG, Stride Rite, KEEN, and many more. The store also carries several beast free and vegan shoes with natural rubber soles.

Edwards, who fits shoes alongside her employees, reveals that she is constantly looking for great brands to add to the store, mentioning that a true quality children’s shoe should be breathable, durable, flexible and, in a lot of cases, washable.

When asked what are some common mistakes parents make when buying kids’ shoes, Edwards explains, “Parents sometimes fall in love with a particular shoe that may not be the best fitting shoe for their child’s feet. Getting a shoe that fits their child’s foot properly should be the most important factor, followed by color and style.”

Edwards tells us that parents also tend to focus on the numerical size, which is different across brands. “Fit is different than size. Only focusing on the size is a huge mistake as all shoes fit differently.”