Tennis, Football or any other game for that matter has it’s own requirements. Although in common terms we generalise them, as “sports shoes”, yet, there lie a massive difference in the construction and the fit, based on the game being played. A wrong fit may result in shin splints or aching heels – more so, in the case of children, considering their bones and muscles, which are yet in the developing stage.
Choosing the right shoe for children may seem to be for cosmetic purpose, but it has a much broader application than that. Tennis is a game that involves sudden starts and stops, which come with the need to absorb this sudden jerk, thereby protecting the foot from injury. It also requires a lot of side to side movements and comes with that, the need of a comparatively broader sole than that of running shoes and so on. After viewing of some recommendations and expert guides (here and here), we can determine a number of things that should be consider while purchasing kids tennis shoes:
1. Comfort comes before all. Kids are more active than adults, in general and they are bound to run and jump across the court, even more than it is required. Proper cushioning must be present to absorb these jagged and repeated shocks to protect the foot from injury.
2. The shoe must fit accurately. There must be enough space in the front so that the child can move his/her fingers freely. The pinkie or the thumb must not remain forcibly pressed against the shoe wall. It must be made sure that the heel is nestled in the shoe, so that there is no slippage while the child is playing the game. With proper fit, comes proper comfort but a comfortable shoe, need not be of accurate fit. This must be kept in mind.
3. The sole is the soul of the shoe. Tennis shoes in general, require a rubber sole, that is comparatively broader and flatter than running shoes. It must be thick and durable. It is also important to know that different courts, require different types of soles. So to purchase the perfect kids tennis shoe, one must know at which court the child would be playing. Example: Herringbone style on outer sole is best suited for clay courts.
4. Kids tennis shoes may come with velcro strips, which, although is easier and faster for the child to use, become dirty quickly and has a very short life span. The better option is a solid lace shoe. There are some solid lace kids tennis shoes that have holes right up to the topmost part of the shoe and are hence, also useful in providing a much better fitting than velcro.
5. Kids tennis shoes must be made up of a more breathing material to avoid fungal infections.
6. Fortified toe caps at the external toe zone ensures stable and better movements and also makes the shoe long-lasting.
Overall, it is important to know that the kids tennis shoes hold as much importance as the the kids tennis racket, if not more. Also, at the end of the day, the shoes are meant for kids. So their choice must also be considered alongside the above mentioned points. One must be satisfied in what one wears. Apart from these, it should be made sure that the feet measurement of the kid must be taken routinely, as they belong to the “growing stage” of life and room for their feet to burgeon, must be provided periodically.