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School shoes vs running shoes?

Article by Emily Donker. Podiatrist, coach and triathlete
Article by Emily Donker.
Podiatrist, coach and triathlete

School shoes vs running shoes. They are different!

There are a few things that you just shouldn’t do (for various reasons – not explored in this article), such as:
–    Eat soup with a fork
–    Go 4WD and beach driving in a beetle
–    Use a time trial bike for mountain biking
–    Swim whilst fully clothed
–    Go for a run in business shoes

… and you also should not send your children to school in running shoes, or out for a run wearing school shoes.


Just as it does for adults, footwear plays a significant role in preventing and managing children’s injuries. Wearing shoes that are appropriate for the task at hand will reduce injury risk, ensure better comfort and prolong shoe life.

BacktoschoolWearing the same pair of shoes day in and day out can cause significant and excessive wear, and inappropriate wear patterns to develop – especially when young, active children are the culprits. Children’s shoes are renowned for taking a beating in the schoolyard, and running shoes in particular are not designed to withstand the rigours of lunch-time play. Scuffing to the outsole and midsole can easily result from rough games and change of direction, whilst the lightweight, breathable upper is also easily damaged and does not provide sufficient support. Specific ‘school’ shoes will offer a more sturdy and hard-wearing outsole, and ideally a leather upper.

Wearing shoes that are excessively worn, or that are not designed specifically for running can increase the risk of injury. So, if your child is running regularly, they should be treated to a pair of running shoes, which are to be used only for running. These will be lightweight, more breathable and more flexible than their school shoes and therefore encourage a more comfortable and natural running stride.

You should encourage your child to stay active, and ensure they remain healthy and injury-free by wearing suitable shoes, by having specific shoes that are used exclusively for their various different activities.

Want to your kids to stay injury free? Visit the intraining Running Centre for expert advice and get your children fitted correctly.

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