Back to school – the importance of properly fitted school bag and school shoes!


Poorly fitted backpacks place enormous pressure on the neck, upper and lower back and shoulders.


School Bags

These days backpacks are heavy! Kids and teenagers are often carrying tablets, laptops or other electronic devices which aren’t light. Because of this, we often see younger patients coming in to the clinic with soreness through their necks, shoulders and backs, and often coincide with headaches. Healthy, active kids shouldn’t be getting this type of pain, so if your child starts mentioning it, an osteopathic appointment may be beneficial to help!

Our top tips for fitting a school bag:
  • Use both shoulder straps of the bag, not just one
  • Tighten the straps so the bag sits high up on your back, and snugly against your spine
  • Fit the waist and chest straps firmly to help take some of the load of the heavy bag off your back
  • Try to carry only what is required for the day, avoid lugging all textbooks to/from school at once

School Shoes

Another back-to-school item we talk to parents a lot is school shoes. Depending on the school, kids are often required to wear either runners, leather shoes, or both. We always recommend that parents take their children to shoe stores and companies that fit shoes properly – every one has a different functioning and shaped foot and we want to make sure they’re getting put into runners or school shoes that suit their feet.

Our top tips for ensuring shoes are fit correctly are:
  • Don’t buy shoes too big! If they’re too big they aren’t going to support your child’s feet at all and will likely lead to foot and ankle pain
  • Take your child’s school socks when getting shoes fit so you can accurately fit them to what they’ll be wearing at school
  • Wear them in. Give them at least a week of wearing their new shoes in for an hour each day to prevent blisters forming when they start school


Active Feet

A great place to get your children’s feet fitted is Active Feet in Mornington. Daniel is the manager of Active Feet Mornington and had this to say about fitting the feet of kids:

“At Active Feet Mornington, we love to help fit your little ones’ based on their footwear needs! We understand the importance of proper footwear for children as they explore, play, and grow. That’s why we’re here to make sure your child’s every step is supported and comfortable. When it comes to buying shoes for your kids, here are a few key things to keep in mind:

  • Proper Fit: Ensure that the shoes fit your child’s feet properly. Their toes should have some wiggle room, and there should be about a thumb’s width between the end of the shoe and the longest toe.
  • Support and Stability: Look for shoes that provide adequate support and stability, especially around the heel and arch. This helps to prevent injuries and promotes healthy foot development.
  • Quality Materials: Opt for shoes made from breathable materials that allow air circulation and help to keep feet dry and comfortable throughout the day.
  • Correct Width: One crucial aspect often overlooked is the width of the shoe. Children’s feet come in various shapes and sizes, so it’s essential to find shoes that accommodate their specific width requirements.

Our team at Active Feet are passionate about fitting children’s feet properly, ensuring they get the support and comfort they need. We understand that every child is unique, and we’re here to help you find the perfect fit for your little one. Let us guide you through our fantastic collection of kids’ shoes and together, we’ll make sure your child’s journey is filled with comfort, style, and happy feet!”

Active Feet Mornington have been generous enough to offer our Total Balance patients 10% off their shoes when they shop there!

If you have any questions about school and shoe fittings, and how osteopathy at Total Balance can help, give us a call on on (03) 9773 8085! Alternatively, click here to book an appointment online.

Sarah @ Total Balance Healthcare



This blog post is an educational tool only.  It is not a replacement for medical advice from a registered and qualified doctor or health professional.

Phone: (03) 9773 8085

You may also like

Looking to Make an Appointment or Shop Online?

Booking Online is the most convenient way to lock in the clinician & time you want. We also have an Online Store with an amazing range of Osteo & Naturopathy Products.