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New Balance of Chattanooga fitting kids for back to school

Wednesday, July 17, 2013
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    From left, Sarah Kearney, Anna Mae Rector, Audrey Cookston and Olivia Rector try out the hottest back-to-school looks at New Balance of Chattanooga.

As the summer winds down, parents are beginning to think about kids heading back to the classroom. The professionals at New Balance of Chattanooga are ready to help them make sure their children are in the right shoes for the new school year.

“A proper fitting kid’s shoe allows half to a whole size worth of growing room,” said store owner Hal Kearney. “Too many times parents request a shoe to be even bigger than that, but in doing so the shoe flexes and creases in areas not designed to do so. Therefore, the shoes look wornout quicker.”

Kearney stressed that getting your child measured is extremely important as not all brands of shoes fit the same way, so each style needs to be evaluated once they are tried on. New Balance of Chattanooga employees use the Brannock Device, the trusted old measuring device made of heavymetal materials, to ensure accurate fits.

“We still use it today, although experience and training plays a big part in the shoe and foot working well together,” Kearney said.

How often your child needs to be fitted for shoes might be more frequently than most parents think. “On average, kids go through shoes every four to six months,” said Kearney. “We will size them every time they come in.”

Normally, a child’s foot stops growing drastically when he or she reaches mid-teens, Kearney added. “On occasion there may be a small growth spurt in the late teens, but normally it’s around 13 to 16 years old,” he said. “If parents are curious of size and fit, we encourage them to bring the kids by for a free evaluation.”

Sometimes a fitting is as easy as a quick checkup, while others might require a tune-up with new laces or inserts. Either way, New Balance of Chattanooga is there to provide parents with accurate information and services to ensure their kids are getting the best wear from the best pair of shoes for them.

More Information

New Balance of Chattanooga is located at 1820 Gunbarrel Road, Suite 300 in the Gunbarrel Point Shopping Center near Target and is privately owned by Kearney and his wife Angela, both board-certified pedorthists. Store hours are Monday-Thursday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 12:30-5 p.m. Find New Balance of Chattanooga on Facebook to view available styles.

A majority of kids’ shoes are take downs from popular adult models, said Kearney.

“The running category is by far the most popular, and the kids’ version is more accessible,” he noted. “In my experience, the trail running shoes seem to be very versatile, with darker colors and more durable synthetic panels for lasting durability.” New Balance also makes tennis and basketball models specifically for children.

“We specialize in a sitand- fit experience,” Kearney said of his store. “We also specialize in widths from a kids’ narrow to an extra wide. Not every size and width is available in every style, but we always try to have something.”

He added that if the store doesn’t have the particular fit or style a customer is looking for, employees will try to get it.

To help kids and parents celebrate going back to school, the local store has a special promotion in which kids get a free pair of New Balance sunglasses with their purchase. “They are the classic Wayfarer style,” Kearney said. “They look great, and the kids are really going to enjoy them.”

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New Balance of Chattanooga is located at 1820 Gunbarrel Road, Suite 300 in the Gunbarrel Point Shopping Center near Target and is privately owned by Kearney and his wife Angela, both board-certified pedorthists. Store hours are Monday-Thursday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 12:30-5 p.m. Find New Balance of Chattanooga on Facebook to view available styles.

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