Children’s Footwear (Kids Shoes)
As parents we are often concerned about our child’s teeth, ears, eyes and varying parts of their body, when we really should put more thought into their developing feet. We need to educate ourselves as to what our child’s footwear needs are. Many of the problems that adults experience wit their feet have stemmed from childhood and the probability of such problems can be reduced by our early attention to their footwear.
Importance of correctly fitting the shoes to the baby or toddlers feet:
If your child’s shoes are incorrectly fitted (the wrong size) for his or her feet there are a number of of problems. For example some of the problems are ingrown toenails, bunions, calluses, corns ad the list of painful and uncomfortable issues goes on. Insuring that their shoes are correctly fitted can often prevent many foot issues in children.
Fitting footwear for children:
This is the single most important thing to consider when it comes to purchasing baby, toddler, or kids shoes; the shoes must fit correctly.
Insuring that your baby, toddler or child’s shoes fit correctly:
- Re-measure your kids feet every three months, or for babies and toddler measure each month (this way you will know when they require new shoes).
- Ensure that there is .5cm or ½ inch between the longest toe and the tip of the shoes.
- The sole of the shoes should not be too curved. Feet are straight and so should the sole of your kids shoes.
- The fit should be firm enough to stop the child’s fot from sliding forward into the shoe. If the shoes use Velcro straps, buckles or laces, these should hold the heel of the foot snugly in the rear of the shoe.
- The heel wall at the rear of the shoe should be firm and solid.
- The shoes should always bend in the same places that feet bend, the shoe must be highly flexible across the ball of the foot and should not bend in the arch area.
- Ideally the shoes should be made from leather or canvas, as these are more durable and breathe. The exception to this would be if the material is a synthetic mesh, otherwise it is a good idea to stay away from synthetics. Avoid plastics.
- The shoes should have a rounded toe area to give the kids toes more room to move.
- Kids shoes do not need to be worn in. If they do need to be “broken in” then they are either of inferior quality or are poorly fitted.
- Kids are generally more active than us adults and kids feet do sweat, even babies and toddlers. This is why an absorbent insole can be of benefit.
Checklist prior to purchasing the baby or toddler shoes:
- Do the shoes have rounded toes?
- Are the shoes a firm and comfortable fit both lengthways and widthways?
- Is the sole flexible?
- Is there plenty of room for the toes to move?
- Does the footwear have heel support?
- Does the footwear have laces, straps or elastic to prevent your child feet from slipping around inside the shoe?
How often should you replace your baby or toddlers footwear?
Approximately every 6 – 7 months. The average kids feet will grow about 2 shoe sizes every year until they are approximately 4 years old. Sometimes kids feet will stop growing much at all for an extended period of time and then have a growth spurt. The only way to know is to measure your child’s feet regularly.