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Getting the right shoes for children

Author: Craig Payne
by Craig Payne
Posted: Sep 23, 2022
interfere normal

Getting shoes right for children that are still going is very important and at the same time somewhat controversial. Shoes are a double-edged sword. Shoes can interfere with the normal development of the foot, so for that reason they should not be worn. At the same time the feet are exposed to a harsh environment and can be subjected to trauma and injuries and for that reason they should be worn to protect the foot. Unfortunately, we can not have it both ways and children do need to wear shoes. The foot in children is a rapidly developing and evolving structure that the shoes can easily interfere with that normal development. This means that any shoes that children wear really needs to not do anything that can interfere with that normal development or, at least, do so in a very minimal way. To achieve that the shoe has to be the shape of the foot and be just a bit bigger than the foot so that there is no abnormal pressure on any part of the foot that might interfere with growth and development. The shoe has to bend in the same places that the foot bends. If the shoe does not bend with the foot, then that is also going to affect the biomechanics of the foot and potentially interfere with normal growth and development. Proprioception from the ground is also important for sensory input to the body, so it is thought that there should not be to much cushioning under that foot that might interfere with that. The foot can be quite capable of supporting itself and it is thought that there should not be any support built into children’s shoes unless there is a clinical need for it.

While these characteristics might make an ideal type of shoes for children, in reality compromises get made in order to protect the foot from the environment and potential trauma. If too many compromises are made, then that is going to impact on the growth of the foot. Some of the problems that show up in adults, especially bunions or claw toes could be traced to the use of poorly fitted shoes in children. The best advice to give parents about getting shoes for their children is to get to a retailer that specializes in the fitting of shoes and has a wide range of different children’s shoe types. They will properly assess a child’s foot to determine exactly what length and width of shoe is needed for that particular foot as well as determine what other characteristics of the shoe may also be needed for that child. They will also make sure that there is enough room in the shoe to allow for growth to occur before the next pair of shoes is needed. A good retailer will also have some familiarity with the common foot problems in children and know when to suggest that the parents seek the advice of a podiatrist for their child’s foot. When buying shoes for your child please keep in mind all of these issues.

About the Author

Craig Payne is a University lecturer, runner, cynic, researcher, skeptic, forum admin, woo basher, clinician, rabble-rouser, blogger and a dad.

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Author: Craig Payne
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Craig Payne

Member since: Aug 16, 2020
Published articles: 181

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