Which shoe is the right shoe?
Buying footwear is often a worrying time for parents, there seems a mine field of possible future problems if they get it wrong, horrid stories from relatives and friends about foot issues later in life caused by ill-fitting shoes as a child! Of course, there can be problems but generally, it isn’t too difficult so long as you bear a few things in mind.
Here is a quick checklist to help make it a bit easier.
- Comfortable & Secure, it’s best to have fastenings such as Laces/Velcro/T bars to prevent the foot moving which may cause rubbing or toenail issues or even toes that curl to grip the shoes
- Wider base for support, stability, and heels that are not too high to help prevent ankle sprains
- Natural materials such as leather or breathable material like Gore-tex, this keeps feet at a comfortable temperature to allow air to circulate and prevent infections
- Firm Heel cup, check that this does not collapse, this helps to the hold the foot in the shoe when moving
5. Durable soles with decent grips to prevent injury from slipping especially on wet pavements or grassy verges
6. Room, the shoe should match the child’s anatomy but with some space for the changes in foot dimension with activity and for growth, generally best to allow 1cm from the end of the longest toe
7. Flexibility at the forefoot this helps with the forward movement such as walking & running
8. Grip , the shoe should grip the instep to stop it sliding off the foot but still allow some movement as the arch rises and falls in walking
Wherever possible it is best to buy shoes from a reputable brand were well-trained fitters in store can measure your child’s feet, but if this isn’t possible then most online shops will send out instructions for parents to follow in order to get the best fit possible. Check out this article by our podiatrist Karen Randell, https://www.startriteshoes.com/feet-are-fantastic/top-tips-for-choosing-childrens-shoes Remember to check feet for pain, blisters, rubs, sore toes, and toenail issues regularly. Also, it’s good to regularly check shoes for wear marks and feel along the inside lining & seams and especially the inside of the heels. Just as important though is allowing your child to go barefoot at home as much as possible to aid the natural development of their feet as nature would intend! https://randellsfootcare.co.uk/child-footcare/