We all try our best to prevent future foot problems. The case is especially so when it comes to our children. How we approach their individual lifestyles and paws early on can influence the way their feet shape into adulthood. Being on the lookout for the right shoes can play a huge role.
School is in session, but that doesn’t mean your child’s feet stop growing. At the start of the year, it’s always a great idea to take your kiddos shopping for their next great pair of shoes. With children’s feet expanding up to two sizes in six months, their kicks might fit them now, but down the line may be a different story. Avoid potential foot problems, and check out our preventative tips below.
We all know that growth spurts come and go, and we aim to account for these when we invest in fresh shoes. But “growing into their shoes” doesn’t mean that your little one’s feet should be sliding around. An extreme in either case — too big or small — can be more harmful than good.
• From the front of the shoe to your child’s big toe, there should be a finger width of space. Have your kiddo stand in their potential shoes and wiggle their toes to ensure proper placement.
• Measure your child’s feet. This can help immensely when locating the right fit for length, and especially, width. Ensure that your child is standing while you do this, or you can opt for some in-store assistance the next time you’re shopping for shoes.
• Have your little take a stroll in those kicks. Observe if the shoes are rubbing or flopping off in places. If they are, you need to return to the drawing board and find a new size.
We don’t recommend this. Shoes have been designed to support our feet, and when they are too big, this can allow for extra pressure on the toes.
Too small of shoes can host a list of impending issues, from blisters to corns, calluses, growth deformities, and even ingrown toenails. (Ingrown toenails can become infected. Your little may not notice right away so be sure to watch for any signs of inflammation, pain, or fluid draining from the toe area. If these clues are present, see your nearest podiatrist, or contact us today for a consultation.)
Flat feet, or overpronation of the foot, means there is limited arch cushioning. While walking, if you notice the arch of the foot falling to the floor with each step, your child needs extra encouragement in this area.
Think of the human back, hips, legs, and feet as continuous chains. If one of the links on the chain is askew in any way, this throws off the entire balance. Unreasonable pain can ensue because there isn’t enough stability within the chain. (This is why high heels can initiate back pain and more. There just isn’t enough support.)
• Locate shoes with enough arch support and shock absorption (this is to alleviate the impact that the feet consume with each step. Hello, gravity and kinetic energy!).
• Or grab a pair with enough room for an orthotic insert if necessary. (We can certainly assist you and your kiddo with this!)
There’s nothing worse than a stinky, old pair of anything. We know that caring for kids is definitely a job in and of itself, but shoes should never be an afterthought. What can happen if a shoe loses its support appeal? Heel pain, Achilles tendonitis, ankle sprains, and stress fractures can wreak havoc (and you don’t want this to curb your child’s developmental success!).
• Inspect the kicks in question. See how much cushioning or arch support is left. The shoe should feel cushy and full, not flat, dull, and flimsy.
• Worn spots, beware! If you notice toes peeking through, it’s time to say goodbye and move onto a fresh pair of shoes.
• The shoe should bend near the toes, not the middle of the shoe.