It is no secret that parents worry about their children, especially when choosing and buying their footwear. Unfortunately, there is a minefield of possible future problems if you choose poorly fitting shoes for your children. Luckily, these issues can generally be avoided by bearing a few things in mind when choosing your child’s footwear.
Comfort and security
Opt for fastenings such as laces, velcro or t-bars to allow the foot to sit in one place. A large amount of movement in the shoes may cause rubbing, toenail issues or even toes that curl to grip the toes.
Wide shoe bases allow support, stability, and heels that are not too high to help prevent sprained ankles.
This includes leather or any breathable materials like gore-tex; this allows your feet to be at a comfortable temperature to allow air to circulate and prevent infection.
Firm heel cups
It is vital to check that the heel cups are strong and will not collapse; this assists in holding the foot in the shoe when moving.
Durable soles with decent grips to prevent injury from slipping, especially on wet pavements and grassy verges.
The shoes should match the child’s anatomy, but with room for changes in the foot dimension with activity and growth, generally, it’s best to allow 1cm from the end of the longest toe.
This is a vital component, especially at the forefoot. It helps with forward movement such as walking and running.
The shoe should grip the instep to prevent it from sliding off the foot but still allowing some movement as the arch rises and falls in walking.
You should, wherever possible, buy from a distinguished brand where well-trained fitters in-store can measure your child’s feet. However, if this is not a possibility, most online stores can send out instructions for parents to follow to get an optimal fitting. Furthermore, you should consider checking the feet daily for pain, blisters, sores, rubs and toenail issues and remembering to also check inside the shoes for wear marks, and allowing your child to go barefoot as much as possible at home to aid the natural development of their feet!