One of the most obvious necessities for a child is, of course, appropriate footwear. Yet the problem for many parents is, they haven’t got the first idea about choosing healthy, comfortable shoes for their children. In this article, we present you with a quick and easy guide to choosing the appropriate footwear for your little one, based on comfort and foot health, rather than style.
Our team of experienced podiatrists has seen a lot of problems caused by improper footwear, so it’s important to buy the right shoes to support your child’s good health.
Ready? Let’s pick some shoes!
1. Have your child’s feet measured by an expert!
Don’t worry, this won’t require an extra trip, as most footwear stores have an in-house clerk trained in measuring your little one’s feet. See, many people make the mistake of assuming their child’s foot hasn’t grown since their last shoe purchase. However, the feet of a growing child will grow roughly every three months, which is much faster than some parents expect. And since little ones can’t say if their shoes are tight or loose-fitting, parents often end up buying shoes that are the wrong size for their child.
So make sure you get your child’s feet measured before any new shoe purchase, since footwear that fits poorly can cause walking problems later on.
2. Don’t go for shape, go for comfort.
A lot of stores now sell shoes that are all sorts of funny shapes, and you might be tempted to opt for one of these, thinking they’re more stylish. We’re here to tell you that, though that may be the case, your child’s feet will be best suited by shoes in the shape of a foot. This means opting for models where the toe area is slightly larger than the sole area.
Try to avoid pointy ends, or other difficult shapes, as they can cause malformation. Remember that your child’s feet are a work in progress at this point, so it’s important to ensure they grow in the right environment.
3. Try to keep it natural.
It might be tempting to get your kid shoes made of synthetic fabrics, as these tend to offer more versatility in terms of style and model. However, synthetic shoes lack breathability and keep the foot damp, thus encouraging the growth of fungi.
Instead, opt for natural materials, like leather, as these tend to be more breathable, and overall healthier.
4. Go for a good fit.
Many parents will opt for slip-on shoes in the hope that these are comfier. Though they may be, they also force the child to “hold on” to them, often by clenching their toes for support. This can, in time, lead to serious issues, so make sure you opt for Velcro or buckles, to keep the shoe firmly in place.
5. FLexible is always best.
While you want shoes that offer your child the support they need, you also want soles that are flexible enough to accommodate your child’s active lifestyle.
Need more information about choosing the right shoes for your child? Contact us at Louisa Seymour Podiatry today!