Children’s feet are quite delicate and because of this you need to be quite careful of picking a pair that not only look attractive but are suitable for their feet. Shoes affect the balance and also the alignment of the feet and if you pick poor quality shoes for children, it can lead to problems for life. So, we’ve compiled a list of tips and tricks to prevent problems and issues when choosing shoes for little one’s feet.
Choosing a specific shoe store or company that specialises in children’s shoes will go a long way to alleviating issues. Stores with a service orientated towards children will know what shoes work best for little ones and will be able to advise you on the right shoes for your child. This is important in the immediate and also in the longer term.
Quality shoe companies will measure children’s feet and ensure that the size of the shoe is suited for your little one. These specialist sales people will have been trained in measuring children’s feet.
When measuring children should stand up straight with their socks around their feet as this is a good way to ensure that the fit is correct for the child. Ideally children should have around half an inch of growing room in a shoe and it’s worth checking to ensure there are 0.5 to 0.65 inches of growth room in the shoe. This ensures that there is room for the toes to spread out and stability and comfort.
Dancofootwear.com advice that a good way of checking this is to push down the front of the shoe or as it’s known ‘the vamp’ this should be loose and there should be no tightness around the foot. If this allows space for movement then it’s likely that the rest of the shoe will fit well.
Back of the Shoe
Next, place your finger between the heel of the shoe and your child’s foot. Your finger should fit comfortably between the two. This is very important as friction between the back of the shoe and the heel will case blisters and this can also be a problem in the long term.
If the shoe is too loose then it will come off in normal wear and can also cause problems as the child will overcompensate for the poor fit.
The back of the shoe should be made of a plastic or leather as otherwise they will break down and the backs will wear out. This will cause the shoes to be floppy at the back and a gait when walking.
The side of the foot should flex from side to side – check that the shoes don’t rub against the ankles as this will cause friction and blisters on the ankle area.
The outside of the foot should be pressed to feel the child’s toe. You should be able to feel the toe, though it should not be firmly pressed against the wall – there should be a degree of flex. The shoe will be too small if the toe touches the wall.
The inside of the shoe is also important to look at and there needs to be an arch support that fits your child’s foot. This should slope at the start of the big toe and move backwards offering support for your child’s foot.
If all of these things are in place then your child’s shoe is most likely suitable for the child’s foot and will be comfortable and stable.