Life With Bobux
If The Shoe Fits: A Podiatrist’s Guide To Ensuring Your Child’s Shoes Are Correctly Fitted
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We know from research that structural and functional changes in children's feet can result from the foot having to conform to the shape and constriction of a shoe, rather than being allowed to develop naturally. The younger the foot, the greater the potential for damage. With this in mind, making sure that your children’s shoes are fitted - and suited - to your their feet is one of the most important things you can do for their foot health in the short and long term.
Our podiatrist, Anna Beetham, simplifies one of the most important aspects of footwear into easy to use tips to ensure the shoe you are buying is the best size and shape for your child’s feet.
Here are her expert tips for ensuring your little one’s feet are correctly fitted for shoes.
1. Make sure the shoe shape reflects foot shape
The shoe’s shape should follow the natural shape of your child’s foot. You can easily check this by standing your child up on a piece of paper and tracing the shape of their feet. Cut the shape of their foot out and hold it up to the bottom of the shoe. You want to ensure the shoe matches the shape of the foot and that there’s room to wiggle their toes.
2. Get their feet measured by an expert-fitter
Getting your child’s feet measured in-store by a trained fitter is a great way to make sure your child tries on shoes in the size that’s best for them. Make sure both their foot length and width are measured accurately, as the shoes must allow the forefoot (front of the foot) to spread easily, and their feet to fit comfortably in the width of the shoe.
3. Always try both shoes on
One of your child’s feet will always be slightly bigger, so it’s important that when getting fitted, they try both shoes on - not just one. Have them walk around in the shoes and watch for any marked change in their normal walking patterns (this is known as their ‘gait’). If you notice any changes in their gait or your child is stumbling, tripping or walking clumsily, this may mean the shoes don’t fit or aren’t suited to their foot type or stage of development.
4. Check for just the right amount of wriggle room
Having too much room in their shoes can mean children have to grip to hold the shoe on, while not enough can lead to their pliable toes getting squashed. Growing feet need just the right amount of space at the end of their shoes so they have room to grow comfortably. We recommend leaving 8-15mm for wriggle room!
5. Look for functional Fastening
Whether the shoes sport laces, buckles or straps, it’s important that the fastening mechanism is actually functional - and not just there for decoration. The fastening should allow you to tighten or loosen the fit to adjust to your child’s unique foot shape, while comfortably securing the foot in the shoe.
If the shoe’s shape, width and length are accurate and comfortable, then your child’s feet can move and develop naturally without constraint or the risk of long-term structural damage. A correct fit also gives your child the best chance to walk, run, jump and play without any pain or pressure on their developing feet, so they’re sure to have more fun.
For podiatrist-endorsed shoes that are specifically designed to nurture the development of kids' feet, shop the Bobux Collection online today.