iPodiatry

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Fitting Children’s Shoes

Parents so often worry about their kid’s teeth, eyes, and most other areas of the body, but do not get worried so much over the developing feet. Plenty of adult foot conditions can have their beginnings in childhood, consideration to footwear in kids can minimize the risk of these issues in adults.

Significance of the shoe to the child:
Inadequately fitting children’s shoes can cause many conditions in adults such as hammer toes, ingrown toenails, foot corns, calluses and bunions. Considering the high level of pain and discomfort that these disorders can cause, it is obviously logical to attempt to prevent these disorders by making certain that the child’s shoe is fitted correctly. Foot conditions in children are usually preventable.

Fitting footwear for the child:
The most important factor in shoes for a child is that they fit. Preferably, this means that footwear is fitted by somebody who has had some special education in the fitting of children’s footwear.

Tips for the fitting of children’s footwear:
* Children should have their feet measured roughly every three months (thus ensuring the need for new footwear as required).
* Typically, for a shoe to be correctly fitted, there should be a thumb width between the end of the shoe and the end of the longest toe.
* When looking at the bottom (sole) of the footwear, it should be fairly straight (not curved in too much) – feet are straight, so the footwear should be straight.
* The fastening system (laces, velcro, buckles) need to hold the heel securely in the back of the shoe (the foot ought not to be able to slip forward in the shoe).
* the heel counter (back part of the shoe) should be strong and stable.
* the footwear ought to be flexible across the ball of the foot, since this is where the foot bends.
* Leather and canvas are a better material – these are more robust and can breathe. Artificial materials usually do not breathe as well, except if they are of the ‘open weave’ type. Avoid plastics.
* Make certain the footwear have curved toe boxes to allow the toes more room to move and grow.
* Shoes ought not have to be “broken in”. Should they do, they are either improperly designed or badly fitted.
* An absorbent insole is useful, as the feet can sweat a great deal – children are very active!
* A number of stores focus on shoes for the child – make use of them!
* Fitting shoes correctly in adults is also just as crucial

3 tips for examining the child’s footwear:
There ought to be a thumb width between the end of the shoe and the end of the longest toe = length is correct.
You ought to be able to pinch the upper of the footwear between your thumb and forefinger (this can depend on the character of the material) = width is proper.
Does the shoe fit snugly around the heel and arch? How stable is the footwear when trying to ‘pull off’ the footwear? = good fit.