About 98% of all children are born with healthy feet. But 80% of adults develop deformities of the foot, causing pain and necessitating a visit to the GP or physiotherapist. Footwear plays a huge role in the balance around the joints and soft tissues of your feet. New shoes are part of almost every child’s back to school routine. It’s important to get your child’s feet measured and buy shoes that have been properly fitted, because their bones are not fully developed until they reach their late teens.
Don’t shoe shop without these tips:
- There should be a child’s thumb width between the end of the shoe and the end of the longest toe. Shoes which are too small can cause problems with the development of the child’s feet and position of their toes
- Buy shoes in the afternoon as most people’s feet swell by the end of the day so you will get a better fitting shoe
- The fastening mechanism should hold the heel firmly in the back of the shoe for proper support
- Look for shoes with elastic, flexible soles. Rigid or wooden soles will hinder your foot movement
- Avoid high heels
- No slip-ons – it makes running for the bus impossible, plus kids will claw their toes to keep them on
- Make sure their laces are tied properly (so uncool, we know…)
- If your child wears insoles or orthotics, please bring them with you for your shoe fitting. Make sure they are easily accommodated in the new school shoes, so they are worn everyday.
Even if your child’s shoes are fitted properly there is a chance your child will experience problems with their legs and feet. If the following problems persist, then you and your child should come and see us:
- Flat feet
- High arched feet
- Foot pain
- Heel pain (at the back is most common, especially when they have a sudden growth spurt)
- Shin pain (can be boney or muscular)
- Knee pain (watch for pain at the top of the shin bone, especially when they have a sudden growth spurt)
- Night cramps
- Bowlegs or knocked knees
- Leg length difference (look for more wearing on one trouser leg than the other, that’s a real giveaway)
The verdict: If you are worried about your child’s feet and would like an assessment, just call us to discuss your concerns on 01 213 7000.