If you have active kids, making sure they’re wearing the right shoes for what they’re doing, and for their own unique physique, can be as important and wearing their retainers or washing their faces.
- One in three children who plays a team sport is injured seriously enough to miss practice or games.
- Children’s bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments are still growing, making them more susceptible to injury.
When it comes to issues of our kids’ we need to know to keep them safe, and help them understand how to do things right.
A few things we can do, and remind them to do, include:
- Kids should have at least one or two days off from any particular sport each week to avoid overuse injuries.
- If you experience a foot or ankle injury while playing sports, early attention is key to preventing further damage. Always ice the injury, never use heat.
- Choose footwear specific to your activity. Sneakers made for tennis players will provide different support and traction than cleats made for football players.
- If you participate in a certain sport at least two to three times a week, you should wear a sport-specific shoe.
- Go to a store that specializes in athletic shoes, or The Podiatrist for suggestions.
- Be sure to have their feet measured every time you purchase new shoes, as feet size and shape can change (especially in kids) as we age.
For all your foot problems, visit The Podiatrist
When it comes to buying shoes for your children, there are so many different styles available; it can sometimes be difficult to figure out which one to choose. The most important thing to keep in mind is that your child needs proper foot support during childhood’s critical growth years.
A child’s foot can grow up to about the age of 18, and the most important development happens in the first seven years. Here is a quick look at how fast kids’ feet grow:
— Under 12 months old, every 2 months.
— 12 months to 2.5 years old, every 3 months.
— 2.5 to 4 years old, every 4 months.
— From 4 to 6 years old, every 6 months.
Shoes that do not fit properly can be uncomfortable and unhealthy. That is why it is important to always measure a child’s feet before buying shoes. Every shoe fits differently, so do not buy shoes based solely on the size printed on the shoebox. Make sure your child tries on every shoe and watch them as they walk to make sure they seem comfortable and fit properly.
Shoe Buying Tips When you find shoes that you like, hold them in your hand and examine them. The American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA), experts in foot health and development, recommends you look for the following features:
Flexibility. Typically, the younger the child, the thinner and more flexible the soles should be. The sole should be easily flexible and be able to bend in your hand without effort. It should bend with your child’s toes — where the ball of the foot will be rather than in the middle of the shoe.
Toe room. While your child is standing, you should be able to press about a half inch, roughly a finger’s width, between the longest toe and the front of the shoe. The area of the shoe just below the laces should crease when your baby takes a step.
Materials. The upper part of the shoe should be made of breathable materials such as leather, rather than synthetic materials. The insoles should be cushioned for comfort. Feel around inside the shoe for irregularities in stitching, glue or stapling. Look for a stiff heel cup. Press on both sides of the heel counter. It should not collapse.
To help parents find shoes that fit properly, here are some helpful shoe buying tips:
— Make sure to see a professional trained in fitting shoes for infants, toddlers and young
— Have your child’s feet measured every 2 to 3 months until toddler years, then every 3 to 4
months after that.
— Feet are seldom precisely the same size. Always buy for the larger foot.
— Do not buy shoes that need “breaking in.” Shoes should be comfortable from the
beginning. Observe your child walking around in both shoes for longer than a few
minutes. Then, check each foot to make certain there are no irritation marks.
— Make sure the shoe is not too heavy. A heavy shoe can make your child walk irregularly,
preventing the development of a normal walking pattern.
— If a child complains of foot pain or discomfort, schedule a check-up with you The
Podiatrist who specializes in children’s foot care.
Tips for Buying Kids’ Shoes
— Shoes that do not fit properly can aggravate the feet. Always measure a child’s feet
before buying shoes and fit the shoe to the foot.
— Never hand down footwear. Just because a shoe size fits one child comfortably does not
mean it will fit another the same way. In addition, the practice of sharing shoes can
spread fungi like athletes foot and nail fungus.
— Watch for signs of irritation. Redness is a sure sign that a shoe is too tight or too loose. If
your child always wants to remove one or both of his/her shoes, this may be an unspoken
sign that the shoes do not fit properly.
— Examine the heels. When children begin to show in toeing, they may wear through the
heels of their shoes much quicker than outgrowing the shoes themselves. Uneven heel
wear can indicate a foot problem that should be checked by The Podiatrist.
— Shop for shoes later in the day. Feet tend to swell during the day, so take your children
shoe shopping when their feet are swollen, to ensure they’ll get the proper fit for all day
A well-made shoe that fits right is not only more comfortable for your children, but can help them avoid injury. Do you know what features you should look for in your child’s footwear?
A pair of well-made shoes can keep children safe from foot problems such as sprains and strains, both in class and on the playground
Here are some tips for how to buy children’s shoes.
- Children’s feet change with age. Shoe and sock size may change every few months as a child’s feet grow. Shoes that don’t fit properly can aggravate the feet. Always measure a child’s feet before buying shoes, and watch for signs of irritation.
- Never hand down footwear. Just because a shoe size fits one child comfortably doesn’t mean it will fit another the same way. Also, sharing shoes can spread fungi like athlete’s foot and nail fungus.
- Examine the heels. Children may wear through the heels of shoes quicker than outgrowing shoes themselves. Uneven heel wear can indicate a foot problem that should be checked by a podiatrist.
- Take your child shoe shopping. Every shoe fits differently. Letting a child have a say in the shoe buying process promotes healthy foot habits down the road.
- Always buy for the larger foot. Feet are seldom precisely the same size. Buy shoes that do not need a “break-in” period. Shoes should be comfortable immediately. Also make sure to have your child try on shoes with socks or tights, if that’s how they’ll be worn
Tips for Buying Children’s Athletic Footwear.
A child’s court shoe:
- should support both sides of the foot, due to the quick lateral movements and weight shifts in court sports; and
- provide a flexible sole for fast changes of direction.
A child’s running shoe:
- should provide maximum shock absorption to help runners avoid ailments such as shin splints and knee pain; and
- control the way your child’s heel strikes the ground, so the rest of the foot can fall correctly.
- should be made of a natural/synthetic blend, as this helps “wick” away moisture best; and
- not contain any large seams that can cause blisters or irritation.
Visit The Podiatrist if you have any questions.