How to choose shoes for your child’s age?

23 kwietnia 2013

According to the latest research, over 90% of new born babies have healthy feet, and over 80% of adults have problems with their feet. The most common reason is wearing improper shoes in childhood.

Well-fitted shoes are utterly important, especially when your child likes running. It’s significant to adjust shoes to the age, because each growth phase has individual needs.

After birth

According to the orthopaedists, in the first period of life children should wear non slip socks. The best solution for winter walks is to wear special soft linings that help to keep warm. Linings should be light and elastic. What is more, they should absorb sweat because child’s feet sweat twice as much as adults’ feet. We have to remember that sweat is a main nourishment for microorganism.

First steps

Shoes with the upper above ankles are the best for children who take their first steps because they help them to keep the balance. Lece-up or velcro shoes can be easily fitted to every foot (plum or skinny).In addition, the rear part of a shoe should be equipped with a stiff overlap that helps in proper foot positioning and prevents shoes from deforming. Moreover, shoes should have a spacious top because of the characteristic fan-shaped toes. The whole shoe ought to be soft and elastic, soles have to bend easily in the place where toes begin (2/3 of a shoe length measuring from the heel). Hard soles makes walking unnatural – a child walks like a duck. To sum up, the best are shoes which are light, elastic and springy.

Older children

Children, who are physically fit, for example four-year old children can wear brogues and sandals with covered heels or a special hollow under the heel to keep it in the right position. Six-year old girls can wear ballerinas. School children can wear all type of shoes. It’s worth remembering, that heels shouldn’t be higher than 3,5 cm.

At the age of 3-4 children have characteristic fat on their soles, that masks the real shape of their feet. It’s so called “physiological flat foot”. Such situation is completely normal and doesn’t require visiting a doctor. Flat foot disappears at the age of 5.

Wearing shoes after older siblings

Every child walks in a different way. Shoes adjust to individual features of children’s feet. Children with misshapen feet have deformed shoes. They shouldn’t wear shoes after their siblings and other children because they can “inherit” their previous user’s feet problems. Legs and feet don’t grow properly, what can lead to a posture defects in the future.

Author: BARTEK S.A., Barbara Skrzyńska – anthropolog, Bożena Rajchel-Chyla – anthropolog.
Consultations: dr Wojciech Radło – orthopaedist


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