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Do you know how your child’s feet change when it grows up?

Seeing how a child grows up, gains new abilities and develops makes parents deliriously happy. Legs and feet of children change as much as the body of a young person. If you want to be sure that your child’s feet grow properly, it’s good to know how to take care of them.

BARTEK S.A. and the Institute of the Leather Industry in Cracow did specialized researches to find out the structure of feet. On the basis of these findings we specified features of the best shoes for children.

After Birth

Every new born baby has characteristic legs –the shape similar to the letter “O”(club-footed) and the soles are directed internally. Little legs are very movable – children can put their toes to the mouth and move each of them separately. Shoes aren’t necessary in this growth phase, however, children should wear non-slip socks. Moreover, you should think about light and soft lining that prevents feet from cold during winter walks.

First year of life

Unusual time in every child’s life is the moment when it starts walking. The muscles start getting used to fulfilling their functions. Most children start walking when they are 10 months old. Encouraging them to take their first steps earlier can harm them. You should visit a doctor when your child is not walking at the age of 17 months. At this age children keep legs widely, bended in hip and knee joints. Such posture helps them keep the balance. Moreover, most children at this age have natural club-foot and radial toes. Fat accumulated on the child’s soles masks the shape of the skeleton and makes an impression of the flat foot. It is so called “physiological flat foot” that disappears when a child gets older.

The most important shoes

First shoes for a child are the most important. Small foot is susceptible to deformation that’s why shoes have to be well-fitted. The best are shoes with the uppers above ankles, laced up or velcro. The soles should bend easily in the area where toes begin, whereas hard soles make the walk unnatural. Wide top doesn’t restrict toes movement. Rear end of a shoe should be elastic to prevent shoes from deforming and ensure proper foot growth. It’s important that a shoe should be bigger than a foot at about 7-9 milimetres, because child’s feet move forward during walking and they grow very fast. Shoes made from natural leather and high-quality textile materials prevent from sweat and enable getting rid of the water vapour.

Second year of life

A fair bit of children walk. Most of them have misshapen legs (shape of a letter “X”),but it’s nothing to worry about. You have to remember that it’s an individual process depending on a child growth. Fat accumulated on the soles still masks the shape of the skeleton, toes are radial.

Third year

Knees are still misshapened and fat accumulated on the soles hasn’t dissapeared yet.

Fourth year

Fat disappears and the outline of a foot skeleton becomes more distinct. At this age it’s good to consult with an orthopaedist. Many children still have misshapen knees. Four-year old children, who are physically fit, can wear brogues or sandals with a covered heel.

Fifth year

If the feet grow properly, the outline of a skeleton is clear. Many children have shapely legs.

Sixth year

Feet are well – built, legs aren’t missahapened. Consultation with an orthopaedist is essential.

Seventh year and more

Feet and knees are properly developed. Gait is stable and safe. School children can wear every type of a shoe but the heel can’t be higher than 3,5 cm.
Specialist advice:
  • Walking bare foot on the sand and grass helps feet grow properly
  • Parents should observe every change in the feet size. It’s important to measure feet every three months because children can’t wear too small shoes.
  Curious information:
  • Not only feet but also the whole body grows uneven. In some growth phases children grow faster, in other slower. Boys’ feet grow differently than girls’.
  • BARTEK Healthy Foot Academy findings clearly show that feet grow the fastest between the 1st and the 2nd year of life – about 17-19 milimetres a year. It’s good to remember that at this age children start walking and need their first shoes. It’s possible that after 3 months shoes will be too small. Feet growth slows down between the 2nd and the 3rd year (13 milimetres), between the 4th and the 10th year it’s only 7-10 milimetres a year. Child’s feet are very delicate and wrong shoes can harm them. The younger a child is, the more important are well-fitted shoes.
  Tekst: BARTEK S.A. and Barbara Skrzyńska – anthropolog, Bożena Rajchel-Chyla – anthropolog. Consultations: dr Wojciech Radło – orthopaedist. About company: BARTEK has been specializing in a shoe production for the last 20 years and has produced over 10 mln pairs. It’s main mission is a smile, health and comfort of our clients. We always use only natural materials. BARTEK products are designed according to anathomical needs of children’s feet. Our shoes are produced in a vast array of colours to choose from. BARTEK shoes has been honoured with a positive opinion of the Institute of Mother and Child and gained a certificate “Healthy Foot” sign. BARTEK as a first company in Poland created Healthy Foot Academy programme. Thanks to this programme, all children age 0-10 have a complete feet examination free of charge. Parents can also consult with our ortopaedists and anthropologists.