How to choose shoes for children

When we are choosing footwear for our child we take a great responsibility for the healthy development of the child's feet and the entire movement system. We would like to offer you a piece of advice on how to choose shoes that meet basic orthopedic and hygienic criteria.

The child's foot differs from the adult's foot in many anatomical and functional properties. First of all, it grows very fast - it changes in both length and width. Small baby's foot grows at an average of 15-18 mm per year, with older children 1 cm to 1.5 cm. At the age of 2-3, children need 2-3 shoe sizes per year, 2 in size at pre-school age, and 1-2 in school age. The growth of the foot is not smooth, but it is in jumps. Therefore, it is necessary to monitor whether the foot is not deformed in a short or narrow shoe.


Children's shoes must have a sufficiently spacious toe box, with plenty of space for toes. Thus it is totally inappropriate for children to have pointed shoes. They cause various toe deformities (devious thumbs, devious little toe or hammer toes).

Correct an incorrect shoe shape

The heel and the heel counter

The foot in the shoe must be sufficiently fixed. There must be no undesirable lateral movement of the heel of the foot. Therefore a shoe must have a sufficiently solid and high heel counter. It is an inside part in the heel part. Be careful not to mix it with the heel. The heel must be as low as possible in the children shoes.

Cut of the shoe's top

A suitable cut of the shoe's upper part can take care of a good fixation. It holds the foot against the heel counter and prevents the foot to move laterally.  We recommend shoes with velcro closure, buckles or laces. In the small sizes, buy exclusively ankle shoes.

The shoe size

Before buying, always measure your child's foot. Children's feet have a reduced sensitivity to pain and pressure. Therefore, children are at risk of wearing too short or badly fitting shoes. Children's footwear must be 10 to 15 mm longer than the toes. 

About half of this free space at the tip we call an overhead serves as a reserve for free-to-move toes during walking and half for growth.

The shoe should be around 1 cm longer than the big toe.

It is not correct to check the size of the overhead by pressing your fingers at the tip of the shoe. The child tends to reflexively bend their toes. 

All PROTETIKA shoes in our store are manufactured according to the French numbering system, which is considered a European standard (EU abbreviation). In this system, the differences between each size are always 0.66 cm. If you want to calculate the internal length of the shoe in cm, you can multiply the size in the EU by 0.66. E.g. For size 20, the internal shoe size is 20 x 0.66 = 13.2 cm.

Check the size of the shoe at least once every 3 months.

The insole

A healthy child has a foot area under the bone longitudinal arch filled with a fat pad from birth to about 3 years of age. Whether the arch is well developed under the fat pad can be checked by asking the child to stand on their toes. The arch of a healthy foot is neatly cut - shaped into a semi-bow. Approximately at the age of 3 years, it is necessary to note the symptoms of flat foot, lateral heel moving to an X shape, noticeable walking with the toes out, evening pains, or pain after a long walk on the front of the shin (front part of the leg under the knee). 

At primary schools, 1/3 of school children have flat feet. Prevention is a shaped insole that supports the foot arch.

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