What Are Orthopaedic Shoes for Kids?
If your child has complained about foot and leg pain, you may have been recommended orthopaedic shoes by their doctor or other moms.
But what exactly are orthopaedic shoes, and what do you need to think about when buying them for the first time?
First, orthopaedic shoes for kids are specially designed to support the foot, ankle, and leg.
The word "orthopaedic" itself is formed from two Greek roots:
- "Ortho" means correct, straight
- "Paedion" means child.
In general, orthopaedic shoes can help treat and prevent specific issues your little one may be experiencing. These may include:
- Overpronation, where the foot rolls inwards as they move
- Rolled ankles, where a sprain occurs on either side of the ankle
- Knock knees, where the knees tilt inwards even though the ankles stay apart
- Low muscle tone, where the muscles are floppy, and it's challenging to maintain good posture while sitting or standing
- Flat feet, where the arches in the foot are very low or non-existent
For example, providing the best shoes for kids with flat feet or a similar condition can help them walk and run straighter and improve their overall posture. Orthopaedic shoes tend to be made with extra depth in the shoebox and additional padding to assist those with an abnormal gait as well.
Orthopaedic Shoes Benefits
There are many benefits of orthopaedic shoes for kids.
The midsoles of pediatric orthopedic shoes are lightweight with a mild rocker-bottom design. They provide cushioning to soften the impact and aid the alignment of the foot when it touches the ground. These unique soles are also wide, enabling mobility and stability while walking.
Orthopaedic shoes are the best arch support shoes for kids because of their orthotic insoles. Proper insoles eliminate excessive pronation, which is the primary cause of foot and heel pain.
Orthotic insoles alleviate stress on the knees, hips, and lower back and reduce pressure on the ball of the foot and heel. How? Well, they transfer some of your child's body weight to the arch, which improves both foot and leg alignment.
Wide Toe Box and Stretchable Uppers
Orthopaedic supportive shoes for kids feature both a wide toe box and stretchable upper design for two reasons:
1. To relieve pressure for bunions and hammertoes
2. To allow extra room for toe movement
In essence, preventing any tightness or discomfort in these shoe sections allows for a better fit which helps in avoiding toe injury and preventing ingrown toenails.
The majority of orthopedic children shoes are manufactured with a soft, smooth interior. This is designed to be gentle when making contact with the foot to eliminate pressure points.
How to Buy Orthopaedic Shoes for Kids
Having to buy orthopaedic shoes for kids for the first time may feel overwhelming. However, you can follow the below steps to ensure that the process runs smoothly.
1. Consider the Season
Ask yourself what time of year it is and determine what type of shoe to get for this season. Fortunately, in the Middle East, specifically the UAE where our eshop is based, we can wear sandals all year round. Our Protetika sandals are both functional and stylish. Thus your child's feet get enough ventilation even in the warmest months. You can choose between semi-closed orthopedic sandals with the highest arch support, and open toe sandals with a bit lower arch support.
2. Consider the Materials
As well as how they look and feel, consider how orthopedic shoes will perform for your kids. Will they last? Are they easy to keep clean? Toddler shoes in our eshop have suede leather on the upper, and it is recommended to dry brush them. Leather is the best material shoes can be made from.
3. Check the Price
Full disclosure: corrective shoes for toddlers, or juniors are known to be pretty pricey. Here we have a great news. Our PROTETIKA orthopedic models come at an unbeatable price of 269 AED. We can price them this low as we import them straight from the manufacturer without any intermediary. We also realize that children’s feet grow fast and we want to encourage parents to rather buy new than second hand shoes with an imprinted gait from another child.
The great thing about orthopaedic shoes for kids is that they're an investment into your kid's posture, feet, ankles, legs, and gait.
4. Make Sure They Fit Properly
Orthopaedics shoes for kids are the most beneficial when they fit correctly. Therefore, make sure your child tries on any shoe that you're both interested in buying.
If trying to do this in a store proves too much of a mission, you can always purchase online instead. Either way, here are some top tips for trying on orthopaedic shoes for kids:
- Measure your little one's feet and get them to try the shoe that seems to align with this measurement (the shoes should be around 1 cm bigger)
- Get them to put on the same type of socks that they intend to wear with the new shoes
- Ask them to stand and walk around in the shoes at home to determine how they feel
- Make sure the shoes fit from the very beginning—avoid buying shoes that may stretch in time (they may not)
- Examine the soles before your child walks around in the shoes. Do they seem to cushion against impact?
5. Allow Growing Room
Lastly, remember that comfort should come first when buying orthopedic shoes for kids. If your little one seems uncomfortable when trying on a new pair of shoes, then don't buy them. In our eshop we exchange already bought shoes – whether you need another size, or a model.
Above all, make sure they're not too tight and restrict mobility. Shoes should have a little bit of growing room (1 cm) to allow for foot swelling after activity or during hot weather.
Investing in corrective shoes for children is essential to promote the well-being of their feet, ankles, and legs, effectively preventing or addressing walking conditions. When selecting orthopedic shoes for kids, it is important to dedicate ample time to ensure you find a pair that fulfills both fashion and functional requirements.