Our Children’s Feet

When we think of buying our children's shoes it is rare that it crosses our mind to consider what it is that these shoes will protect and why we actually need them. Our feet are arguably one of the most important parts of our bodies and for our children they allow them to develop and learn to walk, run, climb, jump etc.

The arch of the foot is one of the most important parts, the biomechanics mean that it acts as a shock absorber and thus protects the foot. When a child first begins to stand and walk the arch of the foot is not yet defined until around 3-5 years old. Therefore, it is recommended that a child’s foot should have relative freedom for the first year of their life. Think about it, how often do we unnecessarily restrict a child’s foot from a young age? Socks, stockings, cotton shoes and then as soon as the baby can stand, we close them in shoes and tighten the laces, Velcro’s or buckles. We are constantly shaping and forming them from as little as 1 year old.

As the child develops and becomes more active on their feet the arch is formed through the active work of the toes and foot itself. If a child begins to wear shoes that are unsuitable at this stage of development, it can cause a flat foot. This is because the arch does not take a shape and therefore the foot (even though fully functional) is flat.

However, it can be difficult to determine whether the feet are going to be flat and moreover whether this is down to an underdeveloped arch or to the child's posture, which is another cause of a flat foot. It is common in children with weakened abdominal and back muscles. This is because the bad posture does not provide sufficient support...

What is clear is that a flat foot needs good support on the ground, supporting the correct muscle activity. It has been proven that footwear changes structure and foot development. So the most important question... What do the correct shoes look like?

The shape of the shoe should reflect the natural shape of the foot.

Children's shoes should have a spacious curved tip to provide enough space for the toes to move and the correct length so that they fit the whole foot correctly. If shoes are pointed or narrow, they may cause issues such as hammer toes or skin problems which are the most common deformities that are related to wearing small (short or narrow) shoes.

Toddler orthopedic shoes by PROTETIKA with a high arch support

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