As your child grows, the feet size increases as well. Therefore it is important not to neglect your child’s feet and fit them with the right shoes! Do check the sizing every 3-6 months and change them once the feet outgrow the shoes. Ill-fitting footwear often leads to foot problems such as ingrown toenails, corns, heel pain, ankle pain or injuries.
Here are some general guidelines on finding appropriate footwear for children:
- Breathable top cover materials such as leather or fabric provide comfort and good ventilation. It is especially important in Singapore’s weather as ventilation is required for sweat to evaporate quickly, reducing the risk of fungal infection, maceration and blistering.
- Avoid wearing shoes with stitching near prominent bones as this may cause blistering or pain.
- Sufficient width and depth in the toe box area to prevent friction and allow room for the toes to wiggle
- Correct Length: There should be a thumb’s width between the longest toe and the front end of the shoe. This should be tested when standing up
- Fastening Mechanism: Look for shoes with laces, Velcros or buckle straps across the ankle to secure the foot within the shoe. This reduces strain on the foot muscles and ligaments, and prevents injuries. **Children should avoid wearing flip flops for prolonged periods as it causes further instability on their feet and ankles
- Removable Shoe Inserts/Liners: This will allow easy insertion of cushioning or corrective insoles (foot orthoses) if required
Extra tips for shoe shopping
- Have the feet measured while standing.
- Shop for shoes later in the afternoon as our feet tend to swell through the day.
- Try on shoes with the same socks you expect your child to wear with the shoes.
- The left and right foot may vary in size; always fit according to the larger foot.
- Get your child to try on shoes and walk around in the store. Shoes must be comfortable the moment they try them. You should not purchase any shoes that cause irritation or discomfort.
If your child is suffering from a foot condition, it is better to have a professional assessment by a paediatrician or a podiatrist. A podiatrist can advise on the appropriate footwear types to look out for to allow recovery and prevent further injury. Feel free to contact our friendly podiatrists if you have any queries!
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