Kids Feet And Shoes

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Kids' Feet and Shoes

We get a lot of parents coming into the stores and asking "is my child walking normally?" So here's some information on how feet grow and what to do about shoes.

How feet develop

At birth the bones in our feet are only partially developed. Over the years up to age fourteen, many of the bones fuse together to form the 26 bones found in the adult foot. Following the bones becoming their final shape they continue to grow up to age 18.

It's worth remembering that a 16 year old can be 100kg and 190cm tall, far bigger than Mum or Dad - yet their feet are still growing and just as much in a state of change as those of a six year old! So we are not just talking about little people here.

While following fairly predictable patterns of growth, each child develops in an individual way. In-toeing, flatfeet, bowlegs, and knock-knees are very common development phases for children. Each phase serves a purpose - standing flatfooted and bowlegged is a very stable position and makes walking easier, for example.

Why fitting kids' shoes correctly is so important

Long Term: If you get the footwear right in the first 18 years, a lot of adult problems are avoided.
Short Term:: Good shoes that fit correctly will protect the growing foot, help minimise injuries and improve athletic performance.
The aim of good shoe fitting for kids is to facilitate the foot developing correctly and growing strong.

Dangers of the wrong shoe in childhood

Wearing a shoe that is too strong will make the foot weak and reliant on footwear. If shoes are too big they will bend in the wrong places and stress growing joints. Very cheap shoes in mass discount stores are just that: very cheap shoes. The midsole of the shoe is actually hollow inside, which is not good.

Shoes will affect your child's athletic performance

All parents on the side of the soccer field, netball court or athletics track dream their child will be going to a world champs or the Olympics. However, it is extremely hard for the child to be a champion in bad or poorly fitting shoes. So the child protégée ends up compromised and the parents are shattered.

Kids really do need good shoes

If any group of people doing exercise need good shoes, it is those between 10 and 17 years old. My boy is 12 years old and very active. In his group of mates 6 of the 12 boys have suffered pain in their feet and legs. They were dropping like flies! And this is not surprising. The bones in the feet are growing and consolidating. The heel bone is very susceptible to injury (severs disease) in this age group. The heel bone and tibia shin bone can also get very inflamed between the growth plates as the kids grow and are very active.

When the bones consolidate these injures disappear. However, if they're going to enjoy themselves while growing, they need good shoes with good arch support and cushioned heels.

If any group needs technically fitted shoes, it's active kids!!!!!

Understandably, many parents are wary of spending too much on kids' shoes, since they know full well that it only takes one growth spurt to consign that expensive footwear to the bin. However, you don't need to spend a lot to get good footwear.

Kids fitting at SHOE SCIENCE

We measure all kid's feet and use our video fit system to check their walking/running gait all in a really relaxed way designed to make them enjoy the experience. Plus which, we know how brand conscious kids are, so we make sure we stock the right shoes. Kids enjoy coming to us because we have all the brands they like.

We are careful to get the fit right, provide a shoe that flexes in the same place as your child's foot and avoid shoes that are over supportive.

We have children's shoes for 5 year olds through to full adult sizes, in a wide range of categories.

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