Blitzresults, an interactive educational website found that 65 per cent of children wear shoes that are too small. Of this group 47 per cent don shoes that are one size too small and the remaining 18 per cent are wearing shoes that are shockingly, two sizes too small.
At first glance, it may not seem too much of an issue to worry over, but did you know that only 11 per cent of children wear shoes that allow them space to grow? This is crucial because ill and tight-fitting shoes can result in hallux valgus, a foot deformity in which the big toe begins to angle inward – leading to a swollen lump just below the big toe. And as discovered by the National Health Institute, 30 per cent of children have irreversible foot deformities. So, when you bring your child next to shop for shoes, keep these in mind:
1. Go by the longer foot
If you’ve ever gone shoes shopping and felt that one shoe feels tighter than the other,it’s because both feet are rarely ever the exact same length – the difference can be up to half an inch, but that’s pretty much a whole shoe size. So, make your decision based on the longer foot for your child.
2. Don’t rely on the shoe size
You may think you are saving time by picking up any shoe based on your child’s existing shoe size without trying them on first, but despite shoe manufacturers labelling shoes with standard sizes, there is no mandatory industry standard for shoe sizing. What this means is that the sizes may vary with each brand. You need to ensure your child tries on every pair you intend on getting for them. Also, don’t just rely on asking them how they feel because the nerves in your child’s feet are often still underdeveloped – meaning their pain awareness is lower than ours.
3. Give them room
The rule of thumb to go by is that about half an inch of additional room when it comes to shoes is optimal. This way, your child can roll their foot properly when walking.
4. Do a regular check
Gordon Watt, a consultant paediatric podiatrist at Glasgow Caledonian University remarked, “Children are born with relatively soft and flexible cartilate, which gradually converts to bone with age. As they are growing, their feet are vulnerable to injury and deformity doe to ill-fitting footwear.” Tim Lilling at Blitzresults recommends measuring your child’s feet every two months.