With the school holidays approaching now is a great time to get your child’s feet, shoes and orthotics checked - especially those footy boots that haven’t been used since last season. Children’s feet grow rapidly and it is important to make sure their shoes are fitting and functioning well and have ample toebox space. Poorly fitting shoe can lead to blisters, foot and leg pain and toe nail trauma.
So what do you need to look for in a well fitted shoe?
Firstly, the shoe should have a firm heel counter. Press on the back of the shoe and the heel should remain upright, it should not compress and flatten under the weight of your finger. This will help to stabilise the heel and keep the foot in a good position during all activities.
The midsole of the shoe should be torsionally strong. If you hold the front and the back of the shoe you should not be able to twist the shoe in opposite directions along its length. You do however want to make sure that the shoe bends under the ball of the foot to allow for movement of these joints to push off when walking and running.
Avoid cheap childrens shoes as they are often made from synthetics and are not breathable, little feet can become rather sweaty when running around all day.
When your child’s foot is in the shoe you should be able to press your thumb down in the space between their toes and the end of the shoe. This allows a little room for the feet if they swell during the day and if they are to slide forward in the shoes the nails will not become bruised from pressure when walking or running down hills.
Our podiatrists at Highett Podiatry will be more than happy to asses your child’s feet and make sure that their shoes still fit their growing feet. It’s also a good time of the year to check those orthotics to make sure they still fit correctly and are functioning with their desired purpose.