Children’s feet are vulnerable, there are 26 bones in the foot, but at birth these bones are not fully formed. In fact the bones are not fully developed until young adulthood. We only have 1 pair of feet to last a lifetime so it’s important we look after them.
The function of a shoe is to provide warmth and to protect the foot from injury. When choosing a children’s shoe the material should be breathable. Leather or canvas are the most suitable as they allow the foot to breathe and conform to the shape of the foot. Synthetic materials do not mould to the shape of the foot and furthermore enhance perspiration, which can lead to conditions such as athlete’s foot.
When buying children’s shoes it is important to determine that they are fit for purpose i.e. will it do the job you want it to do. A party shoe will not withstand the rigours of playing out, neither will a school shoe withstand hours of football play. Whilst quality shoes undergo rigorous testing they were never designed to be brakes for scooters or bikes and even a scuff resistant toe is not scuff proof!!!
How long should they last? The simple answer is that every child will wear a shoe differently. Some children are naturally more active than others and heavier on shoes.
As parents we would all like to get as long as possible from a school shoe, however, it is impractical to suggest that a school shoe will last the duration of a school year. Even if the shoe is in one piece, the foot will undoubtedly have changed in depth and length during that time.
SHOE FITTING GUIDE
A good fitting shoe should be snug and firm at the heel with suitable accommodation for the toes. The widest part of the foot should be in the widest part of the shoe, the shoe length should be approximately 1-1.5cm longer than the longest part of the foot. The Society of Shoe Fitters recommend that children’s shoes should be professionally checked by qualified shoe fitters every: • 4-6 weeks for infants aged 0-3 years • 6-8 weeks for children aged 3-4years • and 10-12 weeks thereafter Children’s feet can grow quite erratically, but a good shoe fitter will not sell a pair of shoes unless needed. The majority of the shoes stocked at Little Walkers are manufactured in Europe and are therefore in European sizes. Sizing does vary by manufacturers, so please do contact us for help and advice.
BEST ADVICE: Wear the right shoe for the right occasion! Whether you are climbing hills, attending a wedding, working all day standing, or going to school, you need appropriate footwear. Footwear is designed with a purpose and cannot be expected to perform correctly if worn at the wrong time or in incorrect circumstances.
There is no substitute to having your shoes correctly fitted, allowing a professional to assess the right style, size, fitting, who will observe/assess any problem that may possibly be arising, and giving you good advice – free!