If you want to know the answer to a question you go to social media, right? Facebook is full of information and useful advice, isn’t it? Whilst we’re sure there’s a lot to be gained from social media, sadly, it’s also an avenue to receive misinformation and poor advice.
Whilst good intentions may be meant, myths circulate as fact. And if it comes to seeing something in the written word, we tend to believe it a little more.
Unfortunately, we’ve seen this many a time in the kids shoe industry. The fine line between fact and fiction becomes blurred and parents are left wondering if they’re making the right choices when it comes to their kids shoes.
Today we’re going to debunk some strong myths that have been circulating since the beginning of shoes. From the mouths of shoe specialists, this written word you can take to the bank.
Hand-me-downs are fine.
The short answer to this one is no! Hand me down shoes are not fine because each child’s foot is different. Have you ever tried to wear someone else’s shoes and all you could feel was the bumps and creases of an insole digging in. This is because the shoes have been moulded to that person’s foot. This is the same with kids shoes. Shoes that have been worn in will be moulded to that child’s foot. Even a sibling will not have the same foot bed as their brother or sister. Incorrectly fitting shoes can cause poor foot development, sore feet and poor posture. All these issues can magnify into long term issues as they get older.
Buy bigger and they can grow into them.
Again, this sounds great in theory. Buy them a little bigger so they get more wear out of them. Unfortunately, kids shoes can’t be grouped in the same thought pattern as clothing. Incorrectly fitting shoes will not have the supports where they are needed most and kids feet will slide in the shoe or they may come off all together. Shoes that are too big also pose a trip hazard which could result in injury or a child who loses confidence in their abilities.
Buy cheap shoes because they’re only going to grow out of them anyway.
We have to say this one is probably the most common one we read. As shoe specialists, it’s the one that hurts the most. Of course, we understand the thought process behind trying to save a few dollars. We haven’t found that elusive money tree either! The problem with buying cheap anything is you get what you pay for. A pair of shoes that’s the same price as a coffee and muffin is sadly probably not going to last much longer than said coffee and muffin. Poorly constructed shoes are not made to protect feet or adequately support them. They are usually made from poor quality man made materials such as plastic that will split, tear or crack.
Most times, the idea to save money is lost when you’re replacing the same shoe in the same size a few weeks later. A good quality shoe will give proper researched support to the foot where it’s needed most and the materials will be made to breath and last. Most good quality shoes are made from leather. Soles are usually good quality rubber with flexibility for coordinated foot movement. All these features go a long way in encouraging good foot development and help to prevent costly foot problems in the future.
The sturdier the sole, the better the support.
Have you ever tried to walk in a pair of clogs? The myth of solid, sturdy soles is also debunked. When you walk, your foot flexes and moves with ease. Children’s feet are actually more flexible than adult feet as the bones are not fully formed yet. In fact, very young children’s feet are still cartilage. For this reason, kids shoes actually need to be more flexible and soft to encourage natural foot movement. Babies and toddlers should be in soft sole shoes where they can still feel the ground. Kids who are actively running and playing should be in shoes that have good flexibility and a good quality rubber sole to prevent slipping. Hard surfboard soled shoes (think most cheap kids character shoes with inch-thick soles) are definitely not the right shoes for children.
Buying shoes online is too risky.
Once upon a time this might have been the case. But technology, sizing guides and how to measure kids feet articles have made the process a whole lot easier. Gone are the days of dragging the kids kicking and screaming around shoe shops. Online shopping has made it easy to log on and buy the next size of your kids favourite shoes knowing they will fit perfectly. With every shoe now available on the internet, it’s merely a matter of measuring, sizing up the shoe and buying. If you’re still in doubt, contact the retailer for some more advice and check the returns policy to make sure you can change the size if need be.
So, there you have it. The top 5 myths around kids shoes debunked. We know we’re biased, but we can’t stress enough the importance of getting your kids shoes right to give their feet the best chance at a happy, healthy walking life.
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