Why Wide Fitting Shoes Are Better For Kids
There is a preconception that children’s feet are the same as adult feet, just smaller. Whilst they may appear to be the same to the naked eye, they are actually very different and need to be treated as such.
Children’s feet are continually developing, a foot is not fully developed until around 18 years of age. At 6 months a baby’s foot is mostly cartilage and at 3 years old the last bones are starting to form. But it isn’t until later on in life that feet are considered to be fully developed. It’s for this reason that children’s feet should be treated as a work in progress, rather than a miniature adult foot.
Some shoe brands believe the correct shoe for a child is one that mimics the adult shoe. Mini versions of runners and shoes that are fully cushioned, padded and solid. We know this to not be the case. Shoes should be flexible, offering the correct support without restricting the foot’s natural growth pattern.
If you look at a child’s foot, you will notice their toes and ball of their feet to be wider than their foot. You may also notice how perfectly formed their little toes are. Feet that have squashed toes, bunions, ingrown toenails or crooked nails have been mistreated in the development stage. These deformities have been caused most likely by ill-fitting shoes or poor foot health.
Toes were naturally designed to ‘fan’ to give balance, flexibility and control when walking. Toes are actually very important in overall balance and being able to walk properly without pain or coordination issues.
We recommend children are fitted with shoes that allow for growth, development and breathability. Our shoes are designed with width in mind. Especially in the front where toe room is essential. Wide fitting shoes allow for the toes to naturally spread in the shoe and maintain balance and control.
When selecting your next pair of shoes for your child, look at the overall design and width in the toe area. Shoes that taper in may look sleek, but they will not do your child’s foot development any favours. Look for wide fitting shoes with space for the toes to spread and grow.