Much research has shown that the position of your child’s feet can have an enormous effect on the developing musculoskeletal system. The following pointers should be considered when choosing footwear for your child:
Get the child’s foot measured properly.
Consider the heel cup of the shoe as well as the toe-box. Frequently people are concerned with having enough space in the front of the shoe and do not consider that the child’s relatively narrow heel may be sliding around in the heel cup.
If the older child is very fashion conscious and you are under pressure to buy a heeled shoe, it would be better to buy a slightly platformed shoe where the difference between heel and toe height is small. Such shoes however would need to be very flexible under the arch of the foot.
Check the footwear regularly during the year as the foot changes shape throughout the school term.
Avoid heels in young children’s shoes as this encourages abnormal foot development and an abnormal gait pattern. (they may have a detrimental effect on the developing position of the spine and pelvis.)
A shoe with Velcro strap or buckles are best for young children to enable them change quickly at recess time. Laced shoes will tend to be pulled on and off without opening them. (It is however useful to have a pair of shoes or runners, with laces, for home use, so that the child can learn to tie and untie laces.
Remember that your child spends about 5 hours a day in their indoor school slippers so the above points should be considered along with the following:
Avoid mule type slippers.
Slippers should be a snug fit around the heel and offer some support.
A suitable light indoor shoe or the child’s summer sandal may be an option for in school wear.
Check the shoe/slipper at least twice during each school term.
Try to have a slip on,Velcro strap or buckled indoor shoe for easy changing.
– Theresa McGinn BSc Hons MISCP Chartered Physiotherapist.