We all want our little ones to grow up healthy and strong. That include much thought and consideration placed in the type of shoes they wear because this affects their musculature, gait and posture in the long run.
In general, there are three things to consider when buying a shoe for your little ones.
1. A wide toebox
It is important that the shoe has a wide toebox that fits the natural shape of children's feet and leave enough wiggle room for the child's toes. Pointed shoes may cause a child's toes to be squashed together, resulting in foot problems like bunions and calluses in the long run. An ideal shoe design provides a wide enough space for your children to wiggle their toes comfortably.
2. Flat heel with no incline
A rounded flat heel with no lift is ideal. This is important because a heel's incline can push the child's foot to the front of the shoe, potentially affecting the child's gait or posture. The child may also suffer from ingrown toenails in the long run. A flat heel creates a stable base of support for your child's body weight to be supported evenly throughout the foot, instead of placing disproportionate pressure on certain points of his foot.
3. Flexible sole
According to the "barefoot is best" theory, a child's foot grows best in the absence of footwear, which is why babies are not encouraged to use footwear till they start to learn how to walk. A child's shoe should have a flexible sole that is not too stiff and uncomfortable. The sole should be flexible enough to allow for optimal movement of the child's foot, supporting his or her natural foot motion. The bestseller "Born to Run" is a good book to read to learn more about this scientific theory.
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it touches upon the basic principles of what you should consider when buying children's shoes. As such, it is worth thinking about the general categories of footwear available to children in the market and whether they meet the qualities stated above.
Disclaimer: This is a general post about shoe design for children. We are not providing medical advice. Please consult your child's podialogist for further information or any questions you may have regarding this post.