Babies don’t know how to walk and their parents teach them in the first few years of their lives. The change from creeping to walking is a big one and many things can go wrong. When the toddler made first steps then parents are able to see whether orthopaedic shoes for kids are necessary. Two conditions have been treated with orthopaedic shoes – in-toeing and flat developing of the longitudinal arch. Both conditions prevent proper posture and walking. Children foot evaluation is necessary when the child reaches 5-6 years of age. You should also see this article for more details on when you need to go and visit an orthopaedic doctor for kids. Often these doctors will recommend orthopaedic shoes for children with orthopaedic problems so without further delay, let’s see what type of shoes are most useful for a child’s foot.
What should we have in mind while choosing children shoes?
Children shoes should be:
- They should be flat. Heels and high soles cause numerous bad things, like deformity and cramping. Proper weight distribution is the essence for the good posture and walking;
- The sole has to be flexible. Feet need strength and still, shoes can’t provide it;
- The shoes have to be with porous upper because feet need to breath;
- Non-slippery soles. As you may know, kids don’t walk slowly, they run, jump and fall often. That’s why choosing sole that is not slippery we might reduce the chance of injuries;
- Enough space in the shoe. Some parents want to choose clothes and shoes that are exact size but this is not the best idea. When it comes to kids, always choose one size bigger because they grow fast and toes should have enough space. If toes are too pressed then the walking can change;
All these things are not recommendable they are mandatory if you want your child’s feet to develop properly. Recent studies show that people who don’t wear shoes don’t have in-toeing and flat longitudinal arch. In addition, they have better mobility than people who have worn all their life shoes.
What are the most common feet troubles?
Flat foot or flat longitudinal arch
The first problem we will dig deeper into is flat feet. Actually, this is a short name for bad developing of the longitudinal arch. Toddlers don’t have completely formed longitudinal arch. It starts to form at 6-8 years old children. Barefoot children have a well-developed longitudinal arch, and they are stronger and more mobile. That’s why you can let your child go barefoot as often as possible. If you think that this will be impossible, find orthopaedic shoes for your child. Unfortunately, if parents had flat foot then the child has bigger chances to inherit it. The gene is so strong that it is possible the child to inherit it from another relative not only from parents.
Bad gait is a big trouble and people should pay attention before it is too late. In-toeing causes bad gait and there is no second opinion on that. In the past, orthopaedists prescribe wedges for correcting in-toeing but today we know that they don’t work at all. Other specialists think that external rotation muscles need exercising so they prescribe a workout but this method doesn’t show significant improvements, also. Today, the most common treatment is wearing good, comfortable orthopaedic shoes and having sports activities regularly.
Good shoes have to be light and comfy otherwise it will interfere with a child’s mobility and posture. If you want to determine if one pair of shoes is a good one, just ask the child if he feels barefoot. If the answer is positive then those shoes are the best one. Don’t forget that toes should have plenty of room and the sole shouldn’t be rubberized.
When do children need orthopaedic shoes?
If you notice that the longitudinal arch is not fully developed until the age of 6, you should book an appointment for a specialist. He will determine if the child needs orthopaedic shoes or orthotics. This is extremely important if the child is in some sports activity, which includes running or walking. Bad arch will prevent his performance every time. Thankfully, most kids don’t need special shoes and their feet develop properly in time. However, if you want to encourage the development the arc, let your child get off shoes and walk barefoot. We promise he will enjoy that time and it will be good for his health.