Problems with the feet can impact many other areas in the body, which highlights why we need to take children's foot care so seriously
For young children who are still developing, wrongly fitting shoes can cause foot problems with extreme pain and discomfort, which can haunt them in later life.
As their bodies are still developing, some children may experience mechanical problems of the foot. These issues can be exasperated and further damaged by wearing wrongly fitting shoes.
Below you will find some issues we often see during our fitting and measuring appointments, all of which can potentially be helped and avoided through correctly fitting shoes:
Flat feet in children
This is a common condition when the arches don’t develop normally, causing the entire foot to touch the ground. All children are born with flat feet and most will outgrow it, however, some may never develop arches which can then contribute to knee and ankle problems later on in life.
Correctly fitted shoes with the right amount of arch support will assist the correct development and give the foot the support it needs during their important growth years.
As they grow older, children’s flat feet can sometimes be a symptom of misaligned feet, which can cause your child to have an inward rolling of the ankles, also known as hyper-pronation. This is a bone problem that leads to over stretching of the tendons and ligaments.
Being fitted by professionals with supportive, motion-control shoes will greatly help this over-pronation, along with strengthening exercises to help the foot arch and stride correct itself.
Heel bone pain
Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain. This is where the thick band of tissue that connects the heel bone with the rest of the foot becomes damaged and thickened. It is most common between the ages of 40 and 60 but we wanted to explain it further here because we do have a number of ladies that suffer from it and Skechers Arch Support are very popular for this.
Shoes with a thick firm cushion and arch support will decrease the tension on the plantar fascia and impact on the heel. We have an excellent selection of Skechers with Arch Fit support in them which many of our customers cannot live without.
Sever’s disease is a type of heel pain that is common in children between 8 and 14 years of age that do running and jumping sports and/or are going through a growth spurt. Essentially, the bones grow faster than the tendons can stretch.
Wearing correctly fitted shoes with padded soles and good support is a must. To further avoid this issue from developing into something more serious, it is recommended not to walk barefoot.
Wearing shoes with not enough toe room can cause ingrown toenails.
Tightly fitting shoes place too much pressure on the toes, or pinches them, which may cause a nail to grow into the surrounding tissue. Keep in mind that younger children’s nerves are not fully developed, so they may not be able to sense if their shoes are too tight.
Checking your children’s feet regularly for in-grown toenails, whilst ensuring their shoes offer enough room for the toes to stretch and move will help prevent ingrown toenails from developing. See our advice for measuring kid's shoes at home so you can confidently check this yourself!
A blister is typically caused by excessive friction that occurs on a portion of the foot.
There are four common reasons why children develop blisters on their feet:
- Shoes that don’t fit properly: Too short and the toes will be cramped and overlapping, or rubbing on the side of the shoe. Too long and they will allow your child’s feet to move too much, causing unwanted friction.
- Low-quality and poorly made shoes: Poor quality shoes tend to be stiffer and less breathable, causing feet to sweat. This can make the skin softer and more vulnerable to blisters.
- Wearing back-to-school shoes after a long, hot summer of very little shoe-wearing: We always highly recommend every child starts to wear their new school shoes at home for a couple of hours a day and gradually build it up before wearing them for a full school day. We do not recommend wearing new shoes for a whole day at school, without breaking them in at home first as this can result in blisters forming.
- Not wearing socks or the correct socks: Having no barrier, or too thick a barrier, between the foot and the shoe will affect the fit of your child’s shoes and therefore it is more likely for friction to occur, resulting in blisters.
If you see or feel any areas that may develop into a blister (such as broken or soft skin), we strongly recommend applying blister plasters right away to prevent blisters from developing.
This ties in with our advice on foot care tips, as checking and washing your child’s feet regularly will allow you to spot blisters before they fully develop.
For more information on common foot problems in children, or for more detailed advice on any of the above-mentioned issues, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.