The early yearsWhat to look for whenchoosing your child’s shoesCanvas or soft-leather uppers that areporous enough for air to circulateShapes that match the natural shape ofthe foot, with the front wider than theheel to allow the toes to spreadHeels that are solid and stable and solesthat are flexible but thick enough toprotect the feetA shoes that’s lightweight and fitted tothe larger foot while your child isstandingUse the rule of thumb; leave a thumb’swidth of space between the toe of theshoe and the end of the big toeWhen shoes become difficult to put on, oryour child wants to take them off and becarried, it’s probably time to buynew shoes.
of a child’s feet, watching for anyabnormal signs or missed milestones.
He says if a child is not walking by 18months, or is tripping or expressingpain when walking, you’ll want to talkto your doctor.
Other signs of concern in the firstfive years include lumps or bumpson the child’s feet, uneven shoe wear,toenail problems or unusual footodours. Foot pain is not normal. AndSonnema says if a child complains offoot discomfort or pain, somethingneeds to be remedied.
But the appearance of flat feet, oftena cause of anxiety for new parents,
is completely normal, Sonnema says.“The arch of a one-year-old child whois walking appears flat because it’spadded with fat.” The arch begins todevelop around the age of three, andthe normal adult shape of the footappears by the age of seven or eight.
Sonnema says if your child’s feetare developing normally, goingbarefoot or wearing well-fitted shoeswill neither harm nor improve footfunction or growth. Going barefootmakes the soles harder and lesssensitive, but wearing shoes doesn’tmake feet weaker. “You don’t need towalk barefoot if you’re wearing properfootwear.”
— Dawna Freeman
See our “Foot note on foot care” atapplemag.ca
If a shoe fits properly, it
doesn’t restrict motion and
growth and it will allow the
foot to function normally