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Everything You Must Know About Keeping Your Kids’ Feet Healthy – Learn the 8 Most Important Facts!

keeping-kids'-feet-healthy

My name is Juan Valenzuela and I have been fitting children’s shoes and orthotics for the last 10 years at a premier children’s shoe store specializing in proper fit for over 40 years. We specialize in children with foot and leg problems, but we provide regular shoe fittings as well. It’s important for us to carry top quality shoes that are available in different widths, as that’s the only way we can guarantee to fit every single child.

The type of shoes that you choose for your children play a key role in keeping their feet and legs healthy.

I have fitted some of the most supportive, lightweight, flexible, breathable, and durable children’s shoes but if you don’t provide your child with the correct shoe size your child won’t get any of the benefits that the shoes have to offer. By getting the correct shoe size I mean the correct shoe length and the correct shoe width, so it’s always important to find shoe styles that come in different widths such as narrow (N), medium (M), wide (W), and extra wide (XW).

In this article I will share with you everything that you need to know about keeping your children’s feet healthy and provide you with a selection of the best children’s shoes from their first steps all the way up to their teenage years.

1- Your Kids’ Growing Feet Are Developing Feet!

Did you know that the foot is a complex structure comprised of 26 bones? It’s important to support and protect your kids’ feet with the correct type of shoes because bones are designed to support our entire body, adapt to uneven surfaces and absorb shock.

Babies have more cartilage than bone, which as they grow will fuse and harden into adult bones. At this stage, you should provide your baby with a pair of soft sole shoes and allow them to walk barefoot and home, that way you can promote healthy and natural foot development.

You need to provide your baby with a pair of shoes as soon as you decide to take your baby to play outside, and the shoes serve as protection purposes.

easy-to-put-on-baby-shoes

If you have a baby that is learning how to walk,  I recommend that you take a look at the article below:

The Best Shoes For Babies Learning How To Walk – Allow Them To Take Those First Steps With Confidence!

Once you provide your child with the correct type of shoes that are the correct size, you can have the peace of mind that you are keeping your kids’ feet and legs healthy.

Even though the structure of the foot develops fully by the first 2 years, the bones themselves don’t fully develop and harden until the child reaches the age of 18. This is the reason why it’s so important to provide your children with good shoes from an early stage, so that the bones are allowed to develop naturally.

You will end up saving a lot of time and money in the future by preventing foot issues to your child’s feet such as blisters, calluses, corns, as well as general foot and leg pain.

Shoes that are too small or too narrow hinder proper foot growth by cramping the toes against one another and make them rub against the side of the shoes. This can also lead to blisters, calluses, and corns. On the other hand, shoes that are too long or too wide allow for too much foot movement inside the shoes and this constant friction also leads to the creation of blisters. Shoes that are too long or too wide can compromise your child’s stability, risking serious injury.

The article below will help you identify whether your child is wearing the correct shoe size:

How Can I Make Sure My Kids’ Shoes Fit? – Learn The Secret Here!

The Best Baby Shoes ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Below you can find a selection of the best shoes for babies that are learning how to walk. These shoes are available in medium (M), wide (W), and extra wide (XW). Disclosure: Keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases.

M,W,XWM,W,XWM,W,XWM,W,XWM,W,XWM,W,XWM,W,XWM,W,XWM,W,XWM,WM,WM,WM,W,XWM,W,XWM,W,XWNarrow, M,W,XWNarrow, M,W,XWNarrow, M,W,XW

In order to allow for growing room, I highly recommend that parents order these shoes a half a size larger than the size their children’s feet measure. This translates to 0.3 inches or 0.7 centimeters of space between your child’s longest toe and the end of the shoes.

2- Soft Sole or Hard Sole Shoes for Your Child?

There are two opposing opinions regarding soft sole and hard sole shoes. I believe that one is not better than the other, it’s just depends on what stage your child is in terms of walking.

When a child is learning how to walk I always fit them in shoes that come with soft soles as we want the baby’s muscles to work to find balance and strength. We won’t to avoid their feet to rely on the strength of the shoe, as this will impede the development of muscles in the foot and ankle.

Once the child is already walking and running they will be ready for a more supportive, substantial shoe. Hard sole shoes will help to prevent foot problems such as flat feet, pronated feet, and rolled ankles.

Soft sole shoes or hard sole shoes should be chosen depending on what stage of walking your child is going through. If you want to learn more about which shoe is more appropriate for your child take a look at these two posts I recently wrote:

Soft Sole Shoes For Babies – The Best Shoes For Your Baby That Is Learning How To Walk!

Hard Sole Shoes For Babies – Are They The Right Choice For Your First Walker?

3- The Younger the Foot, the Faster it Grows!

Do you feel like you are constantly replacing your kids’ shoes? Hang in there because as soon as your child reaches the age of 3 you won’ have to replace your kids’ shoes as often!

The reason why you feel like you are constantly buying new shoes is because the greatest changes in foot growth occur during the first 3 years. Relax, it only gets easier from now on.

I recommend getting your child’s foot measured at least once every three months to make sure your child is wearing the correct shoe size. Before the age of 3 you might find replacing your kids shoes every 3 months, but once they reach the age of 4 you can count on replacing them every 4 to 5 months — this does not include exceptions due to growth spurts.

Shoes that are too short or too narrow can deform the toes and permanently damage the foot as well as creating issues such as blisters, calluses, and corns.

4- Kids’ Feet Handle More Stress Than Adults’ Feet!

Once your child starts walking and putting pressure on the feet all the time, you will have to find a pair of hard sole (supportive shoes) to minimize the impact that the feet and legs take every time they become in contact with the ground.

Did you know that children’s feet experience about 3 times more stress than the average adult foot?

The reason for this is that children are involved in high activity levels and greater proportion of high impact activities compared to adults. Due to this high stress that a child’s foot endures, you must provide your children with shoes that provide good shock absorption, a supportive sole, and a firm heel counter.

Please don’t confuse supportive shoes with stiffer shoes. The shoes must be supportive but still lightweight and flexible enough in order to help your children strengthen the muscles on their own!

Below you can find the best selection of shoes for children that are already walking and putting pressure on their feet. The shoes below will fit a child that has medium (M), or wide feet (W) — choose the width accordingly.

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In order to allow for growing room, I highly recommend that parents order these shoes style a whole size larger than the size their children’s feet measure. This translates to 0.6 inches or 1 centimeter of space between your child’s longest toe and the end of the shoes.

5- Feet Are the Foundation for Your Entire Body!

I have spoken with several foot doctors that agree that most foot problems and pains in adulthood come from wearing ill-fitting shoes when they were young.

One thing I try to always emphasize to parents is that our feet play a key role in keeping us healthy. The foot is not a separate entity, but an integral body part that supports the entire skeletal structure.

Wearing shoes that don’t properly fit puts your child at risk for injury or deformity later in life. Problems with posture, walking, and even back pain are associated with wearing the wrong type of shoes or the wrong shoe size.

6- Arch Support for Children Should be Different Than Arch Support for Adults!

Has your child been diagnosed with flat feet or rolled ankles?

Don’t be alarmed if you don’t notice your babies arch, as at that stage the arch will usually not be visible or developed until the child reaches 2 years old, and even then, it is not a fully developed arch.

This is the reason why you won’t find many babies and toddlers shoes with arch support as it is not necessary.

Once that your child reaches the age of 5 the arch should be visible. If at this stage your child complains about foot or leg pain and you notice that they are flat-footed, you should take him or her to the pediatrician or physical therapist so they can evaluate your kids’ feet.

After the age of 3, you should start looking for shoes that include some type of arch support and a firm heel counter, padded collars and flexibility and durability. Below you can find a selection of the most supportive and durable shoes for your child. These shoes fit children with medium (M), wide (W), and extra wide feet (XW).

ToddlersToddlersToddlersToddlersToddlersToddlersLittle KidsLittle KidsLittle KidsLittle KidsLittle KidsLittle KidsBig KidsBig KidsBig KidsBig KidsBig KidsBig Kids

In order to allow for growing room, I highly recommend that parents order these shoes a half a size larger than the size their children’s feet measure. This translates to 0.3 inches or 0.7 centimeters of space between your child’s longest toe and the end of the shoes.

7- Shoes Affect Sweaty Feet, and Sweaty Feet Affect Shoes!

Are you having issues with your child’s feet smelling bad?

Kids’ feet sweat a lot. Did you know that a kid’s foot sweats about 2-3 times more than an adult’s foot? Believe it or not this is one reason why kids are known to wear down shoes faster than adults.

Besides affecting the durability of the shoes, the sweat can lead to the development of bacteria inside the shoes which can lead to foot infections. For these reasons, it’s important to choose breathable shoes that allow the moisture and heat from your child’s foot to escape, and allow cool air in.

If you want to learn more about which are the best shoes for a child that has sweaty feet you can take a look at an article I wrote where I describe the best type of shoes for children with sweaty feet:

The Best Shoes For Sweaty Feet – The Proven Method To Stop Kids Feet From Sweating!

The type of socks that you choose for your child will also affect how much your child’s feet sweat.

While I can’t get into too much detail about what are the best socks for children with sweaty feet you can learn more about them in this article:

The Best Socks For Kids With Sweaty Feet – PREVENT Your Kids’ Feet From Smelling!

socks-for-kids-with-smelly-feet

8- Shoe Materials Make a Difference!

The best type of shoe material that you can provide to your child is leather not just in terms of durability but also when it comes to breathability and flexibility. Shoes made out of leather tend to mold to your child’s feet and soften with wear, which is ideal for an active little foot.

If you have been looking for a pair of leather shoes for your child, you can find the best kind in an article I wrote called:

Leather Shoes For Kids – Keeping Your Kids Feet Healthy!

Some synthetic and canvas materials will breathe and flex like leather, but some will not, so always be mindful when choosing shoes made of synthetic materials.

Please refrain from providing your child with shoes made out of plastics, as they do not breathe or stretch, and they can easily cause sweaty feet and several foot issues such as blisters, calluses, and corns.

Have you been having issues finding a particular shoe style for your child? Please do not hesitate to contact me and I will help you find it: fittingchildrensshoes@gmail.com

Do you have a children’s shoe store in your area that you trust? I get contacted by parents daily and they want to know whether there is a good children’s shoe store in their area, so if you do have one please let us know in the comments section below so all parents can benefit from your experience.

STOP BUYING THE WRONG PAIR OF SHOES FOR YOUR CHILDREN.LETS START TAKING CARE OF THEIR FEET!

I created this webpage to help parents understand the importance that shoes have in healthy foot development and how they can prevent foot problems in the future.Join the rest of the parents who are taking care of their kids feet and get my guide for free: 10 Mistakes Parents Must Avoid When Buying Shoes for their Kids.






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