Shoes for Babies with Clubfoot – Find the Most Appropriate Shoes
Does your baby have clubfoot and are you having a hard time getting acquainted with this condition and finding the correct shoes? Although I am not a medical professional, please rest assured that I will share all of my knowledge and research on clubfoot and I will also provide you with you a selection of the best shoes for babies with clubfoot.
Clubfoot is more common than you may think and I have found that more frequently than not, parents are not fully familiarized with this condition. Therefore before we dive into the shoe selection, let’s go over some general but important information regarding this condition.
What is Clubfoot?
Clubfoot, also known as “talipes”, is a condition where the baby’s foot or feet is twisted out of shape or position. It can either be one foot or both feet pointing down and inwards with the sole of the foot facing backwards.
It’s important to note that not all clubfoot are the same. There are different degrees of clubfoot such as mild, moderate, or severe. Below you can find a baby with a moderate to severe degree of clubfoot:
Below you can find a toddler with a mild to moderate degree of clubfoot:
It is worth noting that clubfoot is a common birth defect and is usually an isolated problem for an otherwise healthy newborn baby. Did you know that boys are about twice as likely to develop clubfoot than girls are?
Why Does Clubfoot Happen?
In most cases the cause of clubfoot remains unknown. There may be a genetic link, as it can likely run in the family. Club foot happens since the tendon (the large tendon at the back of the ankle) is too short, more the usual. It is normally not painful for babies, but it can become painful and make it difficult for a baby to walk if the condition is not treated.
When is Clubfoot Diagnosed?
Clubfoot is usually diagnosed when a baby is born, and it can be mild or severe. Note that it also may be visible during the routine ultrasound scan done between 18 and 21 weeks.
What Are The Most Common Signs of Clubfoot?
➡️ You will notice that the top of the foot is usually twisted downward and inward, increasing the arch and turning the heel inward.
➡️ The foot may be turned twisted out of shape or position so noticeably that it looks as if it’s upside down.
➡️ You may be able to tell that the affected leg or foot may be slightly shorter.
➡️ The calf muscles in the affected leg are usually underdeveloped and this may be visible and easy to spot.
When Should You Consult a Medical Doctor?
Right away! More than likely your doctor will notice clubfoot soon after your child is born, based on appearance and on the signs that I shared with you above. Your doctor will be best suited to advise you on the most appropriate treatment or refer you to a doctor who specializes in bone and muscle problems (i.e., a pediatric orthopedist). It is also somewhat common for the baby’s feet to correct on their own by 3 months, but again it is best to consult with your doctor.
In addition, many doctors consider using the Ponseti method, which is a systematic series of casting and orthotic bracing treatments that can permanently and non-surgically correct clubfoot. The medical professional may also go over more detail on the treatment and maintenance phases. Note, the Ponseti method is successful is said to be successful on average of 90% of cases.
The Importance of Being Proactive – Don’t Take the “Wait and See Approach”
Timing can be key role player! Consider that early treatment as well as following the bracing program closely are crucial. Clubfoot responds well to treatment but if left untreated, clubfoot will become worse with age and make it hard for your child to walk.
Many parents report that they usually have to buy or order multiple shoes online before finding one that fits their baby with clubfoot. I understand that it can be challenging to find shoes for babies or kids with clubfoot, but it’s critical to make sure that your kids’ shoes fit properly, as shoes that are too wide or too narrow can create all sorts of additional issues.
After the foot position has been corrected, it’s important to hold and maintain the child’s foot and ankle in the corrected position by wearing shoes that provide straight lasts, supportive outsoles, and firm heel counters. Allow me to illustrate shortly.
What Makes the Shoes I Recommend Ideal for Babies with Clubfoot?
1️⃣ Substantial outsole for a stable base of support:
2️⃣ Firm heel counter provides ankle and heel support:
3️⃣ Lightweight and flexible at the same time. Your baby’s shoes should always bend at the toes but no further. If you can bend your baby’s shoes as a spiral then it means that they won’t be supportive enough. The image below shows a pair of booties with the correct amount of flexibility:
4️⃣ Straight lasts to help improve your baby’s foot posture:
Do Most Babies with Clubfoot Have Wide Feet?
Yes, they do, and sometimes this makes it harder for parents to get the shoes on and off. The good news is that all of the shoes I recommend are available in wide and extra wide widths, and have oversized openings, which makes it easier for parents to get the shoes on and off.
Shoes for Babies with Clubfoot – Find The Most Appropriate Shoes
Finally, please find below my selection of the best shoes for babies with clubfoot. Disclosure: Note that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases, this allows us to create free content and resources.
Consider that these shoes will provide compression to the foot, which promotes the recovery of the clubfoot. However, for how long these shoes should be worn depends on the severity of the clubfoot for your baby. Therefore, I can’t stress enough that you should always consult with your medical doctor or pediatric orthopedist.
How to Retrieve Your Child’s Exact Foot Size – Order the Correct Shoe Size Online!
Ensuring you know the right foot length and width is the first step to finding the correct shoes for your baby. Thereafter, with accurate measurements, you’ll have a reliable reference point for shopping online, and this will give you a broader range of choices for any kind of shoes online.
For this reason, I created a different article to assist parents in determining their kids’ foot size and shape at home effectively and with ease. This easy-to-follow method allows parents to accurately determine their child’s correct foot length and width, as well as instep height.
Does Your Child Have a Big Size Difference Between His/Her Feet?
Some children with clubfoot demonstrated an average of 1.5 size smaller shoes for the involved side. If this is the case with your child, you can get away with buying the same shoe size for both feet by compromising the amount of growing room in the longer foot. For example, let’s say that your child’s smaller foot measures a toddler shoe size 10, and the other foot measures a size 11.5. In this case, I suggest buying the shoe size 11.5 for both feet.
If your child has a size difference bigger than 1.5 then I suggest buying two different shoe sizes, one to accommodate the smaller foot and the other to accommodate the longer foot. I have helped certain children who came to the shoe store to be fitted for shoes that had a 3 full shoe size difference between the feet.
There are certain shoe companies that will charge you full price for the first pair and give you 40% off for the second one. You should take a look at this resource if this applies to your child.
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“Clubfoot.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 28 June 2019, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/clubfoot/symptoms-causes/syc-20350860.
“Clubfoot: Boston Children’s Hospital.” Boston Children’s Hospital, www.childrenshospital.org/conditions-and-treatments/conditions/c/clubfoot.