I was recently contacted by a parent of a child that was explaining me how hard it was to find shoes for her daughter that had a condition called hemihypertrophy.
This is a condition in which there is excessive (hyper) growth (trophy) of only one side (hemi) of the body, it can be the right side or the left side.
When a child has hemihypertrophy two different sized shoes are usually required. It’s important for you to know that many shoe stores have a policy to offer a “Buy One Get One 40%” off deal for times when two different sizes are needed.
I have been working for a children’s shoe store for over 10 years now, and I know everything that relates to children’s shoes and the way they FIT. This is a specialized shoe store that focuses on children with foot and leg problems, and we carry some of the most supportive children’s shoes and orthotics.
In order to fit orthotics inside the shoes, we must carry shoes that are available in different widths such as wide and extra wide, that is why I am familiar with every single shoe style that is available in extra wide widths.
For the last three years I have dedicated myself to helping parents find the perfect pair of shoes for their children ONLINE.
In this article, I will describe the best children’s shoes for hemihypertrophy.
I have fitted a couple of children with hemihypertrophy and all of them required two different sized shoes. I noticed that there were three important requirements that the shoes must provide in order to FIT a child with hemihypertrophy:
- The shoes must be DEEP: This feature will allow your child’s feet to fit deeply inside the shoes. It’s really important for the shoes to be deep since this will allow your child’s feet to sit deeply inside the shoes and this also make a tremendous difference when you are trying to put your child’s shoes on.
- The shoes must come with a ROUND TOE-BOX: This feature will prevent your child’s toes from overlapping each other or rubbing against the side of the shoes.
- The shoes must be available in EXTRA WIDE widths: This is a requirement, if the shoes are not labeled as extra wide, they will NOT fit the shape of your child’s feet. Please keep in mind that a shoe is labeled as “extra wide” won’t automatically fit the shape of your child’s swollen feet. For example, a shoe style labeled as extra wide in the Saucony brand won’t fit as wide as a shoe labeled as extra wide in the New Balance brand. Even among the New Balance brand there are certain shoe styles labeled as extra wide that will fit wider than others.
Let’s take a look at two different shoe styles in the same length and width (10 extra wide). Notice how the shoe on the left (New Balance), has a much rounder toe-box than the shoe on the right (Saucony).
These are the 3 most important features that we need to find in the shoes. However, the shoes must also be supportive, lightweight, and flexible.
There is one particular shoe style that I have found to be the most effective one when fitting children with hemihypertrophy . This shoe style fulfills all the requirements that I mentioned before and it’s my to-go shoe style for children with really extra wide or swollen feet.
I want you to remember one thing: It doesn’t matter how narrow or how wide your kids’ feet are, there is at least one particular shoe style out there that will fit the shape of your child’s feet perfectly, and I will HELP YOU find it.
The key is to find a shoe style that will allow us to fit the shape of your child’s feet without getting the shoes too long. Just so you know, once you measure your child’s feet, the next step is to try to fit the shoes a “half a size to a whole size longer” of the size that your child measures in the shoe measuring scale (Brannock device) in order to allow for growing room without fitting the shoes too long.
Leaving too much growing can compromise your child’s stability and make him or her more prone to falling down.
The longest I had to fit a shoe for a child with hemihypertrophy was a “whole size and a half longer” of the size that he measured at the shoe measuring scale.
Here you can find the best shoe style for children with hemihypertrophy:
The first option is available for girls with hemihypertrophy:
This second option is available for boys with hemihypertrophy:
I strongly recommend that you provide your child with a pair of shoes with shoelaces instead of Velcro closure, since shoelaces will provide more support and more stability to your child’s feet (consider that the shoes will be a little in the longer side as it is).
These shoe styles are both classic sneakers with a passing grade for school use and everyday wear. They are both made of leather and suede with a mesh upper to allow your child’s feet to breathe.
What Are Other Parents Saying About These Shoes?
“I have a 5-year-old boy who has very thick feet and wears orthotics that take a lot of space inside the shoes. This shoe style in the XW allows the orthotics to fit perfectly inside the shoes. I have found that New Balance shoes fit his extra wide feet and orthotics very well, but this particular shoe works wonderfully”
“My son has the widest feet ever, they are thick and he has a very high instep, which makes it near to impossible to find shoes to accommodate the shape of his feet. I have tried many different shoe styles by New Balance and the only one that seems to work for his feet are the 990v4 styles. All other shoes used to leave marks on the top of his feet! I hope New Balance keeps making this shoe style until my son’s feet start to stretch out a little”.
“This is the only shoe style that my daughter likes to wear. She has the widest feet and sensitive feet, and this is the only shoe that she finds comfortable. Seamless socks and these make mornings a breeze. They are expensive, but they have never worn out before she has outgrown them. She is also very rough on her shoes and this always have held up properly”.
Heel Lifts For Leg Length Discrepancy
If you have noticed that your child’s legs seem uneven, you might have to provide your child with a pair of heel lifts to compensate for this discrepancy.
Heel lifts can be one of the best solutions to your kids’ leg length discrepancy. Of course that the greater the discrepancy between the legs, the more problems this can cause.
Of course I recommend parents to take their children to their doctor when there is some sort of leg length discrepancy. What I have learned at the store is that no treatment is generally required if your kid’s final leg length discrepancy is less than 2 centimeters at full height. However, if the discrepancy is more than 2 centimeters, doctors might require one of these two options:
- Surgery (to shorten the longer leg or to lengthen the shorter leg)
- Heel lift in one shoe (to even the legs out).
Obviously, the heel lift option is the most convenient and economical one, and it is not nearly as invasive.
While I can’t get into too much detail about the importance of heel lifts in this article, you should take a look at another article I wrote where I describe the best heel lifts for a child that has leg length discrepancy:
Socks Play An Important Role Too!
Socks play a key role in keeping your children’s feet healthy, since they act as a barrier between your kids’ feet and the shoes. Socks prevent infections and the formation of bacteria inside the shoes.
It’s important to choose the correct type of socks for your child with hemihyperthrophy, since we don’t want to constrict the toes or make them overlap each other. There is a type of sock that is idea for children with swollen or extra wide feet: Seamless socks.
Seamless socks won’t constrict your children’s toes, so if you need a pair of socks for your child you can find a selection of the best seamless socks that I have fitted before:
I hope you found the article helpful and please do not hesitate to contact me if you ever need help finding a particular shoe style for your child.
Have you tried this shoe style for your child with hemihyperthrophy? Is there a particular shoe style that has worked well and that you would recommend to other parents? Please share your thoughts and experiences below so other parents can benefit from your experiences.