Are you wondering whether your kids’ feet and legs are healthy? Has your child been complaining about foot and leg pain?
Most of my articles discuss children’s feet problems and abnormalities, but in order to fully understand these problems we must first know what constitutes a normal foot.
I am an expert when it comes to fitting children’s shoes since I have worked at a children’s shoe store for 10 years. I have been fitting children’s shoes and orthotics at a premier children’s shoe store specializing in proper fit for over forty years. We specialize in children with foot and leg problems, but we provide regular shoe fitting as well.
If you are wondering about whether your kids’ feet are developing correctly and if they are healthy or not, take a look at the seven criteria a normal foot should meet:
- Viewed from behind, the heel should be in line with the leg.
- Viewed from behind, the forefoot should be in line with the hindfoot.
- Viewed from above, the forefoot should be in line with the hindfoot.
- Viewed from the side the forefoot should not be lower or higher than the hindfoot, nor the foot lower or higher than the leg.
- The leg should not restrict the foot in any of its movements. The leg should not be knock-kneed or bowlegged, which would force the foot in or out.
- The leg should not be twisted inward or outward, which would force the foot to be in-toe (pigeon-toed) or out-toe.
- The leg should not restrict upward or downward movement of the foot. The foot should be able to bend upward by at least 10 degrees when the knee is straight, and the subtalar joint is in a neutral position.
All of these criteria for a normal foot have to do with alignment. Good alignment is necessary if we want our kids’ feet to support their weight and let them walk and run and do all other kind of activities without causing them pain. However, the criteria indicate a normal foot. In reality, many kids’ feet don’t completely meet all the criteria for normalcy, yet a person can be symptom-free and have no walking or running restrictions, because the body is able to compensate for mild to moderate variations in alignment.
Shoes play a key role in the normal development of your child’s feet. The correct pair of shoes (this involves getting the correct shoe length and correct shoe width) will lead to optimal movement and keep your kids’ feet and legs healthy.
After fitting children’s shoes for 10 years I have seen the positive impact that shoes have in keeping your kids’ feet and legs healthy.
Providing your child with the wrong pair of shoes will create all sort of foot issues to your child’s feet such as blisters, calluses, and corns, as well as foot and leg pain. The good news is that you can prevent all these issues from happening by simply providing your child with the correct pair of shoes.
In this article, I will describe the best type of shoes that will keep your kids’ feet and legs healthy.
How Can You Keep Your Kids’ Feet Healthy? – Learn The Secret!
It’s important to keep an eye on your child’s foot development from an early stage since the bones in your kids’ feet are made of soft cartilage that with time develops into bones (this process is known as ossification).
I always emphasize to parents that the most effective way to help their kids’ feet to develop naturally as possible by choosing the correct type of shoes.
I will provide you with a selection of the best children’s shoes, but before I describe them there are certain steps you can take to help your child’s feet develop naturally.
Let’s take a look at a few tips that will help your child’s feet grow, develop and strengthen as naturally as possible:
- You can promote flexibility by tickling your kids’ feet and playing with his or her toes.
- Allow your children to strengthen the muscles and tendons of their feet by letting them walk barefoot around the house. Once your child is ready to play outside provide him/her with a pair of flexible and lightweight shoes.
- Provide your child with shoes that don’t constrict toe movement ( kids’ move their toes as a way of exercising their feet).
- Choose breathable and seamless socks that are made out of cotton or cotton- wool since they tend to absorb moisture and keep the feet warm.
- Make sure your baby’s socks are the correct size in order to prevent your kids’ toes from overlapping each other.
Please remember one thing: It doesn’t matter how many benefits a particular shoe style has to provide for your child, if the shoes are not fitted properly your child won’t get any of the benefits that the shoes have to offer. That is the reason why I only review shoes that I have fitted before, that way I can tell you whether they run short, long, narrow, or wide.
Now that you know what steps to take to allow your child’s feet to develop as naturally as possible, let’s take a look at a selection of the best shoes that will keep his or her feet healthy!
Here you can find a selection of the best shoes for a baby that is learning how to walk:
Most babies that are learning how to walk will need a wide or an extra wide shoe. That is the reason why the shoes that I describe above are available in different widths such as medium, wide, and extra wide. Just choose your child’s shoe width “M” for medium, “W” for wide, and “XW” for extra wide.
The shoes in the first row fit ” true to size” which means that you only need to go a half a size longer of the size that your child measures at the shoe measuring scale. This will allow the proper amount of growing room without getting the shoes too long or too short.
The shoes in the second row also fit ” true to size” which also means that you only need to go a half a size longer of the size that your child measures at the shoe measuring scale.
Here you can find a selection of the best shoes for a child that is already walking:
The selection of Saucony shoes all fit “short”, which means that you need to go a whole size longer of the size that your child measures in the shoe measuring scale in order to allow for growing room. When fitting children’s shoes, we normally go a half a size longer in order to leave growing room, but when a shoe runs short we actually need to go a whole size longer.
The selection of the New Balance shoes all fit “true to size” which means that you only need to go a half a size longer in order to allow for growing room.
Remember that these shoe styles are available in different widths such as medium, wide, and extra wide, so no matter how wide your kids’ feet are, these shoes will accommodate the shape of their feet.
If you don’t have a local children’s shoe store where you can take your child to be properly fitted for shoes, you should take a look at an article I wrote where I describe the simplest, yet most effective method to provide your child with the correct shoe size:
Keep in mind that the size that your child measures at the shoe measuring scale is only a starting point when trying to find the correct shoe size for your child, since shoes can run short, long, narrow or wide.
Don’t Forget About The Socks – Keep Your Kids’ Feet Healthy!
Like I mentioned before, choosing breathable and seamless socks that are made out of cotton or cotton- wool tend to absorb moisture and keep kids’feet warm. Socks also act as a barrier between your kids’ feet and the shoes, preventing the formation of bacteria inside the shoes.
If you want to learn more about the best socks for children, you can find them in an article I wrote called:
All feet are different, and there is no such thing as two feet alike. While it might be hard to define what a normal foot is, I provided you with a set of guidelines that will help you make sure that your child’s feet are developing correctly and it all STARTS by providing your child with the correct pair of shoes and socks.
Do you happen to have a children’s shoe store in your area that you TRUST? I get contacted by parents daily asking me if I know about a good children’s shoe store in their area. If you happen to have one, please let us know in the comments section below so we can all benefit from your experience.