Preventing foot problems begins as soon as your child starts walking and you buy their first pair of shoes. In order to help their feet develop correctly and prevent problems, their shoes need to fit perfectly. However, small children’s feet change rapidly, so you will be buying new shoes for them every few months.
Size Shoes Correctly
Just as you would with your own shoes, you need to make sure your child’s shoes fit correctly. To find their correct size, visit a children’s shoe store and have an experienced salesperson measure his or her feet. There are three areas that you should focus on when buying toddler shoes:
- The front of the shoe.
- The back of the shoe.
- The shoe’s width.
These three areas will help determine how well the shoe fits your child’s foot.
The Front of the Shoe
When purchasing shoes for your child, the shoe should be long enough to be comfortable and not constrain the foot, but too long and he or she could have problems maintaining their balance when wearing the shoes. There should be about a centimetre to a centimetre and a half of space in the toe of the shoe. This allows for proper sizing, but for growth as well.
The Back of the Shoe
A properly sized pair of shoes will prevent your child from slipping out of them when they walk or run, and their feet won’t be constricted. When trying shoes on their feet, attempt to slip your pinkie finger into the heel of the shoe. If it fits well, you should only be able to insert your finger up to the first knuckle, but if it goes deeper than that, the shoe is too big. If you cannot slip your finger into the heel, the shoe is too tight.
The Shoe’s Width
At this stage in their life, your child’s foot is going to be wider than it is long, but as they grow, the length will gradually become proportional to the width. Using the tongue of the shoe as a guide, you can find a shoe that fits the width of their foot. The tongue and edges of the shoe, where the laces or Velcro are placed, should run parallel to each other. If the shoe is too tight, there is too much space between the edges and the tongue. If they overlap, the shoe is too big.
You can buy cheap trainers as your child’s first shoe because trainers usually won’t constrict the foot and will allow the foot to develop properly. As most trainers are made from canvas or soft leather, they will mould to your child’s foot, which allows them to fit properly. In addition, a rubber-soled shoe gives your toddler good traction when he or she is walking or running on different surfaces.
Making sure to properly fit your child’s foot is important in helping their feet to develop properly. As their feet grow quickly, buy just one or two pairs of shoes at a time to save money.