Did you know, between the ages of 1 to 3 years old the foot can grow as much as 1.5mm in length per month? At this age, there are bones in the feet that are still forming and the arches have not yet fully developed. That’s why when it comes to choosing a pair of shoes for your toddler, finding the correct fit and style is important to help protect and support their growing feet.
For toddlers and early walkers, shoes are generally selected for protection not correction. They should offer some grip for smoother surfaces and provide comfort when walking on different surfaces i.e. sand, gravel, concrete. They should not be too stiff or compressive, and worn out shoes that have lost their shape should be avoided.
To find the right shoe for your toddler, it’s important that they are present to try it on. There are a few considerations in the fitting process, some of these include:
- Allowing room for the toes – it’s important the toes are able to move and have sufficient room for growth, there should be approximately 1cm (or about a thumb’s width!) between the longest toe and the end of the shoe while standing.
- Making sure the heel is snug in the back of the shoe and;
- Ensuring that the shoe is not too loose or tight across the width (you should be able to pinch across the upper of the shoe and cause a small crease while your child is standing).
As a young child’s feet are continually growing, it’s ideal to check these features regularly to ensure the shoe still fits well, at minimum every 6 months is a good start.
At All Podiatry & The Shoe Co. we offer a professional fitting service, with podiatrists available on-site to check the fit. By finding the right shoe for your child, problems caused by ill-fitting and incorrect footwear can be avoided. So if you want the confidence of knowing your child is in the right shoe, come on down to one of our stores to be fitted by one of our trained staff.
Our podiatrists see young children for assessments on a daily basis. If you have concerns about your child’s feet, gait, or development then we would suggest booking in. Piece of mind is really important for parents and our podiatrists are trained and experienced in putting your mind at ease and creating the correct treatment path for your child if necessary.