Why Choosing the Right Shoes Supports Your Child’s Health

Given the wide range of options available, choosing the right pair of shoes for your child can be overwhelming. It’s tempting to simply go with the cutest pair, but prioritizing fit and function is important for your little one’s health. This guide, created by expert podiatrists, goes over what you need to know.

Shoes Too Big or Small

Since children outgrow shoes quickly, you may be enticed to buy shoes that are half or whole sizes too big. Yet, shoes too large can leave your child vulnerable to trips and falls and cause an injury.

Tight shoes, meanwhile, can lead to corns and calluses, blisters, and ingrown toenails.

  • Corns and calluses are a buildup of hard, thick areas of skin caused by repeated pressure or friction. Typically, corns are small and round and on the tops or sides of toes. Calluses are larger with a more irregular shape and form on pressure spots like the heels, big toes, and balls of the feet.
  • Blisters, bubbles that appear on the skin’s surface and often contain a clear liquid, can develop when the skin is repeatedly rubbed.
  • Ingrown toenails develop when the corner of the toenail grows down into the skin. This foot condition most commonly affects the big toe.

Shoes Wear Out

Shoes lose their shock absorption over time, elevating the risk of Achilles tendinitis, ankle sprains, and foot fractures.

  • Achilles tendinitis is inflammation of the Achilles tendon, a band of tissue that connects the calf muscles to the heel bone.
  • Ankle sprains occur when the ligaments supporting the ankle get overly stretched or torn.
  • Foot fractures, or broken bones, happen when there’s a break through part of all of a bone. Most broken bones in kids occur from a fall, accident, or sports injury.

Shoes Should Fit

Wearing the right size shoes is an essential part of maintaining healthy feet. Choose shoes that provide arch support, have a wide toe box, and fit properly. There should be a half-inch clearance between the front end of the shoe and the tip of the big toe. It’s best to shop for shoes with your child in the afternoon or evening when feet are at their largest.

See a Specialist at The Foot & Ankle Center

If your child is experiencing foot or ankle pain, make an appointment with The Foot & Ankle Center! Since 1989, our board certified podiatrists have been proud to deliver the highest quality of care to patients in the St. Louis area.

Our treatments are safe and effective and provide fast relief. To get started, give us a call at 314-487-9300 or request an appointment online!