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baby development

Buying baby shoes

Why getting the right shoes is so important

The benefits of buying fitted shoes

We all love those super-cute stylish shoes but sometimes we just don’t think about our little one’s feet when it comes to buying these. While those trendy trainers or cute clogs may look amazing, around half of all children develop foot problems in later life as a result of wearing poorly fitted shoes. Martin Haines, Biomechanics Coach and Chairman of the UK Biomechanics Coaching Association, says, "While fashion will always be important to the child and its parents, function must not suffer."

At a glance

  • It is so important to buy correctly fitted shoes for your little one
  • Around half of all children develop foot problems in later life as a result of wearing poorly fitted shoes

Why pick fitted over fashion?

We all love those supermarket shoe bargains but you’ll find that these don’t come paired with expert fitting, in half sizes or in different widths. All of which are important if you want a shoe to fit properly.

"Ill-fitting shoes can cause a child’s foot to become misshapen, altering how it can function mechanically – increasing the risk of pain,” says Mr Haines.

For example, if your little one has a very flat foot,  they will need a shoe with a slightly higher heel raise than normal to reduce the pressure on the flat foot.

However if your little walker doesn’t have a flat foot and wears the same heel height, it can cause the child problems, explains Mr Haines. Well-fitting shoes limit the risk of this, allowing for unhindered development and allowing the right amount of space and support to allow the foot to develop naturally.

It is also recommend that toddlers get their feet checked every six to eight weeks and every three to four months once they get older.

Where can I get little feet measured? 

Come, on hands up who remembers being taken to the shop, getting a ticket, waiting your turn and then putting your feet in the measuring machines?

Us too! It’s all part of the fun.

And Start-rite trained stockists still do this, offering free fitting for little feet.

Better still Start-rite shoes come in whole and half sizes with multi-width fittings and growing room built in to ensure the best possible fit. To be sure that your child is wearing shoes that fit properly, you can either visit one of the stores where trained staff will measure and fit your little one with shoes, or you can download the specially developed measuring tools online to help you to measure your child’s feet at home.

Visit the fitting section at www.startriteshoes.com for more details. 

To find out more about looking after your children's feet, visit www.healthylittlefeet.com

At a glance

  • It is so important to buy correctly fitted shoes for your little one
  • Around half of all children develop foot problems in later life as a result of wearing poorly fitted shoes