The right shoe for your child

When should children wear their shoes? What shoes should they wear? When is it times for them to get new ones?

First, it is interesting to know that the foot grows optimally by being "bare foot". Shoes should be used when we want to protect the foot from the outside environment or potential injury. Knowing that "bare foot" allows for optimal development of the foot, the choice of shoes should be based on that concept: shoes should be lightweight, flexible and comfortable. A stiff shoe that is a source of compressive forces on the foot may cause deformities, weakness or loss of mobility in the foot. And in the case of a child?

Based on these concepts, it is best to let your kids, especially if they do not walk yet, be without shoes whenever inside. Thus, your child should walk around barefoot or in socks as soon as possible. This will help the growth and development of the musculature of the foot. Outside, the shoes should only be used to protect the foot from the environment and, therefore, should remain minimalist. For children, unless advised otherwise, try to avoid heels and exaggerated supports (plantar arch, etc.). Moreover, we should never forget that the shoes must be the right size, well tied and ideally worn with socks to avoid unnecessary friction.

In our mercantile world in which we are offered more and more diverse shoe options for our kids, it’s not easy to find the right ones. But here’s a hint: keep it simple! This will promote the normal motor development of your child's foot without emptying your wallet!

 

Douanka Gendreau
physiotherapist specialized in perineal and pelvic re-education, M. Sc.
Action Sport Physio St-Bruno
dgendreau@actionsportphysio.com