Tips for Getting the Right Fit for Kids' Feet

Tips for Getting the Right Fit for Kids' Feet

Tracey Byrne from Bobux shares with us her top 10 hints for getting the right fit for kids and why certain features are so important when making the right, healthy footwear choices.

There is a common misconception that shoes are to provide support and structure for the foot. The real purpose of shoes is in fact just to PROTECT the foot.

A child will need shoes when they are walking outside, but as a general rule the more time they spend barefoot the better.

For the times when wearing shoes is a necessity- finding the right shoe will help prevent problems for the rest of your child’s life! Bobux Baby image

  1. Use: The primary role of shoes is to protect the foot from injury or to provide warmth. Children do not need “corrective” footwear. They need shoes that will allow their natural movement whether they be walking, running or crawling.
  2. Materials: The upper part of the shoe should be made of soft, supple leather or fabric that allows the feet to breathe. The sole should be light, flexible and hardwearing with a suitable tread. The lining of the shoe should be smooth with no rough or obstructive stitching-preferably leather.
  3. Width: Try to get the widest size available for your child’s foot. To test the width, feel alongside both sides of the foot at the ball, making sure there is free space between the sides of the foot and the sides of the shoe. Be sure to feel both sides at the same time, so as to avoid pushing the foot to one side of the shoe when feeling for the proper width.
  4. Size:  Children’s shoes should be at least 12 - 15mm (a thumb width) and not more than 17mm between the end of the longest toe (not necessarily their big toe) and the end of the shoe.  It is always best to get shoes fitted by a trained shop attendant or a podiatrist.
  5. Flexibility: The shoe should bend easily at the toe joints, where the foot is designed to bend, and not impede the contracting and stretching of the arch on take-off. Ultra-thin soles will allow good proprioception. To test flexibility, grasp the heel of the shoe in one hand, the toe in the other, then bend the heel and toe toward each other, the shoe should bend easily.
  6. Sole:  Make certain that the sole itself is not too thick. A child will outgrow a pair of shoes before they outwear them. An unnecessarily thick sole has no value and just limits flexibility.
  7. Toe Box: You need to ensure that the toe box is wide enough to allow natural toe spread. A child’s foot is widest at the ends of the toes.
  8. Traction: Shoes do not need massive amounts of traction. In a moving child, if there’s too much stickiness and grip, more heat is produced in the foot and there’s a greater risk of injury from too-rapid deceleration and direction changes.
  9. Clothing: When purchasing socks, Babygro’s/ onesies, jumpsuits, stockings or booties, make sure that they are not too tight around your child’s feet- especially if they are tumble dried- as this can cause shrinking. At such a young age, feet are very susceptible to damage, which can be caused simply by clothing being too tight.
  10. School shoes:  Make sure when purchasing school shoes that you follow the above guidelines! Many school shoes are inflexible and ‘clunky’.  The cartilage in feet does not fully harden until the late teens!! So even school age children are very susceptible to damage caused by ill-fitting shoes.

A large range of Bobux shoes for infants and kids is available at Sole Mechanics Hampton for boys and girls. Visit the team instore for a fitting today. We'd be more than happy to help. For more info on Bobux click here.