When was the last time you measured your child’s feet? If you’re like most parents and caregivers in the UK, it was probably a bit of an ordeal to get your child to stand still, let alone check they’re wearing the right size.
Shoe Zone recommends parents and caregivers check children’s shoes every six weeks to encourage good foot health and avoid foot pain caused by wearing the wrong shoe size.
A recent study found that 67% of all children are wearing shoes that are too small. From this, 48% are one size too small and a shocking 19% are two. Only 33% are wearing correctly fitted shoes and the study found 10% of children with shoes that have room to grow.
Taken to the extreme, the wrong shoe size can result in hammer toe, mallet toe and bunion growth, caused by pressure on the big toe joint. It can also contribute to back pain and even headaches.
Anthony Smith, Chief Executive at Shoe Zone: “Children's foot discomfort can be avoided by regularly checking the fit of their shoes. We recommend checking every six weeks using tools like our online size guides.”
When to measure children’s feet
The study reveals that out of the parents surveyed, 52% said they’d never measured their kid’s foot length but instead relied only on sensorial and visual tests. Ideally, children’s feet should be measured every six weeks to make sure shoes are still a good fit. A good rule of thumb is “the younger the foot, the faster it grows.”
Children should have room to wiggle their toes, but at the same time it’s important to try to avoid buying shoes to ‘grow into,’ as shoes that are too big can cause as much trouble as shoes that are too small. Shoe Zone recommends using the longer foot as guidance when buying shoes, as the difference in length can be up to half an inch.
At birth, the foot contains 22 partially developed bones. By school age, this number will increase to 45. Over the next 13 to 14 years many of these will fuse together to form the 26 bones that make up the mature adult foot.
How to measure feet
1. Find a flat, hard surface
2. Place a piece of paper with the edge straight against the wall
3. Stand on it with your heel also flush against the wall
4. Mark on the paper where the longest point of your foot is
5. Repeat this process with both feet as they might be slightly different sizes
6. Measure the heel to toe length for each foot
7. Use Shoe Zone’s online guides below to find your shoe size
Extra recommendations for children’s winter shoes
· Don't forget about socks: Always measure for boots with a pair of socks on for the most accurate fit
· Try to avoid sizing up: It may be tempting to buy a bigger size, especially to get more wear for children, but this could increase the risk of tripping, blisters and future foot health issues
Five signs your child is wearing the wrong size shoe
1. Excessive foot pain – if pain persists, they could be wearing the wrong size
2. Damaged toenails – any signs of damaged toenails could be due to incorrectly fitted shoes and can lead to ingrown toenails
3. Struggling to walk properly – wearing ill-fitting shoes often cause a change in the way children walk
4. Changes in foot appearance – foot deformities and changes in foot appearance are often caused from wrongly fitted shoes
5. Your child is complaining about foot
Find measuring guides online at ShoeZone.com