‘Each child is unique and their feet will develop in their own time.’
When it comes to children’s feet, no two feet are the same. There is no such thing as an ‘average’ foot, so every child should be individually fitted with shoes.
Even before they start crawling, babies’ feet need protection and support, and at each stage of their development, they have different needs. It’s important to remember that babies’ feet don’t have bones, just soft cartilage which can easily be pushed out of shape by badly fitting shoes. Even socks that are too tight can damage their feet at this delicate stage. And this process applies to older feet too. Never force children’s feet into shoes, no matter what their age, as their bones are not fully developed until their late teens and ill-fitted shoes can cause misshaped feet for years to come.
A fully-formed adult foot has 26 bones, 19 muscles and over 100 ligaments, which can take up to 18 years to harden and form properly.
This part of the website is dedicated to giving you all the information you need to make the right foot care choices for your children.
Foot Health Issues
- TOE WALKING
Some toddlers find walking on tiptoes feels better than a normal stride. If their walking doesn’t flatten out in a second year, you may want to visit a doctor.
- PIGEON TOES
Most children’s feet roll inwards at some stage (also known as pronation), but nearly all will correct themselves as their muscles grow stronger. Well-fitted shoes help. Start-rite offer selected styles with additional strengthening around the heel and on the inside as far as the arch, to help support the foot.
Some toddlers do this to improve balance. It normally corrects itself gradually between 2 – 3 years of age.
- BOW-LEGGED AND KNOCK-KNEED
It’s normal for toddlers to be bow-legged until two years of age, then knock-kneed after. Between 7 and 10 years old, this straightens out. If only one leg is affected, or one is more pronounced, or the condition is extreme, discuss with a doctor.
- SWEATY FEAT
Children’s feet have as many sweat glands as adults. Only choose school shoes made of breathable materials and limit the wearing of trainers. Rotate shoes regularly change socks each day and wash feet thoroughly. Encourage your child to walk barefoot indoors as much as possible.