It can be a perception that children need supportive footwear from the time they start walking to help with lower leg and foot development; however, this is generally not the case. Children’s feet will normally develop well on their own without the aid of special footwear. At a very young age, footwear is mainly worn to protect their feet from foreign objects or harsh surfaces.
As parents will know, kid’s feet grow at a rapid rate. On average, they will grow ½ a shoe size every 3 months from ages 18 months-3 years. After 3 years, they will grow approximately one size every year.
For boys foot growth will normally stop around the age 13-15 where girl’s feet will consolidate slightly earlier between ages 11-13.
What to look for in children’s footwear:
- Sole to protect feet and add grip on smooth surfaces
- Light weight
- Fit well around the heel to stop foot sliding forward
- Thumbs width from the longest toe to the end of shoe when they are standing
- Enough width so that the toes are not falling over the sides of the shoe.
All children will develop at a different rate and age. If you have any concerns with your child’s foot or lower limb development, please contact Pro Podiatry SA to book an appointment.