What Happens When Kids’ Shoes Don’t Fit Well

What’s one of the worst mistakes a parent can make when buying shoes for their child? Buying the wrong size.

A study recently published by ConsumerAffairs.com, a non-profit independent Web-based consumer news and resource center, showed that 65% of children are wearing shoes that are much too small for them. Of those surveyed, it turned out that 47% were wearing shoes one size too small and 18% were wearing shoes two sizes too small.

Shoe size matters, especially for children

The experienced podiatrists at Montgomery Foot Care Specialists, Dr. Chanda L. Day-Houts and Dr. Heidi M. Christie, would be the first to tell you that it really does matter what shoe size you’re wearing. For adults, wearing shoes that are too snug can make bunions worse or cause painful hammertoes, corns, and calluses.

But children’s shoes especially need to be high-quality, supportive, and comfortable because kids’ feet are still developing. Giving their feet room to grow at their normal rate without being hindered by a too-small shoe is essential to prevent future deformities.

Keep on top of the growth

The reason that study found so many kids wearing shoes that are too small for their feet doesn’t necessarily mean they have bad parents. It’s just that children’s feet can grow incredibly fast! Parents may think they’re all set because they just bought their kid a pair of shoes a couple of months ago. It’s not necessarily true. Parents must monitor their kid’s shoes and make sure they’re keeping up with the growth.

Shoe-shopping tips for parents

  1. Have your child’s foot measured often, while the child is standing up.
  2. Don’t depend on a number alone. Make sure a certain size feels comfortable to your child. Have them try on both shoes and let them walk around. If they’re not comfortable or the heels slip out, try a different style or a different size.
  3. Ask for shoes with good cushioning, especially around the arch area.
  4. If one foot measures bigger than the other, go with the larger size. But never make the mistake of buying shoes “to grow into.” Shoes that are too large make slips and falls much more likely. They’re also great for causing blisters because the foot is moving around so much in the shoe.

If you ever have a concern about your child’s feet or the shoes they need to support good foot health, don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Christie and Dr. Day-Houts at our office in Montgomery, AL. Click here to schedule an appointment or call us at (334) 396-3668.