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Proper Shoes Keep Your Kids' Feet Fit

When buying shoes for your children, don't sacrifice proper fit and support for trendy styles.

Bunions, corns, calluses and hammertoes are among the foot problems caused by poor-fitting shoes, says the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS). Many foot problems experienced by adults begin with ill-fitting shoes they wore when they were children.

"Shoes should conform to the shape of the feet with plenty of room for toes to wiggle, and should fit well in the heel. Your child's feet should never be forced to conform to the shape of a pair of shoes. There is no 'breaking-in' period either; if they are not comfortable, don't buy them," says Dr. Vernon T. Tolo, AAOS president.

Here are some other shoe buying tips from the AAOS:

  • Shoes should be soft and pliable with enough length in the toe box for growth and enough width for the toes to wiggle. There should be a thumb's width space between toes and the end of the shoe. The shoe should bend at the ball of the foot, not the middle.

  • Get your children's feet measured every time you buy them shoes. When their feet are being measured, children should stand and place their full weight on their feet. Both feet should be measured and you should choose a shoe that fits the bigger foot.

  • Don't buy shoes that are tight. They can damage your children's feet.

  • When trying on shoes, children should wear their normal socks and walk around in both shoes.

  • Check the fit of the heels as well as the toes, and feel the inside of the shoe for rough spots, glue, staples and other things that can cause foot irritation.

  • For girls who want a high heel or platform shoe, choose a 1- to 2-inch chunky heel on shoes that have padded insoles and toe wiggle room. Limit the amount of time children wear such shoes. They should be alternated with flat-heeled shoes for part of the day.

More information

You can find out more about proper shoe fitting at the AAOS

Reference Source 101


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