Facts about best shoes for kids
How fast do children’s feet grow?
It all depends on body type of your baby. Chubby, heavier babies change their footwear every 4 months. Babies with medium or narrower feet would wear the same shoe size for 5-6 months. Babies born prematurely with petite body and very narrow feet change their footwear every 9-12 months since their feet grow very slowly. Once children turn 3 years old (reach size 26/US 9) their feet slim down and the foot growing process significantly slows down. On average child would need new high tops every 6 months
How much growing room should children’s shoes have?
Children’s footwear should be fitted with appropriate pair of footwear for their foot type. Sneakers cannot be too big or too small. There have to be ½ inch of growing room measured from the biggest toe. The best way to check if footwear fit is to observe the child walking. The back of the footwear have to move loosely but not “flip flop” on the child’s feet. Also shoes cannot be to wide or too narrow. Children with wide feet and high instep need footwear with wide toe box and wide sole. Children with narrow feet need shoes with narrow toe box and narrow sole.
Can I buy shoes that are bigger and my child will grow into them?
No, it is never recommended to buy footwear that are too big even for later wear. You cannot correctly predict what size your child will wear, therefore it is best not to buy them ahead. Poorly fitted shoes (usually too big or too small) can cause many feet defects such as “pigeon toes” (toes pointing inwards), prolonged ankles (ankles pointing inwards), flat feet and various spine defects.
My child’s feet perspire and smell even in open sandals. What is causing the smell and how can I stop it?
Buy European made footwear out of 100% leather and you will see difference instantly. Children’s feet perspire more than adults, therefore it is very important to buy shoes, boots, sneakers made out of quality 100% leather or breathable canvas. European sneakers are made out of prime leathers, they are orthopedic (arch support) and always have breathable innersoles that absorb sweat from the foot. Avoid sneakers that are made out of synthetic leather, plastic, rubber, non-breathable material because that is causing the odor problem (plastic sandals, flip-flops, crocks, stiff gym sneakers commonly sold in chain stores).
How many pairs of shoes by child should own per season?
Every child needs 2 pairs of quality footwear per season. Footwear should be worn as a rotation (changed every other day) so the foot will be properly stimulated and shaped. It is important not to rotate between quality, orthopedic high tops and not-supportive, low quality footwear. Remember, footwear shape and mold children’s feet, therefore quality footwear are the only obvious choice.
Can closed toe shoes could be worn with no socks in the Summer?
Yes, European, quality footwear always have breathable, antibacterial leather innersoles build into interior lining of the shoe and they absorb sweat from child’s foot. Therefore, even closed footwear worn with no socks in super hot weather would keep little feet dry with no blisters or any other discomfort. Also, it is important to stretch the footwear before wearing them barefoot, therefore we suggest to wear them few times with socks.
I was told by USA pediatrician that it is best for baby not to wear any shoes until they are older.
If baby does not walk yet and begins to crawl no shoes are needed (up to 9 months of age). Once the baby begins to stand up and take first steps good supportive high top leather high tops and slippers are needed. Footwear have to be flexible but with good heel support, excellent orthopedic arch support (built into the sole), breathable leather innersoles (absorb sweat from the feet). European shoe brands are the only ones offering supportive footwear for kids since they using best quality materials and offer best craftmanship to produce their products. The sneakers are properly measured for average foot, offered in many widths, styles and type of leather. Once child is wearing them they will properly support and shape little feet.
In contrast cheap none supportive footwear will deform little feet and child will display flat feet, pronated ankles or pigeon toes over time. This is why quality footwear for a child are very important since they act as developmental tool that will assist child in proper development of little feet, posture, spine and overall body gait. In Europe every baby begins with orthopedic slippers (canvas house slippers) and later transitions to leather, orthopedic high supportive footwear. This is recommended by every European pediatrician and foot specialist. As a result European children have properly developed feet and posture. Footwear for children are viewed as a “health product” vs fashion therefore every European shoe producer follows strict manufacturing rules imposed by European Union.
Are the open back sandals safe to wear by small children?
No, babies should have high supportive closed back leather sandals to wear in the Summer because their feet need support and stability. European leather is very breathable, do not perspire, cause any skin redness, blisters or any other discomfort. You can rest assure that your baby will be comfortable wearing high sandals even in the hottest weather.
When I should stop buying high supportive shoes for my child?
When they reach Size 26/US 9 usually they are 3 years old because by then their foot joints, ankles should be developed. You can easily observe that your child walks straight and does not exhibit any walk defects. Open back sandals and lower back footwear are OK for older children but make sure they are quality, made out of leather and always orthopedic.
I think my baby was born with flat feet, how can I check that?
It is too early to determine whether your child will be flat footed or not. Babies feet are usually fat and pudgy and there is no arch support present. Arch support usually develops from 19 to 24 months of age, therefore it is important to start your baby with high supportive orthopedic slippers and leather sneakers with excellent arch support.
I think my 4 years old child has flat feet, how can I check that?
Let your child stand barefoot on the floor and observe if only portion of the foot touching the floor surface. If only portion is touching the floor then your child has foot arch present and if it is not then he/she is flatfooted. Another good option is to observe your child wet foot prints at the pool or even bathtub. Look at the foot print. If only portion is visible your child does not have any flat feet. If you can see entire foot print then they are definitely flat footed.
My child has very narrow feet and I can’t find footwear that fit her feet well. What type of shoes or brands should I be looking for?
Your child needs shoes with narrow soles. There is no specific brand that produces narrow footwear only. Every European brand offers shoes that are narrow and wide in their seasonal collection. Choose the sneakers with narrow soles and narrow instep. Observe the back of the sneakers while your child is walking. They have to move on their feet loosely not flip-flop. Also, since your child has narrow feet his/hers feet will grow at the slower rate then other children in that age group. Buy footwear that are fitted (usually buy perfect size) since the leather stretches on the footwear about 30% and she will be OK wearing them for 6 months. Don’t worry she will not outgrow them quickly.
Can my child get flat feet from non-supportive shoes?
Yes, Flat feet is a genetic condition that it is generally passed within a family. However, children can develop flat feet by wearing cheap, non orthopedic shoes. Shoes made out of synthetic leather, plastic, rubber or other non-breathable material is often the cause of flat or pronated feet (ankles turning inwards or collapsing).
Can flat feet be cured?
No. Once your child is born with flat feet or develops due to bad sneakers than condition usually stays permanent. Supportive, comfortable sneakers with excellent arch support are needed at all times to relive the foot pain and back/spine stress.
My child received orthodics from podiatrists, should I additionally buy supportive shoes?
Yes. Leather orthopedic footwear are needed even if doctor prescribes orthopedic innersoles. You can’t substitute child’s comfort, fit and quality of European made shoes. European shoes offer sturdy stable heel support that would hold orthodic well and shape ankles correctly. They are simply the best and your child is guaranteed a proper fit and comfort.
Can my 9 years old daughter wear shoes with heels?
No, children should never wear shoes with heels until they are completely grown into adulthood. High heels cause extreme pressure to the spine not to mention possibility of twisting and ankle.
My 5 years old daughter wants to wear rubber flip-flops but I noticed her feet begun turning in-wards and the soles of the shoes are getting totally worn out.
Rubber flip-flops or shoes made out of rubber are the worst footwear choice! First, they do not offer any orthopedic support. Second, they are made out of rubber so the feet smell due to high perspiration (child’s feet perspire more then grown-ups). Third, those flip flops do not offer any foot stability and structure while your child walks. Over time, the deformity becomes so severe that podiatrist treatment is required. Often, orthopedic innersoles are needed to correct the defect or improve the condition.
Why European shoes for children are so expensive?
Quality footwear, manufactured in Europe are expensive because of several factors.
- leather used to produce the sneakers is always processed with non-toxic dyes and leather treatments (this is why they are so soft)
- the sole, instep and width of the given shoe model is always measured on average child’s foot (this is why they fit so well)
- it is more difficult to manufacture children sneakers vs adult footwear
- European footwear are manufactured in Europe where labor pay scale is always higher then in China
- total quality guarantee, shipping and importing costs of distributor or retailer
What is a difference between shoes made in United States vs made in Europe?
At the present time there is no children’s shoe brand that is manufactured in United States due to high cost of material, manufacturing and labor. All the shoe brands present on the USA market today are manufactured in China with disregard to health aspects and quality. In contrast European footwear are made to highest quality and health standards available on the world market today. Those are orthopedic children shoe facts about correct footwear and how to choose correct shoes, boots, sneakers, sandals for your child.