5 Myths About Children’s Shoes

Myth 1. Children need orthopedic shoes from their very first steps.

No, they don’t! Children with healthy feet don’t need to wear orthopedic shoes at all. They actually need nothing that "corrects" their feet in some way, hinders their movements, prevents the natural mobility of the joints and the growth of the foot bones, and as a result, changes the child’s gait. Shoes that are sold in stores under the name of orthopedic shoes should be correctly called "simple orthopedic footwear." Basically, it has nothing to do with orthopedics. It’s important to understand that many problems of children's feet (like valgus, varus, and flat feet) are either a physical development peculiarity or simply can’t be corrected with such footwear. Some serious medical cases are treated by wearing such hard and heavy boots that a healthy person won’t even willingly wear, as they are worn with an effort and only for very serious medical evidence.

Myth 2. Children's shoes should have a firm high heel.

No, they shouldn’t! In order to be more correct, we can say that reasonable heel firming with an extra layer of material will do nothing bad to the shoes themselves, as it will help to maintain their shape longer, but a way too hard heel can lead to injury and a high one can lead to limited mobility of the foot joints. We recommend choosing shoes with a short (it should end right next to the Achilles tendon, which the area where the ankle bends), not too soft, and not too hard heel. Along with this, there should be no plastic or metal plates inside the heel! In order to fix the leg above the heel, nowadays manufacturers use latex pads, which gently fit and support the leg without hindering its movements. By the way, if the foot has a particular shape, even the hardest heels of boots can slightly squint after long wear according to the shape of a child's heel. This is inevitable and shouldn’t be considered as a reason to look for shoes using the principle “the harder the better”.

Myth 3. Plantar vault (in ordinary parlance, the instep support, although in fact, the instep support is a completely different thing) supports the foot arch. 

No, it doesn’t! This part of the insole just "centers" it, it provides the alignment of the foot and the inner insole, to be more correct. The insole pad has nothing to do with the treatment or prevention of flat feet.

Myth 4. When a child is just starting to stand on his own, he should immediately wear tight shoes with a firm heel, otherwise, the leg will deform because of the floor that is too flat and hard.

That’s! The leg can actually deform if you jump and run with your bare feet for a long time on the hard, rugged and uneven street asphalt. That’s why the “urban civilization” wears boots. Wooden floors, laminated flooring, linoleum floor covering, and even tiles in some parts of the apartment won’t damage children's feet, as they can’t change their development. However, in order for a child not to slip or get cold, in order for him to feel more confident, get used to the shoes, and at least for beauty and comfort sake, you can put on your child slippers or baby shoes. Such footwear is lightweight, it has a soft sole (in fact, the sole should bend in any children’s shoes!). However, if you need to go on the street, you should put boots on your child! If there is an opportunity to go outdoors in warm weather, take any shoes off the child and let him run on the grass and sand, as this will provide the best orthopedic effect.

Myth 5. Shoes should promote foot development.

No, they shouldn’t! Shoes SHOULD’T HINDER the growth and development of the feet, as they should give the feet absolute freedom! Good shoes are designed in such a way that the feet feel absolutely comfortable in them. The feet don’t strangle anywhere and don’t lean anywhere, as they’re naturally developing.  If there are any deviations from the valgus type norms, according to the orthopedist prescription a child can use, for example, wedge insoles that can be put into REGULAR shoes. That is, the shoes themselves won’t affect the foot anyway, as this will do only inserts or special insoles.