Children’s orthopedic shoes: what is their purpose and how to choose the right pair?

When the orthopedist prescribes orthopedic shoes for a child, some parents are anxious and puzzled because they don’t know where to start and how to choose the right pair. What are the functions of orthopedic shoes and how to choose the right pair?
If you see that your child has any problems with walking on his own, or his feet shape doesn’t look right, visit the orthopedist. Unfortunately, nowadays foot pathologies are a common issue, and every second child somehow has them. Such pathologies as flat feet and clubfoot, hallux valgus foot deformity can be either congenital or acquired. Acquired foot pathologies may be a result of the following things: injuries, heavy loads, deformations of the foot due to wearing shoes of the wrong size (either too small, or with a room to grow into, or simply large), too tight and too loose shoes, improper positioning of the foot while walking. Orthopedic shoes are the effective prevention of foot deformities and a painless method of treating children's feet.
Follow these simple rules in order to choose the right pair of children’s orthopedic shoes.
1. They should be made only of high-quality calve leather, which doesn’t deform when wearing.
2. Harmful chemical dyes shouldn’t be used in the manufacture of such shoes.
3. The design of the shoe insole and fastening elements should allow to securely fix the child's foot and promote the correct development of gait motor. This can be achieved by the presence of high hard heel support, and hard elongated outer and inner quarters.
4. Shoe last should be suitable for anatomic features of children's feet, it should promote the correct load distribution when walking.
5. The sole should be wear-resistant and flexible enough. The sole flexion should occur in the front third of the toe part of the shoe.
6. The heel height in children's shoes should be no more than 5-7 mm. The heel should occupy at least a third of the whole sole area in order to provide support for the heel and the back part of the foot arch.