30 Jan 2017 Hand Me Down Shoes – PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE DON’T DO IT!
Ensuring that your child has appropriate shoes that are fitted especially for their individual foot type is one of the most important factors throughout their growth and development. However, as a podiatrist it is becoming increasingly more apparent that parents are choosing to pass down shoes to their younger children that have been previously worn by their elder sibling(s).
So why is this a bad thing?
When a pair of shoes is fitted to the individual foot they are fitted in terms of length and width. As no too feet are the same, it is impossible the ensure that your younger child is wearing a shoe that truly accommodates their foot type. If the shoes are too wide or too big for the younger child’s foot it allows the foot to splay move within the shoe, causing the structure of the foot and lower limb to work harder within the shoe. Shoe’s that are too big that have room “to grow into” often result in tripping and clumsiness and the foot and leg do not have enough stability. In addition if the shoes are too small or too small it will result in compression of the structures within the foot-which may contribute to structure deformities of the digits to occur. In addition blistering and pain can be experienced if the shoe is either too small or too large.
Furthermore as we wear shoes, the shoes mould and wear around the individual biomechanics of the foot. For example; if the older sibling possess a flat foot (pronated foot type) they will likely wear through the shoes on the inner (medial) heel and toe. A pronated foot type can be associated with pain through the arch and heel of the foot and inner shin. If these shoes were to be then handed down to the younger child who possess a normal (neutral) arch who has no abnormities with the biomechanics of the foot and lower limb their foot will follow the wear patterns that the shoe already possess. If the shoes are continually worn the structures in the foot and lower limb will be repetitively strained and potentially change the biomechanics of the second child to resemble that of the first child.
It can be difficult, particularly in those toddler years when they are out growing their new shoes every couple of months. However, with 22 partially developed bones in each tiny foot, the bones are too easy to manipulate and change the alignment and biomechanics of their foot and lower limb to risk wearing hand me down shoes that have moulded around another individual foot type.
If you are wishing to get some advice on footwear for either you or your child, or for any foot related issues, don’t hesitate to visit us at Children’s Podiatry. Our friendly staff are waiting to take your call on 8645 9845 or make your appointment online here.
Thanks for your attention,