The average person will walk thousands of miles over a lifetime. Unfortunately, many of these miles will be walked in uncomfortable shoes that do not fit properly.
Shoes that are too tight, too loose, or without enough support, can lead to unwanted stress on the feet, ankles, lower leg, hip, and spine. This ongoing pressure can cause pain and injuries that may limit or prevent participation in work, sports, and hobbies. Fortunately, many foot-related problems can be prevented with shoes that are appropriate for an individual’s feet, body, and lifestyle.
Types of Shoes
In the early infant stages, a baby needs only booties or socks for warmth and protection. As the infant grows and begins to walk upright, bare feet are appropriate indoors as they allow the child to touch and feel the ground, developing proper sensory input; strengthen their intrinsic muscles (small, deep muscles of the foot); and develop their arches. To prevent injury, shoes should be worn outside of the house at all times.
When purchasing your child’s first shoes:
- Consider a store that specializes in shoes for growing feet. In the early years, a child’s foot may be wide through the arch, so proper fitting in the width is important.
- A sneaker commendations
or soft-soled shoe is a good choice. A typical, low-cut sneaker allows the child to develop the ligaments and muscles around the ankle that are necessary for developing good balance and stabilization.
- The toe box should be roomy and wide enough for the toes to wiggle. A finger’s breadth of extra length will usually allow for about 3 to 6 months of growth, depending on the child’s age and growth rate.
Your child’s foot may grow faster than you expect at different ages and stages, so it is important to check the fit of your child’s shoes regularly. If the shoes become difficult to place on the foot, and/or your child consistently wants his or her shoes off, it may mean that the shoes have become too small.
There are a variety of women’s shoes on the market. These range from comfortable, casual everyday shoes, to more formal shoes with four-inch heels. An ideal choice is a shoe that has a square or wide toe box, with a heel that is lower than two inches high.