Mobile foot health care in your own home. Drew Ewing BSc (Hons)

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Buying children’s shoes – what your podiatrist wants you to know

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Buying children’s shoes – what your podiatrist wants you to know

For many parents, shoe shopping with your child is something you want to get over with as quickly as possible to save the tantrums, tears and boredom. But before you dash into your local supermarket and buy the first pair of shoes you see in their size that they like, stop and take a little time to consider if the shoe actually fits.

According to research back in 2010 by Clarks, a staggering 4 million children in the UK are wearing the wrong size shoes. Part of this is down to fashion, budget restraints and convenience, but some of it is down to many parents not realising the effect ill-fitting shoes can have on their child both short and long term. The bones, muscles and ligaments in a child’s feet don’t fully develop until late teens. So throughout their childhood from their first pair to their last, you should make sure they wear correctly fitting shoes for healthy feet and to avoid foot problems further down the line.

Take advice from the experts

As specialists in feet and ankle problems, podiatrists are always looking to promote good foot care, and a huge part of this is wearing the right shoes. When it comes to buying children’s shoes especially, there are a few things your podiatrist wants you to know.

Children’s feet change with age

As you already know, children grow rapidly which means their shoe size will change rapidly too. Keep a close eye on your children’s shoes, regularly checking they still fit and aren’t too small or big. The gap between the big toe and the end of the shoe shouldn’t be less than 8mm or more than 14mm and the sides of the shoe should support the foot not squeeze it.

Get their feet measured

Whenever you’re buying new shoes for your child you should always get them properly measured, as they continuously change in size and shape. Also be sure to measure both feet as they are rarely the exact same size, and buy shoes to fit the larger foot.

Check the heels

Another sign to look out for is heel wear, as the heels can wear much quicker than they outgrow them. Also uneven heel wear can identify a potential foot problem that should be checked by a podiatrist.

Take your child with you

Although it may be easier to shop solo for shoes, your child should always try shoes to make sure they fit properly. If the shoes will be worn with socks or tights, make sure they try them on with these on too. Also involving them in the process can help form healthy shoe habits for the future.

Never hand down footwear

Each child’s foot is different and what fitted one child may not fit the next, so avoid hand-me-down shoes.

Other considerations

When shopping for kid’s shoes also look for a stiff heel that doesn’t collapse when you squeeze it, a shoes that bends with your child’s toes – not too stiff or too soft – and finally it should have a stiff middle that doesn’t twist to ensure they have the correct support.

This isn’t to say buying children’s shoes has to be complicated, it’s just about buying the right fitting shoes that will ensure healthy feet for your child’s future.


How to choose party shoes that won’t damage your feet.

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How to choose party shoes that won’t damage your feet

When it comes to special occasions, a key part of any outfit are the shoes, but many of us will sacrifice our feet for a gorgeous pair of shoes, with little thought of our own comfort and how it might be damaging our feet.

Whether you’re a lover of killer stilettos, chunky wedges, strappy sandals or pretty pumps, we’ve got a guide to choosing party shoes that will not only look fantastic, but won’t damage your feet in the process.

Heel Height

Nothing makes legs look longer, sexier and more toned than a high heel, but you don’t have to opt for skyscraper stilettos to achieve this look. A low or mid-heel (no more than 3 inches) can give you just as good effect for elongating your pins. They will be more comfortable for longer wear and won’t put as much pressure on the balls of your feet, ankles and toes. Also choosing a style that has a tapered heel centred under the heel will give greater stability. If you want something sturdier, a stacked heel with a platform is also an option, which will ease pressure on the balls of your feet and give better balance.

Strap it up

Another great way to give your feet extra support in party shoes is to opt for shoes with adjustable straps, ties or laces, like a gladiator style sandal, with or without a high heel. These are not only bang on trend, but will also keep your feet firmly in place, meaning your toes don’t have to grip to prevent slipping, which in turn will mean they shouldn’t move around and cause rubbing.

The Life and Sole

One major factor in protecting your feet in party shoes is in the sole. All too often party shoes come with ultrathin soles that do nothing to absorb the impact on your feet. This is why choosing a party shoe with a rubber, cork or cushioned sole or opting for fashionable wedges or platforms can be a blessing. They act as shock absorbers for your feet, making them more comfortable and easier to wear for longer. You can also invest in some quality gel inserts for the balls of the feet for extra cushioning or arch insoles that will help support the middle of the feet to relieve pressure.

Go hell for leather

While many of the latest trends use patent leather and plastic, if you want to give your feet a treat you should stick to shoes made from high quality, soft leather or suede. This will give your shoes a lot more flexibility, allowing the material to stretch to fit your feet, rather than pinching them.


If you like a closed toed shoe, avoid the narrow pointy styles and opt for a rounder design with a higher cut that will give your toes more room. This will prevent cramping and avoid rubbing on the widest part of the foot where bunions can develop. These styles are also better-suited for those with wide feet.

This guide should help you find those party shoes you can wear all night long; dancing the night away in comfort and style.