It’s been estimated that a person will walk approximately 115,000 miles in their lifetime (8-10,000 steps a day) and research tells us that approximately 90 per cent of children have problems with their feet. The first few years of life, in particular, are crucial as the bones in your baby’s feet are formed from soft, pliable cartilage which makes them more susceptible to malformation.

Tight shoes, socks and even bedclothes can bend the soft bones in your child’s feet out of shape and cause long term damage. Your toddler doesn’t need shoes until they are walking outdoors and even then they can be taken off indoors. Toddler feet grow fast . Check your child’s feet regularly.They may need the next shoe size up within 6–8 weeks.

When buying shoes check that:

  • they fit. Feet should be measured every time and shoes fitted to the largest foot
  • there is growing space at the toe
  • they will stay on when your toddler walks or runs
  • they are comfortable
  • they are flat- to support your child’s feet
  • shoes aren’t too heavy on the child’s feet
  • don’t keep shoes for “best” as they will soon be too small

Remember – canvas shoes are just as good as expensive leather ones!

Talk to your health professional if:

  • your child persists in walking on tip-toe rather than flat on their feet
  • by the age of two years there is still a clear gap between your child’s knees and ankles when they stand.