As a mom of two, I know how pricey shoes can be. Every time you turn around, it seems that one of the children’s shoes has either become too tiny or worn-out. It implies that you must spend money on yet another pair. So, I know how tempting it can be to try to squeeze feet into shoes that still sort of fit. Or to buy shoes that provide kids’ feet “room to grow,” i.e. shoes that are one or two sizes bigger than your child’s current size.
However, it turns out that both of them are terrible ideas. Why? Children’s feet suffer from wearing shoes that are too tiny. Over time, the discomfort may even cause a change in the shape of their feet. Plus, purchasing children’s shoes that are too large won’t save you any money. Additionally, it may result in long-term issues or even foot pain for your kids.
Signs Your Child Has Outgrown His or Her Shoes
Sometimes it’s obvious when children need new shoes. Like they have their toes dangling over the edge. Or if their shoes have holes in them. Sometimes the signs are less obvious. Here are a few things to be on the lookout for.
Ask your child to lift his or her toes while wearing shoes. If there isn’t room to do so, the shoes are too small.
If your child complains about having numb toes, it’s probably time for new shoes.
If your kid has trouble slipping their heel into a shoe, the shoe no longer fits them.
The space between your child’s toes and the end of their shoes should be at least the width of a thumb. If not, it’s time to get a replacement!
So now you are aware of the signs that a child’s shoes are too tiny. Let’s discuss getting new ones, and why it’s never a good idea to go too big!
Upsizing Shoes Affects Children’s Feet
You invite a world of pain if you put your child in big shoes. In such shoes, there will be so much space that they can rub against your child’s feet, resulting to blisters. If you overlook or improperly manage the blister, your child might develop a foot infection, which is certainly the last thing you want. Not to mention that friction in children’s shoes may leave more than just blisters behind. If you don’t place your child in the right size shoe, he or she can eventually develop calluses, particularly on his or her heels.
There’s still more regarding that additional space. Since the rubbing is so unpleasant, your child will make every effort to prevent shoe movement. He or she could then grab the shoes with his toes as a result. If his or her toes are forced to remain in this clutched position on a daily basis, his or her anatomy may end up being changed, which is particularly concerning for young children whose feet are still growing. As a result, over time, we find children with bunions and hammertoes—often because they were forced to wear shoes that didn’t actually fit!
But Wait, What About My Child’s Wide Feet?
Some kids with wide feet have flat feet as well. (This spreading is a result of their arch falling down.) Some, however, feature a broader foot profile. And it can persuade you to purchase a bigger shoe size. Since wide-sized children’s shoes are uncommon, New Balance sneakers often provide good options.
Let’s get to it. When you size up for children with wide feet, you’re purchasing additional space at the toes. In those bigger kicks, their feet will glide around even though they may feel less pinching from the side. Blisters and rubbing may result from this, which was probably what you were trying to prevent in their regular-width, perfectly sized shoes. To put it another way, avoid fitting children with wide feet into bigger shoe sizes. Just look for designs with wider shoe bodies.
Children Are At Risk When They Wear Big Shoes
We’ve previously spoken about the potential foot issues that might arise when children wear shoes that are too big. However, let’s focus on the immediate danger: Your child’s likelihood of falling rises with upsizing. You know the gap in the toes that you hoped would allow your child to wear those shoes a little bit longer?
Your child’s foot is more prone to damage when they wear larger-sized shoes. Well, particularly when he first begins wearing the shoes, it might have an impact on your child’s balance. Because of this, he or she will have a greater risk of falling (over those feet, maybe landing on her head), particularly on surfaces that are not even, like the steps at school or the playground’s ladders. The last thing I want is for you to buy a new pair of shoes that causes your child to tumble and end up in the emergency room with a severe sprain or fracture.
Bigger Shoes Do In Fact Cost More
Now, let’s look at the truth about buying your child shoes that are too big. If you’re doing this to save money, guess what? In the long run, it can possibly cost you more! Aside from all the potentially expensive medical issues we’ve discussed, think about this: if your child’s shoes hurt, he or she will probably stop wearing them, usually within weeks of your purchase. And that will just make you return to the shoe shop for another new pair, as everyone who has ever had a morning shoe struggle knows.
But things only get worse. You could be advised to get custom orthotics to increase your child’s stability if he or she often trips and falls due of their oversized shoes. They will undoubtedly be helpful, but you may have to spend more for those inserts when you could have just bought a pair of shoes that fit properly instead! Wouldn’t it be safer and easier to just have a professional measure your child’s feet and buy shoes in the size the professional suggests? I absolutely believe so!
Choosing The Safest Shoes For Your Child
You could assume that sizing up is inevitable at times. Since many kids have wide feet, even shoes with the right length might feel tight on them. Even so, you don’t have to go up a shoe size. Choose brands with a variety of styles instead. (New Balance is a fantastic choice, but there are many of other options as well.)
Of course, it’s best to avoid passing down shoes from one sibling to the next. Even if the shoes are the correct size for your kid, they will have settled into the form of the previous wearer’s foot. And it can result in squeezing in certain spots or additional space in others. It could even affect the younger child’s foot growth. Simply refrain from doing it. Measure each child and let them try on brand-new, perfectly fitted shoes.
It’s also advised to steer clear of buying kids’ shoes online. Kids are likely to claim that shoes feel OK, even if you buy several sizes, if they: 1. Think the shoes are nice; or 2. Want to stop trying on shoes so they can do something else. Bringing potentially uncomfortable shoes into your house is a certain way to create disaster.
So, how should parents choose shoes for their children? Well, I made a clue about it before. If not, the recap is as follows: bring your child with you to the shoe shop. Measure the size of his or her feet. Have the kid try on a variety of shoe brands in the size that your shoe specialist suggests. How does each pair feel? Choose the pair that feels and fits the best after having the child run and walk a few laps in each pair. I’m far less likely to see you in my office for more foot issues if you stick to that simple routine!