How fast do children's feet grow?
It all depends on body type of your baby. Chubby, heavier babies change their shoes every 4 months. Babies with medium or narrower feet would wear the same shoe size for 5-6 months. Babies born prematurely with petite body and very narrow feet change their shoes every 9-12 months since their feet grow very slowly. Once children turn 3 years old (reach size 26/US 9) their feet slim down and the foot growing process significantly slows down. On average child would need new shoes every 6 months.
How much growing room should children’s shoes have?
Children’s shoes should be fitted with appropriate pair of shoes for their foot type. Shoes cannot be too big or too small. There have to be ½ inch of growing room measured from the biggest toe. The best way to check if shoes fit is to observe the child walking. The back of the shoes have to move loosely but not “flip flop” on the child’s feet. Also shoes cannot be to wide or too narrow. Children with wide feet and high instep need shoes with wide toe box and wide sole. Children with narrow feet need shoes with narrow toe box and narrow sole.
Can I buy shoes that are bigger and my child will grow into them?
No, it is never recommended to buy shoes that are too big even for later wear. You cannot correctly predict what size your child will wear, therefore it is best not to buy them ahead. Poorly fitted shoes (usually too big or too small) can cause many feet defects such as “pigeon toes” (toes pointing inwards), prolonged ankles (ankles pointing inwards), flat feet and various spine defects.
My child’s feet perspire and smell even in open sandals. What is causing the smell and how can I stop it?
Buy European made shoes out of 100% leather and you will see difference instantly. Children’s feet perspire more than adults, therefore it is very important to buy shoes made out of quality 100% leather or breathable canvas. European shoes are made out of prime leathers, they are orthopedic (arch support) and always have breathable innersoles that absorb sweat from the foot. Avoid shoes that are made out of synthetic leather, plastic, rubber, non-breathable material because that is causing the odor problem (plastic sandals, flip-flops, crocks, stiff gym shoes commonly sold in chain stores).
How many pairs of shoes by child should own per season?
Every child needs 2 pairs of quality shoes per season. Shoes should be worn as a rotation (changed every other day) so the foot will be properly stimulated and shaped. It is important not to rotate between quality, orthopedic shoes and unsupportive, low quality shoes. Remember, shoes shape and mold children’s feet, therefore quality shoes are the only obvious choice.
Can closed toe shoes could be worn with no socks in the Summer?
Yes, European, quality shoes always have breathable, antibacterial leather innersoles build into interior lining of the shoe and they absorb sweat from child’s foot. Therefore, even closed shoes worn with no socks in super hot weather would keep little feet dry with no blisters or any other discomfort. Also, it is important to stretch the shoes before wearing them barefoot, therefore we suggest to wear them few times with socks.
I was told by USA pediatrician that it is best for baby not to wear any shoes until they are older.
If baby does not walk yet and begins to crawl no shoes are needed. However, once the baby begins to stand up and take first steps orthopedic slippers are needed. In Europe every baby begins with orthopedic slippers/canvas and later transitions to leather, orthopedic high supportive shoes. That is recommended by every European pediatrician and foot specialist. As a result European children have properly developed feet and posture. Shoes for children are viewed as a “health product” vs fashion therefore every European shoe producer follows strict manufacturing rules. In 1989 “Healthy Foot Foundation” was established in all the European Union countries that controls and inspects every European children shoe producer. Therefore, every pair of shoes that reaches the European stores must produce only quality, orthopedic shoes to sell to their customers.
Are the open back sandals safe to wear by small children?
No, babies should have high supportive closed back leather sandals to wear in the Summer because their feet need support and stability. European leather is very breathable, do not perspire, cause any skin redness, blisters or any other discomfort. You can rest assure that your baby will be comfortable wearing high sandals even in the hottest weather.
When I should stop buying high supportive shoes for my child?
When they reach Size 26/US 9 usually they are 3 years old because by then their foot joints, ankles should be developed. You can easily observe that your child walks straight and does not exhibit any walk defects. Open back sandals and lower back shoes are OK for older children but make sure they are quality, made out of leather and always orthopedic.
I think my baby was born with flat feet, how can I check that?
It is too early to determine whether your child will be flat footed or not. Babies feet are usually fat and pudgy and there is no arch support present. Arch support usually develops from 19 to 24 months of age, therefore it is important to start your baby with high supportive orthopedic slippers and leather shoes with excellent arch support.
I think my 4 years old child has flat feet, how can I check that?
Let your child stand barefoot on the floor and observe if only portion of the foot touching the floor surface. If only portion is touching the floor then your child has foot arch present and if it is not then he/she is flatfooted. Another good option is to observe your child wet foot prints at the pool or even bathtub. Look at the foot print. If only portion is visible your child does not have any flat feet. If you can see entire foot print then they are definitely flat footed.
My child has very narrow feet and I can't find shoes that fit her feet well. What type of shoes or brands should I be looking for?
Your child needs shoes with narrow soles. There is no specific brand that produces narrow shoes only. Every European brand offers shoes that are narrow and wide in their seasonal collection. Choose the shoes with narrow soles and narrow instep. Observe the back of the shoes while your child is walking. They have to move on their feet loosely not flip-flop. Also, since your child has narrow feet his/hers feet will grow at the slower rate then other children in that age group. Buy shoes that are fitted (usually buy perfect size) since the leather stretches on the shoes about 30% and she will be OK wearing them for 6 months. Don't worry she will not outgrow them quickly.
Can my child get flat feet from non-supportive shoes?
Yes, Flat feet is a genetic condition that it is generally passed within a family. However, children can develop flat feet by wearing cheap, non orthopedic shoes. Shoes made out of synthetic leather, plastic, rubber or other non-breathable material is often the cause of flat or pronated feet (ankles turning inwards or collapsing).
Can flat feet be cured?
No. Once your child is born with flat feet or develops due to bad shoes than condition usually stays permanent. Supportive, comfortable shoes with excellent arch support are needed at all times to relive the foot pain and back/spine stress.
My child received orthodics from podiatrists, should I additionally buy supportive shoes?
Yes. Leather orthopedic shoes are needed even if doctor prescribes orthopedic innersoles. You can’t substitute child’s comfort, fit and quality of European made shoes. They are simply the best and your child is guaranteed a proper fit and comfort.
Can my 9 years old daughter wear shoes with heels?
No, children should never wear shoes with heels until they are completely grown into adulthood. High heels cause extreme pressure to the spine not to mention possibility of twisting and ankle.
My 5 years old daughter wants to wear rubber flip-flops but I noticed her feet begun turning in-wards and the soles of the shoes are getting totally worn out.
Rubber flip-flops or shoes made out of rubber are the worst footwear choice! First, they do not offer any orthopedic support. Second, they are made out of rubber so the feet smell due to high perspiration (child’s feet perspire more then grown-ups). Third, those shoes do not offer any foot stability and structure while your child walks. Over time, the deformity becomes so severe that podiatrist treatment is required. Often, orthopedic innersoles are needed to correct the defect or improve the condition.
Why European shoes for children are so expensive?
Quality shoes, manufactured in Europe are expensive because of several factors.
- leather used to produce the shoes is always processed with non-toxic dyes and leather treatments (this is why they are so soft)
- the sole, instep and width of the given shoe model is always measured on average child’s foot (this is why they fit so well)
- it is more difficult to manufacture children shoes vs adult shoes
- European shoes are manufactured in Europe where labor pay scale is always higher then in China
- total quality guarantee, shipping and importing costs of distributor or retailer
What is a difference between shoes made in United States vs made in Europe?
At the present time there is no children’s shoe brand that is manufactured in United States due to high cost of material, manufacturing and labor. All the shoe brands present on the USA market today are manufactured in China with disregard to health aspects and quality. In contrast European shoes are made to highest quality and health standards available on the world market today.