Back to School Shoes! Give Your Child a Healthy Start
Those lazy, barefoot summer days are coming to an end—time to shop for those back-to-school shoes. No doubt your kids feet have grown quite a bit (again), but getting a larger shoe should be just part of your checklist. Leading children’s podiatrists agree that choosing the proper footwear for your kids is a decision that will impact the lifelong health of your child. Good footwear not only is long enough, but allows your children’s toes to spread and foot to form naturally. Shoes that “mold” your child’s foot to a contoured foot bed with arches can actually damage your child’s foot, causing problems with arch pain or weak ankles that crop up in adulthood when we reach our full body weight.
FOOTBINDING IS OUT
Our feet are wonderfully complex structures with 19 bones and 126 muscles and ligaments. When born, a child’s foot is quite malleable and the bones do not fully ossify until age 9. Foot bones actually function more like cartilage for those first 9 years. An extreme example of how moldable our feet are at young ages is the now-defunct tradition of Chinese foot binding. Because tiny feet were considered beautiful, young girls’ feet were essentially folded in half by tight bindings, deforming and often crippling them. Putting your child’s feet in stiff, contoured shoes is a much less severe, but nonetheless similar process.
BAREFOOT IS BEST
The best thing that can be done for the healthy development of feet is to maximize the time your children spend barefoot. All podiatrists agree this is the best for developing strong, athletic feet and improving your sense of balance and posture. (This is true for adults, as well!) The second best is to purchase shoes that allow feet to move freely and breathe naturally.
Consider these tips when shopping:
- Soft, flexible soles that bend easily in the middle when bending the toe towards the heel. Many soles only bend in the toe -- make sure they bend where the foot arches.
- Choose soft soles that mold to your child’s foot rather than soles that force your child’s foot to mold to the shoe. Flat soles with no arch supports are best to simulate barefoot conditions. The lighter, the better!
- Ample room for toes. True children’s shoes are much fatter in the toes than adult shoes as their feet don’t narrow out until adolescence. Shoes should be loose around the toes.
- Soft, flexible uppers that breathe. Uppers made of natural, absorbing cloth or leather are preferable to synthetic material.
Soft Star Shoes is a family friendly company located in Corvallis, Oregon. Viewpoints in this blog are those of individual workshop elves, and do not necessarily represent those of www.SoftStarShoes.com
- ►September 2014 (1)
- ►August 2014 (3)
- ►July 2014 (4)
- ►June 2014 (3)
- ►May 2014 (5)
- ►April 2014 (3)
- ►March 2014 (3)
- ►February 2014 (3)
- ►January 2014 (2)
- ►December 2013 (6)
- Happy Thanksgiving! Holiday Shopping Tips and Ideas from the Elves
- GIVEAWAY! One-of-a-Kind Green Merry Mocs
- Holiday Shipping for Soft Star Shoes
- Tips for Choosing Minimalist Boots and Winter Shoes
- GIVEAWAY: Win a Free Pair of Very Unique Merry Mocs!
- We Have a Winner for Our Halloween Costume Contest!
- Help Us Pick a New Leather Color
- Shoe Artisans Share New Ideas at the Soft Star Workshop
- Heartfelt Obituary for Red Dash
- Monkeys and Elves Unite! Soft Star Teams Up with Luna Sandals
- Soft Star Halloween Costume Photo Contest… and a Secret from the Elves
- Knee Arthritis? Change Your Shoes for Prevention and Treatment
- We Have a Sweepstakes Winner! And More to Come...
- ►September 2013 (5)
- ►August 2013 (5)
- ►July 2013 (5)
- ►June 2013 (4)
- Should Trail Shoes Be Thicker Than Street Shoes? Maybe Not...
- Soft Star Survey: Receive a Free $5 Gift Card and a Chance to Win $100 Cash!
- Elves Getting Dirty! Soft Star Volunteers at SAGE Community Gardens
- First Sneak Peek at the New Soft Star Ballet Flat!
- Maker's Wild Documentary: Go Behind the Scenes at Soft Star Shoes
- Are High Heels Giving You Hammer Toes? Tips for Prevention and Treatment
- Intrigued by Barefoot Running? Start this Weekend with International Barefoot Running Day!
- Are Those Shoes Made of Wood?
- Wikler's Quest for Healthy Children's Feet
- Michael Sandler Visit and Workshop – Barefoot Walking Book Review and GIVEAWAY!
- Thinking of Boston
- How Fast Do Children's Feet Grow?
- Barefoot Pioneers: the People Who Taught Us "Barefoot is Best"
- Caballo Blanco's Legacy Lives On: Tom Norwood Returns from Copper Canyon
- Book Review: Overthinking the Marathon by Ray Charbonneau
- Reinventing the Hammer: OSU Students Bring Their Skills to Soft Star
- An Olympic Thank You! Help Missy Franklin Swim for MS
- The Mighty Arch, Part 2: Strengthen Your Arches to Treat and Prevent Foot Pain
- Running Green: Soft Star Shoes at the Portland Shamrock Run
- Winter Playday at the Soft Star Workshop
- The Mighty Arch, Part 1: A Natural Cure for Plantar Fasciitis?
- ►February 2013 (4)
- ►January 2013 (1)
- ►December 2012 (5)
- A Barefoot Running Book for Kids (Includes Free Lesson in Consumerism) + GIVEAWAY!
- Happy Thanksgiving! Turkey Shoes and Small Business
- Infographic: How to Choose Barefoot Shoes
- Rally 4 Jillie!
- Gifts for Her this Holiday Season - Fitting Tassels
- Sneak Peek at New Shoes for Women and Men - Vote for a Name!
- Soft Star Shoes for Mari's Place
- Introducing Youth Dash and Phoenix Boots
- Sneak Peek of the New Youth Dash - Vote for Your Favorite Color!
- And the Winner Is...
- Race, Walk or Skip for the Cure!
- Caption Contest Finalists - Vote for Your Favorite!
- Soft Star Caption Contest – Win a Free DVD of Barefoot Running, the Movie!
- ►September 2012 (3)
- ►August 2012 (3)
- ►June 2012 (3)
- ►May 2012 (2)
- ►April 2012 (2)
- ►March 2012 (1)
- ►February 2012 (3)
- ►January 2012 (2)
- ►December 2011 (4)
- ►November 2011 (3)
- ►October 2011 (3)
- ►September 2011 (4)
- ►August 2011 (4)
- ►July 2011 (5)
- ►June 2011 (3)
- ►May 2011 (5)
- ►April 2011 (3)
- ►March 2011 (2)
- ►February 2011 (4)
- ►January 2011 (3)
- ►November 2010 (4)
- ►October 2010 (3)
- ►August 2010 (2)
- ►July 2010 (1)
- ►May 2010 (3)
- ►April 2010 (4)
- ►March 2010 (3)
- ►February 2010 (9)
- ►January 2010 (1)
- ►December 2009 (3)
- ►November 2009 (2)
- ►October 2009 (6)
- ►September 2009 (3)
- ►August 2009 (3)
- ►July 2009 (2)
- ►June 2009 (3)
- ►May 2009 (3)
- ►April 2009 (2)
- ►March 2009 (6)
- ►February 2009 (2)
- ►January 2009 (4)
- ►December 2008 (3)
- ►November 2008 (4)
- ►October 2008 (4)
- ►August 2008 (4)
- ►July 2008 (2)
- ►June 2008 (6)
- ►May 2008 (4)
- ►April 2008 (7)
- ►March 2008 (2)
- ►February 2008 (2)
- ►January 2008 (4)
- ►November 2007 (2)
- ►October 2007 (5)
- ►September 2007 (2)
- ►August 2007 (2)
- ►July 2007 (3)
- ►June 2007 (2)
- ►May 2007 (2)
- ►April 2007 (2)
- ►March 2007 (4)
- ►February 2007 (2)
- ►January 2007 (2)
- ►December 2006 (1)
- ►November 2006 (4)
- ►October 2006 (3)
- ►September 2006 (4)
- ►August 2006 (5)
- ►July 2006 (4)
- ►June 2006 (5)