A GUIDE TO CHOOSING THE RIGHT SHAPE SHOE FOR YOUR CHILD – the most important decision.
No two children’s feet are the same and the shape of a child’s foot can have a great impact on both the shoes we can choose for them and the fit of these shoes.
Shoes come in whole and half sizes and a variety of width fittings to accommodate the size and shape of as many children’s feet as we can.
This page will help you identify the most common children’s foot shapes, demonstrate how to assess the key features of each shape and point you towards Start-rite shoes that will provide the best comfort and support.
IDENTIFYING COMMON FOOT SHAPES
When assessing foot shape you need to consider the following elements: length of foot – including the toes, height of foot arch, width of foot – measured from big toe to little toe, in step – measured as the arched middle portion of the upper surface of the foot in front of the ankle joint, ankles bone shape and size, heel size.
Chubby Baby Feet
Small chubby feet are a familiar sight for shoe fitters as parents take their babies to be measured and fitted for their first pair of shoes. This foot type is obviously common in babies due to the nature of their development. They often have wide feet, with what looks like a high instep but is in fact band is actually the holding of ‘puppy fat’ during the early years. Square toed and deeper style shoes work well for this foot type. Often children will need to go up half a size from their original length measurement to accommodate the additional depth of the foot.
Wide feet are easy to identify because they are generally wide across the whole foot. In most circumstances wide feet also have high insteps. In extreme cases don’t be surprised if a shoe fitter tells you to go up half a size. Whilst you might think the length of the shoe will be too big for the child, in fact in these cases the extra length will not impact the fit of the shoe which is counteracted by the requirement for extra width. For this reason we need to look at shoes with lots of depth (room inside the shoe from the base of the innersole to the top of the upper).
Flat feet demonstrate a less defined arch in the sole of their feet. For more support flatter feet benefit from more depth in the shoe around the arch area of the foot.
High Instep Feet
Your instep is defined as the arched middle portion of the human foot in front of the ankle joint. Children with high insteps will require ‘wider fitting shoes’ with more depth in the design to accommodate the extra depth of the foot
Slim feet are characterised not just by the small width of the foot but also by relation of this measurement to the length of foot. Generally if you have a narrow heel you will have a narrow foot. In addition the height of the instep will have an impact on the shape of shoe required. For instance you might have a slim foot and a high instep which may mean a slim fitting shoe is not comfortable.
Generally slim feet need special attention to ensure that shoes fit the narrow width but still offer adequate support for the whole foot. Shallow styles are often the best, with more foot coverage to ensure the foot is supported and shoe kept snugly on the foot.
Triangle feet generally follow the same make up as wide feet, however they are characterised by being slim at heel leading to a wide toe shape. In addition they have a shallow toes (the distance between the toes to the instep). Shoes for triangle shaped feet as the same as for wide feet, but benefit more from padded collars to offer greater support for slim ankles.
A square foot is defined by the shape of the toes, where all the toes are similar in length and form more of an even line if the foot was placed against a straight surface. Square shaped feet are often also wider feet. Look out for shoes that taper in (or point) as these are not suitable and will squash the toes. Square shaped toes are more suitable.
Information courtesy of www.startriteshoes.com