CHOOSING A FIRST SHOE - ABI POLUS

July 26, 2022

CHOOSING A FIRST SHOE - ABI POLUS

Choosing a first shoe for a child is an exciting milestone in their development. As with all choices we make for our children, we want the best for their health. (And we get to buy shoes- hooray!)

It is widely accepted in the current medical literature that ‘barefoot is best’ in terms of optimum foot development.

Shoes in very young children have one primary function; protection of the foot from injury and infection.

So whilst it is vitally important to whip out those beautiful, sensitive feet and regularly expose them to the environment and its many, varied mediums and surfaces when possible, realistically those precious feet also need to be protected in some environments (small rocks, tan bark, temperature etc).

 

TODDLER SHOES

 

The development of foot arches typically occurs between ages 2 and 3 and has usually been established by 5.

A review of current literature concluded that young children should have a shoe as flexible as their own foot, with minimal cushioning and support. At a young (pre-school) age impact forces on feet are generally small and extra cushioning is unnecessary. 

 

MUM AND CHILD IN PKS

 

These early years are critical in ensuring optimum foot development. Foot length and width varies widely in young children (hello genetics!) and too small footwear that that does not adequately accommodate length or breadth, not just when your little one is standing still, but throughout their movements, may cause foot discomfort and displacement of load proportion which can lead to improper positioning of the flex zone (where the foot bends to push off during walking). This can potentially cause harmful stress on the foot in its most crucial period of development. Footwear that is stiff and/or compressive may cause loss of normal mobility of the foot, development of muscle weakness and could lead to potential structural deformity. 

Looking at current best practice literature available it appears that those early walker shoes that are unstructured, allowing for the replication of barefoot walking and natural foot and arch development, whilst offering foot protection, are the best available for the health and development of young feet.

 

FLEXI SOLES

 

In my professional eyes the design of Paperkrane footwear currently addresses all these vital functions a shoe should have for the developing foot: Protective, unstructured with minimal padding.

And the fact that they are drop dead gorgeous is a very large bonus!!

 

GORGEOUS BAREFOOT SHOES

 

References: Walther M,   Herold, D  Sinderhauf A,  Morrison, R  (2008) Children sport shoes—A systematic review of current literature: Foot and Ankle Surgery  14, 4,  180-189

Staheli, L, (1991) Shoes for Children: A Review.  Pediatrics,  88, 2

 

Written by Abi Polus

Abi is a Musculoskeletal physiotherapist who has worked in both the public and private sectors in the UK and Australia. Abi currently works in a tertiary public hospital, and owns and manages her own private, expert opinion rheumatology physiotherapy practice. She is an internationally renowned expert in the musculoskeletal management of bleeding disorders. She has been an invited speaker at conferences around the world, a consultant on various musculoskeletal projects, and has been a grant recipient for research.






Also in FUN, FUNCTION, AND FOOT HEALTH.

HEALTHY FEET AND BEYOND...
HEALTHY FEET AND BEYOND...

August 04, 2022

Our feet are designed to be mobile and adaptable structures, freedom in the first few years will provide a solid foundation.

View full article →

BAREFOOT SHOES: An (enlightened) Podiatrist's Perspective
BAREFOOT SHOES: An (enlightened) Podiatrist's Perspective

July 25, 2022

Maybe we as podiatrists would be out of a job if children were never put in conventional footwear?

View full article →

Cover of Finding Their Feet - By Bernie Landels
FINDING THEIR FEET - By Bernie Landels

March 09, 2022

Imagine if every child was a rocket, with a blueprint and course set for the stars.

We would want the best structure, design and rocket fuel to help them get there.

With their feet as launch pads it is important every child has the best start and that their feet and bodies are well maintained throughout the years.

View full article →

PK SIZING - FIND YOUR SIZE

FOR BEST RESULTS... 

Our size charts are specific to our shoes, and may differ from your usual footwear so we always recommend you measure before ordering.

If needing more detailed instructions on "How to Measure" please scroll down below the size charts.

 

PK BABY + TODDLER SIZE CHARTPK SIZE CHART - THE KIDS
PK SIZE CHART - BIG KIDS
PK SIZE CHART - GROWN UPS

 

HOW TO MEASURE

Stand with feet on a piece of paper, and mark where the end of the longest toe/s are, and middle point of the back of the heel. 

Use a ruler to measure between those two points. (Use your longest foot measurement - Look at the "BEST FIT" column to see where the foot fits best.

* If closer to the end of the "BEST FIT" measurements then the next size up will be a better choice.

For most comfortable fit, aim to have up to 7-12mm of extra space in the shoe.  

If socks will be worn in the shoes, pop on the socks and then measure in the same manner. 

We include a width measurement across the ball of the shoe, this is a measurement of the FLATTEST part of the sole, so there is always more available space than stated, as the sole curves out and up giving your feet more room to spread. 

We also have a natural rubber sole that is able to flex with a foot, which helps accomodate feet that have more width. 

While the available length measurements are the same across all styles, the upper construction affects the fit and feel of the shoe. 

See HERE for a more detailed "FIT and FEEL" description of each of our PaperKrane styles.