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We love Summer here at Border Podiatry Centre and we want your little ones feet to be as healthy as they can!

The human foot at birth is not a miniature version on an adult’s foot. In fact, when a baby is born there are very few bones that have even begun to form. Most of the foot is cartilage. By age three many of the bones in a child’s foot have ossified but the foot continues to grow until the mid-teens.

A toddler’s foot is usually wide and chubby and very flat. It’s so important to make sure you choose the right style of shoe for your child from the moment they are walking. Podiatrists recommend that a toddler has a shoe that attaches to the foot with a strap or laces, that is wide enough for their little toes to fit, and shoes that have a flexible sole. Firm soled shoes can make a child feel unsteady and off-balance.

Flimsy shoes are just as problematic as hard thick soled shoes. Slip on shoes mean that the child’s foot will move up and down in the shoe and their soft pliable little toes will struggle to grip onto the shoe with each step. Especially with early walkers, this gripping of the toes and slipping inside the shoes can cause little legs and feet to fatigue and a child will ask to be carried, prefer to ride in a pram, struggle to keep up with parents and older siblings, and can even cause them to trip more. Research has shown that children are better off barefoot than in thongs and loose slip on shoes.

While children’s feet are soft and still growing and developing they are more susceptible to damage occurring. It’s so important to have your child fitted properly with a secure shoe that is suitable for the activity they are doing! As the warm weather approaches you will start to see little children out and about in pretty ballet flats, slip on Crocs and cute Havaianas. Regardless of how well they appear to be walking I can guarantee you that their little toes will be gripping and their little muscles will be working overtime to keep them stable and from tripping over. While these types of shoes might look nice and might be popular in trend, they are not good for growing feet. They should only ever be ‘sometimes shoes’- thongs, ballet flats and slip-ons should only be worn for short periods when the child isn’t going to be walking far or standing for long.

So what should your little one be wearing this summer? Bare feet are always encouraged where safe and appropriate as the feet are able to build strength in little intrinsic muscles and balance is optimal. When required to wear shoes for example at a play date, daycare, out and about or at the park or pool…choose a shoe that attaches to their little feet, that is lightweight, and a shoe that has a flexible sole.

Some great examples are the Attipas and Skeanie ranges we stock at Border Podiatry Centre. They are all Podiatry approved and will look after your little ones feet. This summer we will have a lovely range of Skeanie sandals with both open and enclosed heels. And our Attipas range are great for everyday wear as they are non-slip and will dry easily if they get wet. All our staff know how important it is to look after little feet to prevent issues that can arise down the track.

So when you’re looking to buy new summer shoes for your child in the coming months, keep us in mind. We will have a lovely range of practical as well as pretty summer footwear. And even better… we can have one of our qualified podiatrists fit your child if requested. You don’t need to make an appointment and we are happy to help you take the very best care of your child’s feet.