Here at Little Feet we are committed to providing you with the best possible shoe fitting experience. In order to give you the perfect fit, we might suggest padding or stretching a pair of shoes. A common misconception is that this means the shoe is not a good fit, however, if we recommend adding something, we are simply enhancing an already properly fitting shoe.
Here are some of the ways we customize shoes for you!
Cookie arches are used to build up the arch support of any closed shoe (not sandals). When we glue these small pieces of rubber under an insole, it can help straighten out collapsing arches and add structure for kids with flatter feet. While it is not as custom as an orthotic, it can provide a temporary solution to some common foot issues. We do charge $6 to put cookie arches into a pair of shoes.
This is the million dollar question here at Little Feet.
While every child will have their own growing patterns, there are some general guidelines we can follow in order to guess how long a pair of shoes should last.
Notice that there is no size growth range for children over 7. As kids get older, their growth tends to slow, however the size ranges become more sporadic. Since the average life of a pair of shoes is, at maximum, 6 months it is recommended that their feet get measured at this time.
And remember, there is no guarantee that a child's foot will grow according to this chart. Therefore, at Little Feet, we are more than happy to measure your child's feet and check their toes for free!
According to a 2017 study, nearly ⅔ of all children in the United States wear shoes that are too small. To break it down: of the 2100 participants only 35% were wearing the size for which they were measured, and only 11% were wearing the optimal size with growing room.
So what kind of growing room should you look for?
"Kids need extra space in their shoes. At least ½ an inch of additional room is optimal, allowing them to roll properly through their feet when walking."
Most orthopedists and podiatrists agree that this extra ½ inch provides the best fit for a child's shoe. It allows them to wear the shoe now, but also in a few months. Norman Espinosa, M.D—an orthopedic surgeon at the University of Zurich Balgrist—also agrees that the length of the shoe should exceed the length of the child's foot by at least 10mm; however, 12mm is ideal.
Why are so many children ending up in shoes that don’t fit properly, then?
Firstly, in the original study, more than half of the parents said that this was the first time their child’s feet had been measured. Most of them had depended on visual and sensory tests, which are highly unreliable as the nerves in a child’s feet are not fully developed until they are about 18 years old.
Second, Dr. Espinosa and his researchers found:
“[T]he shoe sizes given by the manufacturers almost never matched with the true sizes measured.”
There is no industry standard for shoe sizing, and if you’ve ever stepped foot in a sit and fit style shoe store, you’ll know that the numbers on the labels are used only as a guideline.
What are some issues caused by small shoes?
Clack, E. E. (2017, November 9). Are Your Kids Wearing Shoes That Are Too Small? New Study Reveals Why 65 Percent Are in Wrong Sizes. Footwear News.
Silverman, L. (2017, November 07). What Can Happen If Your Kids Wear The Wrong Size Shoes: Foot Doctor in Bloomington. Retrieved July 11, 2019, from https://www.anklefootmd.com/what-can-happen-if-your-kids-wear-the-wrong-size-shoes/