Cinderella was once quoted saying “the perfect pair of shoes can change your life.” We agree! The right pair of well fitted shoes can make daily adventures more comfortable, and enjoyable. Also, as we all know, the wrong pair of shoes can leave a lasting impression, too. Thus a watchful parental eye on foot development and care can make a world of difference in a child’s daily life.
Your friends at Jenzy are committed to making a difference not only in the way you buy your shoes, but also how you care for your children’s feet. We asked our parents what questions they had on these topics and comments came pouring in! So, we found a few experts to help us answer them.
Our experts on hand are Dr. Weiss, Dr. Rand and Hillary Wing, from our Jenzy team. You can view all of their bios below!
Without further ado, here is the first set of questions in the “You Asked, We Answered” series.
“My cousin often gives me hand me down shoes that I feel guilty if I don’t use, but often wonder how to tell if they are still in good enough shape to support my child’s foot in a healthy way. What should I look for?”
Dr. Weiss suggests, “Hand me down shoes are ok to use as long as they fit appropriately for your child. You also want to make sure they are not too rigid or too flimsy. You want just enough support around the ankle but enough flexibility around the toe box to allow your child’s muscles to activate.” Our Jenzy team member Hillary also warns that “hand me down shoes can be tricky because feet wear shoes individually. Look for a shoe that is gently worn. Meaning the sole is still clean and the shoe is barely creased across the toe box.”
“My daughter is 20 months and has been walking since 11 months. I’ve heard that it is best for her to be barefoot for the most part, so when we are home, she is. Is that true? I always thought that having the support of shoes was better.”
Hillary believes, “Barefoot is the best policy, in safe settings, Â to allow muscles and balance to develop without restriction. If your child is walking on their toes, or pronating, it is best to see a physical therapist to discuss what type of support your child’s foot needs.” Dr. Weiss also agrees. By saying, “Yes it is true that when children are first learning to walk that barefoot is better to allow the small muscles of the feet to activate and allow your child to appreciate the tactile feedback they get when they are barefoot. Shoes with appropriate support should be worn outside the home.”
“For bigger kids - when should we start thinking about shoes with good support. I have unusually high arches and I remember around twelve I stopped being able to wear shoes with little to no arch support. Curious to know when my kids might start showing signs of needing arch support.”
Dr. Rand says, “It is normal for children to be flat footed up until age 6-7 at which time the foot should form an arch. It is at this age which I would recommend to start wearing orthotics. If younger children have a severe flatfoot or hyper mobility then they may need to start before age 6.”
“Recently my 2 year old started walking around on his tippy toes (no idea where he got this from!). Could that be an indication that his shoes don’t fit right? Or is he just exploring?”
Dr. Weiss replies, “walking on tiptoes could come from a variety of reasons. Improper shoe fitting is one thing to look for. It is also important to make sure that your child’s heel-cords have appropriate length and are not tight preventing your child to walk on a flat foot. Some children get sensory input from walking on their toes. If you have questions or concerns, always talk to your doctor.”
Did we answer your questions? Keep us on our toes! If you have a question that you would like to see included next time, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Lauren Weiss received her Doctorate in Physical Therapy in 2006 from Arcadia University. Dr. Weiss' PT career began at Kencrest providing home based Early Intervention PT services to infants, toddlers and their families. Today, Dr. Weiss has her own practice, AW Physical Therapy, a home based practice located in Philadelphia, PA. Current areas of interest include torticollis treatment and empowering healthy posture and gross motor development.
Dr. Richard Rand is a board certified foot and ankle specialist at Oasis Foot & Ankle Center in Phoenix, AZ. Dr. Rand attended medical school at Barry University, School of Podiatric Medicine before moving to Arizona for his residency training at Maricopa Medical Center. The advanced residency program at Maricopa included one full year of general surgery, which allowed Dr. Rand to become the third podiatrist in the country to own a General Surgery Internship Certificate. During his three years of residency he fell in love with Arizona and has called it home since 2007. In addition he enjoys all other aspects of the podiatry field including sports medicine and pediatrics. When not practicing medicine, Dr. Rand is an avid outdoorsman and runs Shadow Mountain almost daily with his beloved vizsla, Pattie!