Leave plenty of room for growth
Selecting the right footwear for your child can be hard work since their feet grow rapidly. But by learning how to measure his or her feet, getting the appropriate shoes will be as easy as teaching him or her the alphabet.
Lucy McLennan, owner of Bumps to Babes, a baby superstore, says that measuring a child's feet accurately before buying shoes is of paramount importance since ill-fitting footwear can have serious implications in later years.
Raymond Ng, owner of Dr Kong Footcare, agrees: 'If a child wears the wrong shoes, he [or she] will be more susceptible to problems with his [or her] feet in adulthood. Parents should choose footwear carefully since it is common for children to have flat feet.'
McLennan says: 'Like jelly in a mould, your baby's feet can take on whatever shape they're forced into, so shoe shapes should always match the form of the foot. In toddlers this is wide at the toe and narrow at the heel, a shape that will change as the foot develops.'
Bumps to Babes stocks a range of Start-rite, Britain's leading designer of children's fitted footwear, in varying widths ensuring the best possible fit.
'Start-rite shoes have built-in growing room to give children's toes plenty of room to develop,' McLennan says. 'There is no such thing as an 'average' foot, so every child should be individually fitted with shoes.'
Using the Start-rite foot gauge, staff at Bumps to Babes will measure both feet for length and width to give a guide to the size that your child will need. They will then advise on the style most suited to your child's feet.
The Bumps to Babes staff will also check that the shoe is not rubbing on the anklebone and that the fastening is comfortable and secure. They will then watch the child walk to make sure that the shoes do not slip off.
According to Ng, parents can measure their child's feet by asking him or her to plant their feet on a sheet of white paper and outline their feet with a pen. 'It is important that the kid is standing since his [or her] feet are longer when he [or she] does that,' he says. 'When parents measure the length of both of their child's feet, they should buy children's shoes according to the size of the bigger foot. When getting shoes for your child, make sure they are 8mm to 10mm larger than the feet to provide room for them to grow.'
Dr Kong's staff check the condition of a child's feet using the patented VI foot examination system and suggest foot sole A, B or C.
Jacadi Paris also provides children with shoes that are well designed. Made entirely of leather, with foam padding at the tongue and collar, Jacadi shoes put your child's comfort first.
An arch support reinforces the shape of your child's foot, a reinforced toe protects the toes and a counter padding maintains the heel in line to offer growing feet protection.
Employing breathable materials, Jacadi shoes' leather upper, lining and inner sole ensure proper foot ventilation.