Is your child wearing the wrong shoe size?
A useful shoe fit guide to find the right shoes size for your child’s growing feet
Children’s feet grow the most in the first four years of their lives. Research suggests that they can grow an average of three to four sizes per year in that time, slowing to one a year after that. By the time they are 12 their feet have typically reached 90% of their adult size and width.
The dangers of the incorrect size
The incorrect shoe size can be detrimental to proper foot development and cause problems later in life. “Improper footwear is well recognised to be an [external] factor regarding the development of forefoot deformities,” says Dr Norman Espinosa of the University of Zürich of a study into the risk wearing the wrong shoe size holds for children’s feet. “[Shoes that are too small] could impair toe function and proper development and promote early establishment of forefoot deformity,” he explains.
Rule of thumb
The “Rule of thumb” suggests that there should be a space the width of an adult thumb (or forefinger, if it’s a particularly wide thumb!) between the end of the toes and the front seam of the shoes when standing. You’re looking for up to 17mm wriggle room, and no less than 12mm. It’s very important that your child is standing and not sitting when you do this measurement. Walkmates, available exclusively at Woolworths, are designed to offer little feet everything they need to develop properly. Approved by the SA Podiatry Association, Walkmates come with extra toe space, wider fronts and slip-resistant soles.
Get the perfect fit
Download our shoe fit guide and follow the printing instructions to get an accurate tool for measuring your child’s feet. Then browse our collection of the cutest kiddies’ shoes from Woolies here.