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Summer Footwear for Children

5480421 Close Up Of Feet And Flip Flops On A Translucent Ocean Water

Not all shoes are created equal. The structure, material quality, and features of comfort and support vary from one shoe to the other. With all the heat and humidity lately, it’s tempting for you and your children to wear the most open-toed shoes (or even go barefoot) to keep cool. While sandals are usually better than flip-flops, not all are supportive for your children’s growing feet. Wearing sandals that do not have proper foot support can cause developmental problems as their bones and tissues continue to grow.

The following are some tips for caring for your children’s feet, and what shoes they should wear instead of flip-flops:

  • Beware of going barefoot outside – Going barefoot is good for children when walking around indoors. It encourages strong muscle development and you can more easily notice problems if any exist. However, children should wear shoes whenever they are outside as there is an increased risk of injury and contracting disease.
  • Stay away from flip-flops – Flip-flops in general are not very supportive or even necessarily safe to be walking around so much. The lack of support can leave you unstable and more prone to injury. Additionally, walking around in them for more than a distance of home to pool or pool to locker room can make your feet work harder and leave you with pain. Because children’s feet are still developing they need all the proper support before the bones fully set.
  • Look for these properties in sandals – Key components of supportive shoes for children are: arch supports, heel cupping, and shock absorption. As they continue to grow, arch and heel support will help their feet to grow normally, especially if they are flatfooted or pronating. Also, since children like to run around, shock absorption will help reduce risk of repetitive injury pain (or even stress fracture). Sandals that do no fit well can cause them blisters and make them trip, so make sure that they try the sandals on in store.
  • Sneakers are best – In most cases, supportive sneakers are the best shoes to wear. Find ones that have good support, but have breathable materials like mesh and cotton canvas. Don’t forget to have them wear socks with their sneakers – if sweating is an issue, you can carry around a spare pair of socks. Plus, the closed-toed nature of sneakers makes them less prone to sunburn! (The same goes for water shoes at the water park!)

Have a question about appropriate shoes for your children’s foot development? Or maybe they need some orthoses. Whatever the case, come see our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brandon MacyMake an appointment today at The New Jersey Children’s Foot Heath Institute at Clark Podiatry Center to have your children’s feet assessed and treated with care. We are located in Clark, NJ and serve patients in all the surrounding Union County towns! We keep you walking!