In case you haven't had the time to catch the recorded live sharing by our podiatrist partner, we have summarised them for you! Here are the 5 important tips that Ms Fiona Hu, Chief Podiatrist at Physio and Sole Clinic has for all parents:
1. When to buy shoes for your child?
Shoes are not recommended if your child is still 1) crawling-standing and 2) cruising (need to hold on to something). You can put on non-slip socks to protect the little toes. Pre-walking shoes with no thick rubber outsole can also be considered.
When your child is walking independently and is able to clear the ground (heel-to-toe walking), pre-walking shoes with flexible soles are recommended. Some other features to look out for: rounded toe-cap, wide opening, adjustable straps and soft heel counter.
Parents should also avoid stiff and thick outsoles for early-walking shoes. Barefoot or thin and flexible sole are strongly recommended to stimulate the spatial awareness and encourage good gait.
You can check out some of our early-walking shoes with flexible sole, soft counter and adjustable ankle straps in the Baby Collection.
2. Can your child wear slippers?
Ms Fiona strongly recommended no slippers at least for the first 10 years of your child's life. Little feet are made up of soft cartilages held together by loose ligaments that will strengthen over the years. Slippers do not have a fastening system, so they will put pressure on the soft bones. As little ones try to grip and balance themselves while wearing slippers (especially thongs), they may develop permanent clawed toes as they grow older. Also, a dragging gait may become a bad habit that will follow your child to adulthood.
Instead of slippers, parents can opt for sandals with ankle fastener for their child in our hot weather. Check out our Comfortable Sandals range, a great alternative to slippers.
3. What is flatfoot and do you need to get shoes with arch support?
The Foot Posture Index is used by a podiatrist to assess whether a child has flatfoot. According to Ms Fiona, 68% of children at 4 years old will be somewhat flatfooted (or an index rating of +6). This means that your child is highly likely normal if his or her feet look flatfooted. The arch will gradually form as their muscles develop and ligaments get strengthened over the years.
What you should be concerned about is the functionality of the feet: do they feel pain, can they walk alright, is one foot flatter than the other? And if the flatfoot persists after many years, it's time to get professional advice.
If a child is diagnosed with flatfoot, parents can find shoes with inbuilt arch support; or a special insole can be fitted into the child's shoes by a podiatrist. However, wearing shoes with arch support alone will not help your child develop an arch. Many factors will need to be considered to help correct a flatfoot problem. Talk to our partner podiatrist at Physio and Sole Clinic if you need a professional advice.
At Two Little Feet, we carry podiatry-friendly shoes designs, that can be fitted with a special insole for your child's needs!
4. How long can your child use their shoes for?
In general, little feet grow very fast! Before 15 months, it will be a half shoes size every 2 months. After 15 months up until 5 years old, your child's feet will grow half a size every 3-4 months. They will continue to grow every 6-12 months after, until 14 years old for girls and 16 years old for boy.
Ms Fiona suggested checking the fit of shoes every 2 months for the younger ones. Generally, there should be a gap of an adult's thumb width between the front and the longest toe (not necessarily the big toe!). This should be done with your child's heel touching the back of the shoes. For footwear that has removable insole, parents can also take out the insole and get their child to stand on the insole to check for fit. Right size is very important, one size cannot fit forever!
If parents do shop online, it is also recommended to look out for the width measurement (which is the widest part after the toe, before the balls of the feet). If your child has wider feet, perhaps a wide shoes option will be more suitable. In addition, a high instep may also cause the shoes to not fit well. In this case, it's better for your child to try out at a physical store before purchase.
To get an accurate measurement for your 1 to 5 year old shoe size (by age), read our article to find out how to measure your child’s feet for shoe sizing. You can download our kids shoe size chart to make the measuring process simpler. But don’t worry, if you’ve bought the wrong size that doesn’t fit, we offer you a one-time size exchange (T&C apply).
As Two Little Feet operates fully online, we offer Home Trial shipping option for regular purchases to allow parents to be able to try on 2 different sizing for their child. Our friendly returns policies also allow returns for full-priced purchases with options to exchange to another size or refund. You can shop confidently with us!
5. How do I find the best shoes for my child?
When buying your child's shoes, here are the 6 factors to look out for:
- Purpose: The right shoes for the right occasion. Don't use basketball shoes for playing football.
- Fit: Right size is very important. Shoes should be easy to put on for kids and have a fastening system.
- Stability: Outsoles must be able to grip well (deeper grooves) to prevent slipping in our rainy weather. Wider base is also better for kids that have stability issues when walking.
- Weight: Depending on your child's needs, get shoes that have 2 out of the 3 features: light, cushioning and durable. Light shoes with cushioning will tend to be less durable. And shoes with more cushioning and better durability will tend to weight a little more.
- Breathability: Look for covered shoes with mesh upper, or put on socks for your child to maintain footwear hygiene.
- Medical Conditions: If your child has certain foot conditions such as tiptoeing or structural issue, there will be specific footwear that your child will need.
Use our smart Size Assistant to find out your child's Two Little Feet shoe size, based on their feet length!
Looking for more options?
For babies just starting to walk, check out this curated Wobbly Steps Collection for first walkers who are still walking with support.
If your child is walking steadily, we have curated a Steady Walking Kids Shoes and Sandals Collection.
Have an active running and jumping child at home? Look no further than our most supportive kids sneakers and children sandals for Active Running young ones!
Check out our range of children footwear: