Kids need shoes more for function and less for fashion. As kids’ feet grow fast, the need for new pairs of shoes is frequent. Parents try to save up buying new shoes too often by buying shoes two sizes larger than the right fit so that it will last longer or saving outgrown shoes of older siblings for younger ones to wear. These common money-saving practices are not favourable for the kids and their feet. Worn shoes are unsafe and should be discarded. Wearing a pair too large is harmful and could lead to falls, slips and accidents.
You child’s safety and comfort should always be paramount. Here are the guidelines to keep your young ones comfortable and safely shod;
Children Under 3 Years Old
Feet grow the fastest during your child’s first three years. Thus, your child would need to replace his or her shoes more often – around three-four times a year. Because babies and toddlers don’t spend much time on their feet, their shoes would rarely acquire or show signs of wear and tear. But that doesn’t mean that the pair is still good to be worn. At this age, children will need comfortable protection for their feet. Letting your child wear shoes that no longer fit is harmful. Signs that your baby needs a new pair of shoes include scuffs to the toes, limping, blisters and your child not wanting to wear it.
Children from 4 to 8 Years Old
Children in this age group are already spending more time on their feet – running, walking, jumping, riding bikes and dancing. Now, they could be wearing and tearing their shoes before they’re outgrown. Feet will grow a little slower but still expect your kids to need new shoes 2-3 times a year. Because of their more active days, it is recommended to opt for shoes that provide ample feet support and protection. Look for shoes that feature shock-absorbent and slip-free outsoles, ankle support, arch support and comfortable insoles.
Children from 9 to 12 Years Old
Nearing teenage years, children’s growth will slow down. There will still be energetic activities, but will likely be concentrated to few preferred activities or sports like basketball, football and cycling. Preteen kids would need shoe replacement 1-2 times a year. Some shoes might need to be replaced more often like their sports shoes that are worn and torn before they’re outgrown. School shoes and dress shoes don’t usually get as much wear and tear and are replaced when outgrown.
Growth spurt happens during the teenage years. Girls experience puberty around the ages of 10-14, and boys later at around the ages of 12-16 years old. Feet growth is significantly slowed. Although some will continue growing their feet until their early 20s, most kids will reach their optimum feet size after puberty, 14 for the girls and 17 for boys. Teens will need to replace shoes at least once a year, earlier if the pair is worn and torn. As feet growth stabilises, it is recommended to buy different shoes for different activities with features to complement the purpose – comfortable daily walking shoes and sturdy shoes for high-level sports use.
Remember that your child’s feet are growing and changing at a great speed, so are his or her needs for shoes. Replace shoes when they’re outgrown or worn. First Walkers offers a collection of children’s shoes that cater to growing kids. Click here to check out our adorable line of child appropriate shoes for kids from one-year-old pre-walkers to active school children.