Foot Health

Here are some information on Foot Anatomy to share with you:

An adult’s foot and ankle contains:

  • 26 bones
  • 33 joints
  • 107 ligaments
  • 19 muscles and tendons
  • With approx. 250,000 sweat glands

Babies feet have 22 partially developed bones, their bones are still very soft hence can be more easily damaged by abnormal pressures and forces.  It is therefore vital to take a real interest in looking after their feet in the early stages of growth, as most problems/ issues they experience in adulthood could stem from possible issues experienced during their childhood (e.g. spinal pains, gait patterns, misalignment of bones etc).

Children’s feet become fully developed around the age of 18 and sometimes we as parents may overlook just how important their feet actually are. It is just as important as their eye sight, hearing abilities including their teeth, especially that they will mostly be walking on these two feet for the rest of their lives. This is why it is extremely important to provide the best foundation for your child’s feet development.

Key features of healthy shoes

Children usually take their first steps between the age of 9 to 12 months, although some children may take a bit longer. Once they start walking, it is best to have them walk around barefoot in safe environments such as their homes as much as possible. However, we strongly recommend protecting their delicate feet as soon as they start venturing independently outside etc.. While it is vital for us to do so with them wearing healthy shoes that not only protect their feet but support their development correctly.

A healthy pair of shoes should:

  1. Be flexible
  2. Have thin soles – to ease walking and promote nearly barefoot experiences
  3. Have wide space and closed edge protection for toes
  4. Have well supported ankles and toes – fixed at both places to support walking/ running (unlike flip flops)
  5. Be firm with padded ankle – to support the feet properly, sandals should have an enclosed back
  6. Be light weight – the lighter the shoe is the easier it is for feet and legs to work as they naturally should
  7. Have adjustable design – laces/ velcro or buckles allow for easy size adjustments

Babies (crawling and cruising 0 – 12 months)
Their feet are still very soft and not fully formed. Babies’ feet start to form
around 9-10 months and will only be fully developed around the age of 18 years.

  1. Choose super-light, flexible shoes made of breathable materials (e.g. leather)
  2. Fully adjustable style to enable feet growth
baby crawling

Toddlers ( walking 12 – 24 months)
Usually toddlers start walking between the age of 9 to 18 months. But every child is different, some may take even longer to start walking. Being barefoot is the best at this age so their feet can feel the floor and balance. But when they are out and about, their delicate feet requires protection.

  1. Padded ankle support and wide space for toe protection
  2. Lightweight and flexible soles
  3. Go for natural breathable materials with adjustable fastenings.

Pre-school aged kids (2 yrs – 5 yrs)
By the time your child turns two, he will be more confident in walking, running and they may even start enjoying jumping. At this age, their feet are still soft and can easily be bent out of shape, hence it is vital to look after them.

  1. Enough room to grow
  2. Additional padding and shock absorption
  3. Adjustable fastenings and natural breathable materials

Youth / School aged kids (6yrs – 18 yrs)
Your child is most likely at school now and their feet are used to their maximum capacity and sweat much more. Their feet have 26 bones but not fully developed yet, so it is vital that their shoes or trainers are fitted properly.

  1. Have enough room built-in to grow
  2. Shock absorption for activities such as jumping, running, skipping
  3. Fully adjustable fastening and natural breathable materials