Saturday, January 23, 2010

It's a shoe-in!

Today, we brought Rosabelle out to Shin Kong Place since it was Walch-floor day - it's been awhile since she last went out (other than for lunch yesterday) because of her runny nose, and she wore this lovely fitting knitted sweater courtesy of hand-me-downs from another Mummy in the yard.

Since I find her shoes getting too tight these days, I decided to trawl online for information on what constitutes a good fit for toddlers' shoes and have compiled some of the more relevant/useful stuff here for my/other parents' easy reference...
Signs that a trip to the shoe store is necessary include
- Your toddler has red marks or blisters on her feet. This suggests that the shoes are pinching, binding or just generally irritating her.
- The tops of his toes are hitting the top of the shoe.
- She doesn’t want to wear the shoes or tries to take them off all the time
- Fusses or whines when you try to put the shoes on him
- Is walking right out of the shoe

If the sides bulge outward, or wearing more quickly than the rest of the shoe this may be a sign that they aren’t wide enough for your child’s foot. If your child’s shoes have an upward bend in the toe, that is also another tale-tale sign that the shoes no longer fit properly. Excess wear and tear is also another sign that it is time to go shopping for some new shoes.
The feet should be measured while the child stands, and should both be measured since one foot is generally larger than the other, and the shoes should be purchased to accommodate the larger of the two feet. When shopping for shoes, the length and the width of the foot should be measured.

Trendy Bendy
Choose shoes that have flexible soles. To make it easier for the child to learn to walk, the shoe’s toe must be able to bend up around 40 degrees.

To test the flexibility of a child’s shoe, grasp the toe of the shoe in one hand and the heel in the other, then bend the toe and heel toward each other. If the shoe bends at the part of the sole directly behind the toes, and not through the center of the shoe, it means that the shoe has a steel arch. A shoe with steel
arch support is not suitable for a child as it is almost completely inflexible and will not give a child’s feet room to grow or bend.

The ins and outs

Test the fit with your fingers. To test the width, pinch the side of the shoe at its widest point. If you can grasp a bit, the width is fine; if you can grasp a lot, the shoe is too wide; if you can’t grasp any, the width is too narrow. Another tell-tale sign of a narrow shoe is if your fingers can feel the little toe or the outside bone of the foot along the side of the shoe.

As well as being flexible under the ball of the foot, the front of the shoe should be deep and wide enough to enable your child’s growing toes to spread naturally. Allow some room for growth in the front of the shoe but no more than an adult’s thumb width. To enable growth there should be some form of adjustment across the top of the shoe, such as buckles, laces or straps. This will ensure a neat fit.

Test the length by pressing your thumb down after the tip of the big or longest toe. Half an inch of room means the length is just right. Make sure that the toe box (square, not pointy) is high enough for the toes to be wiggled and curled comfortably.

Check the fit of the heel (no raised heels, please!) by inserting your pinky finger* between your toddler’s heel and the back of the shoe, which should have padding along the back edge to prevent friction. There should be a comfortable fit. If you can’t slip your finger in, then the shoe is too small and will chafe against your toddler’s heel. If you can move your pinky freely, then the shoe is too large. An ill-fitting shoe also has gaps around the ankle.
Your child will surely love you for the efforts you put in...

* I know that at least for Rosabelle, I am keeping away her two current pairs of shoes already - they both failed the pinky test as I almost fractured my little finger trying to get it into the heel!

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