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How to ensure your children have healthy feet

How to ensure your children have healthy feet

Published at 9:44am 19th August 2019.

LFW Podiatry Promoted by
LFW Podiatry

The younger our feet are, the more at risk they are of health complications. With growing numbers of concerned parents unsure of what shoes to buy for their children, we get expert advice from a local pediatrician. 

  • Our feet do not fully grow until the age of 18, before which age they are at risk of deformity and complications.
  • Incorrect shoes worn by children and newborn babies can put stress on the toes and cause them to develop abnormally.
  • Local podiatry clinic LFW Podiatry are offering advice to parents about what shoes to buy and how incorrect footwear can cause issues while children's feet are still growing. 

Restricting our children's feet with tight shoes and ill-fitting footwear can cause them to develop abnormally according to local feet experts LFW Podiatry.

Children are born with 22 bones and have 26 bones when fully developed at 18 years old, meaning they are at risk of complications in the early stages of development if mistreated.

Newborn babies are also at risk, with parents often opting for sleep suits and socks that restrict the toes and hinder growth. Lynda Forbes-Wake from LFW Podiatry explains the risk:

"A child's foot is very soft and malleable when they are first born, so keeping them in socks and tight sleep suits isn't good for the child because it doesn't allow that baby to move its toes around and develop naturally.

"If a child can be left without shoes on, certainly in the early months, then that's really good for development."

child's feet
Newborn babies' feet are extremely malleable and soft, putting them most at risk of deformity if wearing incorrect footwear

What shoes are suitable for growing feet?

Children's feet are put under a lot of stress, whether that be through slipping into tight football boots or putting weight on their toes through dancing - so what shoes should parents be buying? LFW Podiatry's Lynda tells us what to look for:

  • Shoes should be of adequate length and width, measured correctly by a professional
  • They should not be too low around the heel and should allow the foot to move, and grow, properly
  • The toe box should be deep and not too pointy, which can cause toes to overlap and develop abnormally
  • If the shoe is too flat (such as plimsoles/pumps) it can cause fallen arches and extreme pain

Children will put their feet under stress through sports and wearing high heels in teenage years, but Lynda explains this is okay as long as it's not all the time:

"We don't want people to stop doing sports, that's a vital part of childhood and through adult life as well, it's just making sure that when you are on your feet most of the time, you're wearing sensible shoes."

Adult feet
Although children and adults will put their feet under pressure through sports and activities, this should not have a negative effect - as long as we wear sensible shoes most of the time!

LFW Podiatry

You can find LFW Podiatry at 29 Ashlands Road in Ilkley or at The Grange, Main Street in Burley in Wharfedale.

If you want to get in touch with Lynda or one of the team about the health of your feet, call them on 01943 863733 or email:

Ben Groom from Stray Lifestyle spoke to Lynda Forbes-Wake about the importance of healthy feet for children:

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