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Shoes damaging children's feet

Discussion in 'Pediatrics' started by admin, Jun 1, 2005.

  1. admin

    admin Administrator Staff Member

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    Shoes damaging children's feet

    From BBC News
  2. Cameron

    Cameron Well-Known Member

    Nice bit of propoganda. I have known Gordon (Wattie) for many, many years and he is an acknowledged expert in his field and an accomplished researcher. Some of his findings in earlier studies of inner city kids, were quite staggering, particularly from a sociological perspective. I still say a little caution is required and high fear of foot morbidity due to shoes is ill founded, and less persausive that it might appear at first sight. Watt meantime is careful to couch his extrapolations with caution but of course the press are more interested in the sensational. However there is a definate message there which has a lot more to do with regular school screenings than sore feet perse.

    Good work Gordon and his team.

    Hey, what do I know?
  3. Felicity Prentice

    Felicity Prentice Active Member

    Lack of literature

    I agree with Cameron, the message is mixed - a bit of sensationalism from the media with a good dose of footwear common sense.

    The problem is that there is very little literature available on the actual influence of footwear on the development of foot deformities in children. I understand that there is a large project being undertaken at Sydney Uni on this subject, but sadly it is not a Podiatry initiated-centred project.

    I have a final year student who is undertaking a project on the type of footwear fitting information available to parents, and what it is based on. There is some information available (especially from footwear companies), but there is little research to back it up. A few articles, but these are often based on orthopaedic footwear. I would appreciate any direction which could be offered here.

    Given that we spend so much time and effort on the development of our understanding of biomechanics and orthotic therapy, it perplexes me that we really don't put all that much effort into the area of children's shoes - after all they will have a profound influence on the effectiveness of any intervention we prescribe. I conducted a school survey (as part of my work with a major children's shoe manufacturer) assessing the actual fit of each child's shoe, and - in brief - out of a possible score of 5, the average was 2.1. Not too encouraging.

    Dear me, I'm ranting again....


  4. NewsBot

    NewsBot The Admin that posts the news.

    Not exactly earth shatterin news, but its often helpful to know what patients are reading:
    How important is proper footwear for children?
    Full story
  5. Cameron

    Cameron Well-Known Member

  6. corndolly

    corndolly Member

    this sounds very interesting but the link no longer exists-does anybody have a copy of the full article?
  7. footfan

    footfan Active Member

    Although the powers at be are umming and arrrhhing we are in the process of conducting research in this area that on completion will be avaliable to the public doamin =D

    and yes ours will be published
  8. maliha52

    maliha52 Welcome New Poster

    it is easy to say that parents should get proper footwear for kids, but they need to be taught what is the criteria for choosing proper footwear, other than size? Should they just buy shoes that are branded like stride rite, boasting proper cushioning etc, or pediped claiming their seal by podiatrists?

    tricky q.
  9. Bug

    Bug Well-Known Member

    Even Sesame street has it right sometimes. Great message about shoes for kids:
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 22, 2016
  10. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    I will cross post this that I posted in the There is no barefoot running debate thread:
    To which eric replied and is in the running for the quote of the year with his reply:
  11. Boots n all

    Boots n all Well-Known Member

    "Without the natural muscle contraction in the feet, for example, especially in the very small immature muscles that move the toes, impairment from wearing thick, oversupported modern shoes can reduce the brain maturing process. "

    Break out the thongs quick we are all doomed:hammer:

    Where do they get these ideas from??????????
  12. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    I have repeatedly asked in the barefoot and the MMR/Vacine threads about why people make this stuff up for. I have posted this before in the Alternative Medical Mythology thread and these books are really helpful in understanding:
    I finally starting to understand why people fall for it.
  13. Bug

    Bug Well-Known Member

    Yes well, let us not let logic ruin the chance for a good argument.

    Craig, stop looking for an answer because the question will quickly change and you will wonder what happened when you finally thought you understood.
  14. Kidsfeet

    Kidsfeet Active Member

    I am currently in the process of doing this across many media outlets in the USA. I agree with you.

    I was also approached by Stride Rite to create a legitimate study to produce a good shoe. They backed off when they realized it would take big $$$ to get that study going. All shoes are NOT created equally.
  15. Nor are kids feet.

    Good luck with the research. Keep us updated if it gets funding and published.
  16. Perthpod

    Perthpod Active Member

    Have there been any studies on foot shape differences between shod and unshod children as they get older or are fully grown? I wonder with more and more children wearing crocs/wider style shoes whether there will be greater demand for wider shoes in the next few generations? I find it very interesting to see the very wide foot shapes in certain unshod tribes of people.
    As to whether it effects the brain...is this like Rothbarts jaw theory? lol. I dont think I'd risk having kids running around on footpaths without shoes just to make them a bit smarter. Most of them are too cluey for their own good anyway ;)
  17. Boots n all

    Boots n all Well-Known Member

    A good shoe is very quickly a bad shoe if it does not fit the foot.

    Forget the extra padding or seals of approval for a brand, go for fit every-time
  18. AJM

    AJM Member

    Hmmm .. difficult to know if any study meets your needs, so here is a non-exhaustive, eclectic list (any with abstracts are in the attachment to this post):

    1. Abolarin, T., A. Aiyegbusi, et al. (2011). "Predictive factors for flatfoot: The role of age and footwear in children in urban and rural communities in South West Nigeria." Foot (Edinb).
    2. Fritz, B., T. Schmeltzpfenning, et al. (2011). "Influencing variables on 3D measured foot length during gait in children and adolescents." Footwear Science 3(sup1): S53-S54.
    3. Hillstrom, H., M. Buckland, et al. (2009). "Torsional shoe flexibility effects on functional performance of children learning to walk." Footwear Science 1(1 supp 1): 73-75.
    4. Kadambande, S., A. Khurana, et al. (2006). "Comparative anthropometric analysis of shod and unshod feet." The Foot 16(4): 188-191.
    5. Kolsek, T., A. Jurca, et al. (2011). "Survey on parents’ selection of children's footwear." Footwear Science 3(sup1): S88-S90.
    6. Mauch, M. (2011). "From laboratory to an in-store concept! An exemplary methodology to combine footwear science and shoe design in kids’ feet!" Footwear Science 3(sup1): S103-S104.
    7. Mauch, M., S. Grau, et al. (2009). "A new approach to children's footwear based on foot type classification." Ergonomics 52(8): 999-1008.
    8. Mauch, M., K. J. Mickle, et al. (2008). "Do the feet of German and Australian children differ in structure? Implications for children's shoe design." Ergonomics 51(4): 527-539.
    9. Mickle, K., J. Steele, et al. (2006). "The feet of overweight and obese young children: are they flat or fat?" Obesity 14(11): 1949 - 1953.
    10. Pavlackova, J. and P. Hlavacek (2005). "A study of the capability for adaptation of the internal space of footwear to a child's foot." Computer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering 8(sup1): 211-212.
    11. Rao, U. B. and B. Joseph (1992). "The influence of footwear on the prevalence of flat foot. A survey of 2300 children." J Bone Joint Surg Br 74(4): 525-527.
    12. Ross, K. (2001). "'(Hand)Made in China': The curious return of the footbinding shoe." Postcolonial Studies 4(3): 311-334.
    13. Thompson, A. and B. Zipfel (2005). "The unshod child into womanhood--forefoot morphology in two populations." The Foot 15(1): 22-28.
    14. Thompson, A., B. Zipfel, et al. (2009). "3-D foot imaging in South Africa: Population specific axial alignment for footwear design and prescription." Footwear Science 1(1 supp 1): 57 - 59.
    15. Thompson, A., B. Zipfel, et al. (2009). "“Barefoot Technology” in school shoes: Gait pattern and functional improvement over an 8-week period." Footwear Science 1(1 supp 1): 55 - 57.
    16. Wegener, C., A. E. Hunt, et al. (2011). "Effect of children's shoes on gait: A systematic review and meta-analysis." Journal of Foot and Ankle Research 4(1).
    17. Wolf, S., J. Simon, et al. (2008). "Foot motion in children shoes: a comparison of barefoot walking with shod walking in conventional and flexible shoes." Gait Posture 27(1): 51-59.
    18. Zachova, B. and J. Pavlackova (2005). "Assessing the foot arch of younger school aged obese children." Computer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering 8(sup1): 285-286.

    I have no connection of any kind with any of the studies or authors. Anette Thompson (one "n" in Anette) has featured in podiatry-arena posts. I came across her association with Froggies "barefoot science" school shoes see:


    I am not endorsing or rejecting any of the above by including the references - just drawing them to your attention to help you in your own research and conclusions.

    Question for chewing the cud: what topics and quality of research would persuade liability-scared schools and educational authorities to have a shoe (or barefoot!) policy based on evidence?

    (PS - could not resist including the footbinding article though I have not seen any new models released by Nike)

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Sep 13, 2011
  19. Perthpod

    Perthpod Active Member

    Crikey, thanks AJM!
  20. OneFoot

    OneFoot Active Member

    ... Ok I work in the Hospital system in Australia... and I find that the biggest trouble with kids and shoes is that too many Parents buy very very very poor shoes and fail to update their kids shoes.... Im not saying that parents need to buy $200 (AUD) shoes for their kids... but they all seem to get very very cheap Chinese shoes which arent sold at even shops / stores (like a Target) but are sold at Sunday flee markets etc.... The shoes ARENT bought due to fashion they are bought simply on price...
    Its really really sad :(

    Look most things come from China (everything really) but most of these shoes are seconds or knock off of like a shoe found at Target....

    Worse Parents have these at times as well....

    I think people need to be educate to buy decent shoes badly....
  21. Boots n all

    Boots n all Well-Known Member

    Yes please, lets get them all in to Aussie made school shoes please:D
  22. aliciaj

    aliciaj Member

    It's lovely for us all to say cheap shoes are nasty. Lets think reality here, the socioeconomic situation for these families may be that food and education is taking a priority at this point in time.

    Rather than talking about cheap footwear alway being a negative, educating our clients about key feature of a good shoe and fit is a life long lesson and purchase. At times parents may need to buy a cheap pair of shoes from target, fleet market, and or second hand clothing store having the knowledge to purchase the best/appopriate fitting shoe with the avaliable resources empowers the parent.

    Informing parents to replace cheaper shoes more frequently at $20 or even $5, means that within the current financial circumstance they are providing the best they can for their child. A family in financial crisis that attends an appointment and then are told to spend $100 plus on a pair of shoes is unlikely to purchase the shoes, listen to your advice or worse return if pain or deformity occurs.

    Working in catchments like Dandenong, Doveton and Cranbourne within Vic Auustralia socioeconmic circumstances play a huge part in footwear selection. We would all love to wear Aussie made, correctly fitting, supportive shoes but at times this is not reality.
  23. Boots n all

    Boots n all Well-Known Member

    $55.00, leather upper & lining, steel shank & durable PVC sole correctly fitted and Aussie made, that should do the the trick.
  24. NewsBot

    NewsBot The Admin that posts the news.

    Footwear suitability in Turkish preschool-aged children
    Yasin Yurt, Gul Sener, Yavuz Yakut
    Prosthet Orthot Int August 30, 2013 0309364613497047

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