Now that school is back in, we have to start thinking about what shoes to buy for our kid’s little feet that will please their fashion sense and our budgets. It seems that people are still using those budgets to buy their little girls high heels.
There are some fashion trends that just seem to go away on their own if you ignore them long enough, but high heels for little girls has been damaging our children’s feet since Suri Cruise was a toddler. As a mother, I get it; you want to make your little fashionistas happy. Maybe they see you wearing heels; maybe other little girls they see wear them. But you can’t always give into your kid’s every want. Sometimes we have to say “no” for their own good.
As a Chiropodist, I see first-hand the damage that high heel shoes can do to feet. I have treated many ladies that grew up in a time where women only wore high heels. They started young. They wore them every day. They wore them to school, they wore them to work, they wore them when they shopped, and they wore them when they cleaned. Now they all come in to my office for foot care, wishing they took better care of their feet when they were younger. They suffer with terrible corns, arthritis, and toes that point in different directions than they were originally intended to. They have shortened their Achilles tendon so much that they can’t wear anything flat. So they continue to stuff their feet into a shoe with a heel.
High heel shoes are one of the biggest factors in foot problems in women.
They aren’t going to be any different in children. The bones in children’s feet aren’t finished growing and forming until they reach adulthood. By allowing your little kids to wear high heels, you are doing more damage than you know:
1 – A high heel shoe increases the pitch of the foot and thrusts the body weight forward. When you increase the pitch of the foot, you are forcing the forefoot into the front of the shoe. You can crowd the toes, increase the pressure of the ball of the foot, and most definitely change the person’s center of gravity.
2 – Walking in a heel, even a lower kitten heel like the ones generally found in kid’s high heel shoes, reduces your balance. First of all, the surface area of the shoe is drastically reduced, which makes for less contact of the bottom of the shoe with the ground, which will in turn reduces stability. Don’t forget that little kids don’t always have the best balance to begin with. They are clumsy, they like to run around and aren’t always careful.
Making your child even more clumsy with inappropriate footwear can increase your child’s risk for falls, ankle sprains or strains, and even fractures. That is long-term injury.
3 – Not only does the outsole of the shoe decrease the wearer’s stability, but the foot itself will become less stable. Walking mostly on the ball of the foot, the toes are going to have to crunch and grasp on the ground to try and stabilize. The Achilles tendon can shorten, the plantar fascia can shorten, the toes can curl, the knees can pain, the back can ache, and so on and so forth.
As a parent, we are always looking out for and wanting what’s best for our kids. We protect them every step of the way. We make them go to bed on time and eat their vegetables. We teach them right from wrong, please and thank you. We always make them brush their teeth even when they don’t want to because it’s how we keep a healthy smile, teeth and gums. So why let them wear shoes that can cause lifelong damage to their feet?
Feet aren’t like teeth; we only have one set. We must teach our kids good foot health from the very beginning.
- Heels can cause long term foot problems.
- Kid’s bones are still forming and growing.
- Keep feet healthy by wearing good footwear.
Got a foot topic you’d like to know more about? Reach out!