Children’s feet are a different shape from those of adults; they are wider across the toes and narrower at the heels. Bones do not harden until the child is in the late teens and as they are growing are particularly vulnerable to deformity caused by poorly fitting footwear.
Toddlers naturally have flat feet due to a plantar fat pad and as this is natural it is not necessary to try to correct the “flat feet” and small children should be allowed to walk barefoot for as long as possible.
Shoes should be checked often to ensure that they have not been outgrown and socks should be checked for size and shape as they can shrink in the wash.
Children who trip over their own feet more than normal should be checked for “Toeing in” gait. This may be corrected fairly simply with the aid of insoles and/or exercises but may be due to an abnormality in hip development. This can be assessed in this podiatry clinic and referred to the paediatrician or orthopaedics if necessary.