For those of us who have put a lot of miles on over the years, insoles in our shoes are almost mandatory. After decades of walking on our feet, working on our feet, and abusing our feet, insoles are the only things that allow us to walk all day.
But think about it, we didn’t have insoles when we were children. Which probably makes you wonder, do kids need insoles?
Permanently flat feet are not common in young children. Most children won't even begin to show arches on their feet until they're over two years old. Between the ages of two and six, their arches are still forming. Some children don't develop arches until they are eight years old, however, if your child isn’t showing any sign of arches by age six, you should get a medical opinion.
As Chiropractic Economics points out, as children grow into adolescence, foot problems from childhood can interfere with spinal function, resulting in poor biomechanics degenerative changes in the knees, hips and spine. Addressing these issues as they appear can ensure that your child’s development is not affected in the long-term.
In fact, Joseph D’Amico, DPM calls out the fact that there is profound developmental potential associated with providing kids with orthotics. “The earlier treatment begins in the child, the more favorable the outcome.” He continued, “bone growth and alignment may be influenced in a positive manner to affect structural as well as positional changes achievable in the adult.”
While a lack of full arches isn’t serious for most children, it’s important to keep track of.
Signs your child might have flat feet include:
Any parent who has tried to keep up with buying shoes for their child knows the foot grows faster than the rest of the body. By age 7, it is three-quarters of its full-grown length and by middle school, many kids are wearing adult sizes. This is around the time that kids can experience back and foot pain.
Because the shoes your child is wearing typically have very little arch support built-in or don’t have much in the way of cushioning, your child’s legs and back absorb the shock each time their foot hits the ground. Adding a pair of arch support insoles to their footwear can make a huge difference, especially if your kid participates in sports.
Consider insoles for your kids if:
Shoe manufacturers want their footwear to fit the greatest number of people, so they design their products to be flat, without any arches at all. The shoes your children wear don’t have the support (and sometimes the cushioning) necessary to keep their feet comfortable all day long.
Insoles for kids’ shoes are an important part of taking care of their whole bodies. They rely on their feet to get around and if they’re having biomechanical issues, early intervention can improve their long-term functioning. Talk with your pediatrician about adding insoles for kids to your children’s shoes and set them up for a pain-free, active live.
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Mark has always believed exceptional footwear can change lives. He's been in the footwear industry for over 30 years, working with podiatrists, pedorthists, foot care experts, and footwear makers. Mark started Chaco sandals in 1989 and developed a game-changing sport sandal that delivered comfort and durability. After Chaco sold in 2009, Mark ultimately started Tread Labs to continue transforming people's footwear so they can walk better, feel better, live better.
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