If your children have issues with footwear, there are a few tips and tricks that can be used to help with fitting their feet in shoes. Some common problems are heel slippage, shoes feeling too big, problems tying shoes and holes developing on the inside of the shoe.
Problem: Your children’s heels slip in their shoes when they walk and are active.
Solution: Fill in the gap under the top of the tongue where the laces are tightened or the Velcro is fastened. There are stick-on felt pads that can stick under the tongue. This prevents the foot from sliding forward, which can cause heel slippage.
Another solution is to add an extra insole inside the shoe. If the shoe is not too tight, this is a great option to secure the foot in the shoe better. A full-length insole can be used, but if the heel is raised too high, this can also cause heel slippage. If this is the case, cut the insole in half, and use the front of the insole inside the shoe. To prevent the insole from bunching or sliding, this half insert can be placed under the full length insert.
Problem: When the shoe feels too big and it’s floppy and lose in the front.
Solution: To fill up the room inside the shoe, an extra insert can be added to the shoe, like mentioned above. A full-length insole can be used, but if the heel is raised too high, this can cause heel slippage. If this is the case, cut the insole in half, and use the front of the insole inside the shoe. To prevent the insole from bunching or sliding, this half insert can be placed under the full length insert. An adult sized insert that is longer and wider can also be used if using the half insert. In this case, trace and cut the larger insert to the shape of the child’s insole. Place the insert under the existing insole.
Problem: Problems tying shoes. This could be that it takes too long when switching shoes at school, or they do not know how to tie their shoes yet.
Solution: Other than choosing a Velcro shoe, there are products that can help with lace up shoes. Lock laces are one option. They are elastic cords that you pull tight instead of lacing up. A plastic spring stop toggle cord lock is another option that uses the existing laces. Feed both laces through the single hole of the plastic cord lock when it is compressed and tie off the ends of the laces at the bottom end of the lace eyelets of the shoe. Slip your foot in the shoe, squeeze the plastic cord with your thumb and index finger of one hand and pull on the lace above the plastic cord with the other hand at the same time. Tuck in the bulk of the lace under the laces at the front of the shoe. This lacing method has been used by triathletes to save time in the transition zone.
Problem: Holes on the top of the toe box in the shoes.
Solution: First, look at the shoes. If they are too small or the soles have worn down, they may need a new shoe. If the hole is because of something specific they have done, and you are trying to make them last before the supportive parts of the shoe wears down or they grow out of it, a patch can be made. Cut out a circular shape of an adhesive material, such as moleskin, slightly larger than the hole in the shoe. Patch the hole from inside the shoe. The larger circular shape means there are no edges to peel off and stays stuck to the shoe toe box mesh.
If you have any questions or need advice about your children’s shoes or feet, contact your local Canadian Certified Pedorthist for an appointment.
Written by Richard May, Certified Canadian Pedorthist