Foot development

Children need time and opportunity to be small

In June 2019 we had a lecture evening on “childhood foot development” with the physiotherapist and child therapist Silke Lucht as a guest speaker in our POLOLO ShowRoom. Below are some notes.

Motor and sensory experiences begin near the ground

Foot development is inseparably linked to the maturation of perception and organs: for healthy early childhood development before crawling and learning to walk, it is important to first have motor and sensory experiences on the ground. Because one's own body must be explored extensively and the environment must be felt intensively in order to create an image of oneself and the world in the brain.

Falling is part of the learning process

It is of fundamental importance for the little ones to be able to experience sensorimotor development “without gaps”, that is, without shortcuts or help. Every single step in learning, including effort and mistakes, needs to be experienced for yourself. Adults should of course pay attention to the risk of injury, but should not intervene otherwise, but should always encourage them to try again after falling.

Walking barefoot is ideal

In order to avoid misalignments caused by shoes that are too tight or too wide, under-stressing and atrophy or incorrect strain on the muscles and connective tissue, but also the isolation of the senses from the environment, it is beneficial to let the little ones walk barefoot or in soft leather shoes as often as is reasonable allow. With healthy feet, street shoes only have two functions: protection against injury and prevention of hypothermia.

Buying shoes: It's all about the right size!

To determine the actual size required, children can be placed upright on a piece of cardboard to create a template and the contours of both feet can be traced vertically with a pen - an extra thumb's width should be taken into account for the length so that the feet can roll in a relaxed manner (measurement is best in the afternoon, as foot size fluctuates throughout the day). Shoes that are too small lead to an impediment to rolling, shoes that are too big lead to unergonomic cramping and “clawing”. Therefore, shoes should never be bought “in stock”, but only to fit them. Shoes that are soft and deformable on all axes so that all foot muscles are regularly challenged are considered “ideal” for child foot development. The sole in particular should be soft. For healthy children, it would be counterproductive to use an orthopedic sole or a pre-shaped footbed - heels should also be avoided for the sake of their health.

The detailed report:
Children's shoes: Less is more! Specialist dealer lecture evening in the POLOLO ShowRoom for learning to walk

POLOLO leather slippers as the best alternative to walking barefoot