For many generations it has been the custom for older siblings to leave their shoes to younger siblings as they grow older and their shoes no longer fit.
This helps save expenses for many parents who are already burdened by the cost of rent, food, education and other household living expenses.
But is it advisable for little ones to wear shoes inherited from their older siblings?
Despite the apparent practical usefulness of this custom, there are more reasons not to continue doing it. Let’s detail what these reasons are and what they have to do with the health of your children’s feet.
Each person is different
First of all, we must understand that each person is physically different and this is also reflected in the shape and size of the foot and therefore in its biomechanics and in the footprint.
Because of this, shoes inherited from one sibling to another will not have an intact sole but will show some wear in the parts where they are stepped on the hardest. This implies the risk that when stepping on them, the foot tends to lean in a different direction than its morphology requires, causing fatigue and problems in tendons and muscles.
This can have very negative consequences on a growing child’s foot.
Let us remember that in people the foot acquires its almost definitive shape at 9 years of age and finishes its formation and growth around 14 years of age. Therefore,wearing deformed or inappropriate footwear in the first 8 years of life can lead to malformations and gait problems.
What are the problems of using inherited footwear in children?
Wearing inherited footwear that has been shaped and worn by a different foot than the new owner can cause the following problems in a child:
- Chafing at toe and heel level that can cause calluses and irritation.
- Imbalance when walking or running.
- Alteration of gait and gait biomechanics with possible consequences in the movement and development of knees, ankles and hips.
- Restrictions in the movement of the fingers, which may cause alterations in joints.
- Alteration of the plantar arch that may permanently affect its shape.
How to avoid problems when using inherited footwear?
First of all, it is important for the child to be evaluated once a year by a podiatrist in order to detect any possible problems in the child’s footprint and the formation of the lower limbs.
It is also necessary to evaluate the inherited footwear that the child will use, to determine if it presents any wear; or deformity that may affect the health of the foot. Of course, it is essential to understand the need for this footwear to be the right type and size for its new wearer.
In many cases these shoes can be worn without problems with the help of a customized insole that corrects the shape of the new owner’s foot.
In conclusion, it is best to avoid this practice, even in cases involving adolescents or adults. Each person is different and this is something that is best respected to avoid complications and maintain healthy feet.
Article prepared by Clínica San Román