Emma has been lucky from the word “go” when it comes to good shoes.
Her Greek auntie took the task, as soon as toddler Emma was able to be fitted with shoes, to buy and send over the best shoes she could find on the market.
When I say good shoes, I do not mean only pretty.
I mean shoes which not only look good but fit well and more importantly, prevent long-term damage of tiny, delicate feet.
Once Emma started school last year, things got a bit more difficult when it comes to sourcing good shoes. My sister in law could not find black Mary Janes easily, the usual shape requested and accepted in most British public schools does not sell very well in Greek children’ shoe boutiques.
I took Emma for her first ever pair of school shoes to Clarks and got the best we could find: leather, half a size bigger for her foot to grow in and pretty but as soon as she started wearing them in school, she started complaining of sore and sweaty feet.
Things didn’t improve in time and now I know it was because the shoes were not anatomical and designed to allow her growing feet to move and breathe naturally(the lining of her leather shoe was polyester, where is the sense in that??).
This summer, I was delighted to learn about Vivobarefoot, their recent, innovative, fun but very important campaign to raise awareness of the damage “ill-fitting, tapered non-foot shaped shoes do to children’s feet.”
- “With 200,000 nerve endings, 33 major muscles, 26 bones, 19 ligaments; the human foot is a natural feat of biomechanics, and is the most sensitive part of the body after the hands and mouth.
- Cushioned shoes compromise vital feedback to the brain from the feet, and a tapered shape, which does not mirror the natural shape of the foot, prevents the foot from splaying when you step, limiting toe mobility and weakening the foot.
- Up to the age of ten years old, the bones in a child’s foot are soft and can be easily misshapen by external forces like poor fitting shoes and in a matter of weeks a child’s foot development can be compromised.”
According to Galahad Clark, founder of Vivobarefoot, children’s feet “are being physically deformed by the shoes they wear and the situation has become now a public health issue.”
I am very happy to be able to join the company in its efforts to educate and empower parents to protect the feet of their children and put them on a path of healthy natural development.
Please do have a read of the Vivobarefoot campaign worrying facts and data and make a difference in your children’s lives by providing them with shoes that encourage natural movement and help their feet grow stronger, not weaker, by wearing the appropriate footwear!
I have my eye on their kids’ Trail Freak sports shoes now and will be purchasing a pair for Emma for weekends spent in the fresh air, exploring our beautiful part of the world!