Are barefoot shoes good for kids?

Barry Harpur Principal Osteopath Kinesis Clinic
Barry Harpury
Principal Osteopath
Date Posted
October 10, 2017
Category

There’s a growing belief among experts that when it comes to children’s footwear, the best shoe may be no shoe at all. Studies have shown that there are more likely to be disadvantages and problems from wearing shoes from an early age, than not wearing them. Such as; deformation caused by a poor fit, ingrown toenails and athlete’s foot.

So why is this?

Research published in podiatry journal The Foot in 2007 suggests that structural and functional changes can result from the foot having to conform to the shape and constriction of a shoe, rather than being allowed to develop naturally. And the younger the foot, the greater the potential for damage.

Too many parents nowadays treat their children as fashion accessories and choose shoes on their attractiveness or coolness, rather than their ergonomics. You will see many children walking around in a pair of cool Converse trainers or cute Havaiana flip flops, mirroring what their parents are wearing.

We must remember however, that when choosing shoes for our little ones, the human foot at birth is not a miniature version of an adult foot. In fact, it contains no bones at all and consists of a mass of cartilage, which, over a period of years, ossifies to become the 28 bones that exist in the adult human foot. This process is not complete until the late teens, so it is crucial that footwear – when worn – is well chosen.

There is a lot more research readily available around the trend and benefits of barefoot shoes, and the associated questioning of the need for highly cushioned, supportive shoes for children. Some parents may now be thinking a little more about their children’s footwear – or indeed, whether they should encourage them to go barefoot.

While this sounds like a great idea, you have to be realistic and consider the environment the child is in.

Do you want your child walking on the streets or in the park barefoot, where there might be dog mess, dirt and possible hazards like glass?

Of course not, which is why ‘barefoot shoes’ like Vivo Barefoot aims to offer an alternative. Children get the health benefits of going barefoot but with the protection of wearing a shoe.

The company, originally launched under the name Froggies, found that replacing seven- to 12-year-old children’s ‘normal’ school shoes for Froggies over a two-month period resulted in increased foot strength, balance, mobility and ankle function – the same benefits normally attributed to walking in bare feet.

Minimalist shoes reinforce the healthy running technique kids were born with: namely, striking the ground with the fore foot, not the heel. If you watch a toddler running and you’ll see they do this naturally. It’s only when we start wearing thick-soled, heavier shoes that we re-program ourselves to run differently; heel striking has been linked to knee, hip, and lower back pain.

Feedback from children who have worn barefoot shoes, has been extremely positive. Suggesting the lighter and more comfortable option is in favour, over the standard black structured lace-up school shoe we have all been bought up wearing.

For more advice on gait analysis, barefoot for kids and adults book your appointment at Kinesis Clinic today for a professional assessment.

Osteopath Reviews

Keeping people active and pain free in Guildford
I came to Zaneta with severe lower back pain and symptoms of sciatica. She was able to quickly diagnose the root cause as weakness stemming from pregnancy and labour. The treatments provided significant relief from the pain and she has been equipping me with functional exercises to improve strength and ensure that it doesn't flare up again. I've been amazed by the results so far, Zaneta has been fantastic.
Hannah E
Hannah E
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I cannot recommend the Kinesis Clinic highly enough. Earlier this year I came to Barry on the recommendation of my son for muscle pain in different areas of my body. To date he has worked a miracle and seem to be relatively pain free. Throughout this process I have tried other practitioners and none compare with Barry and his in depth knowledge. One of the most impressive things is the knowledge of his individual patients and the attention he gives you. I must also add that Lucy on reception is a real asset and is always willing to help in any way for the benefit of the clients.
Maureen kulik
Maureen kulik
1700686071
There's simply no one better than Kinesis. If you're looking for an osteopath, you've found the answer! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Marc Gorman
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I had been in pain for 7 years and thought that was what life had to be like, and then I found Barry! He worked out immediately what my issue was (a long list of people had failed!!) and in one session reduced my pain significantly. Over 4 sessions he has made significant progress on my hip and shown me what the plan is going forward. Finding Barry literally changed my life and I couldn't be more grateful to him.
Ellie Apperly
Ellie Apperly
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I went to see Barry for rehab after fracturing my spine. He’s an excellent Osteopath, taking time to understand the issues, and provide the right treatment and a tailored home exercise program. His YouTube exercise videos are also very helpful to follow. My mobility and strength improved significantly as well as much less discomfort. Thank you Barry!
Tom
Tom
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I had a reoccurring shoulder dislocation injury due to playing various contact sports and after numerous operations my shoulder was weak, the muscles trembled as I tried to strengthen it. After struggling with it for over 10yrs I went to see Zaneta in the clinic. The main problem for me was the trembling and shaking as I tried to exercise and lack of flexibility. Zaneta used some instrument (big stainless-steel spoon in my non-medical world) to breakdown the scar tissue. After a few weeks my shoulder was unrecognisable. I can now exercise without the shaking, meaning I can strengthen it. Interestingly, I now have a greater range of movement than my ‘good’ shoulder.
Richard Leader
Richard Leader
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Ms Zaneta helped me a lot, especially when my back was falling apart after pregnancy! Huge thanks!
Ola Dos
Ola Dos
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Gareth has provided to me a fantastic and very personal service regarding my shoulder and lower back problems. I would thoroughly recommend him – well done
Peter Craig
Peter Craig
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I can't praise Jason highly enough, I've been seeing him for a few months and he's helped me so much, he's much more than my osteo, he's also a counsellor, business coach and all round great listener.Whenever I leave our session I feel better inside and out.
Susan Walsh
Susan Walsh
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Unparalleled treatment from Barry and his team. I've sifted through many physiotherapists and osteopaths for disc related problems in the past two years before being saved by Barry; an erudite and scholarly practitioner who draws on his immense, esoteric knowledge and experience to inform sessions. Barry precisely and effectively reads/listens to my body; no session is the same and I'm always in awe of the variety of techniques he uses to diagnose and pinpoint areas of concern. His methods are subtle yet sublime: he often releases and manipulates muscle/tissue/joints from a number of points in my body where a link to the referred pain perhaps appears tenuous for a layperson like myself...I've been redirected from possible surgical intervention to non surgical treatment and management where I finally feel more stable and strong. Gareth and Jason have also played a significant part in treating me over the year and I honestly couldn't recommend them enough!
B
B
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Cannot rate Barry and the clinic higher, I have met everyone there and they are all professional but very friendly. They have been great at fitting me in, supporting me and making me feel like a valued customer. Have recommended to a number of friends that have had the same experience.
Lisa Collins
Lisa Collins
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I am so grateful to the whole team at Kinesis Clinic for all of the treatment I have had with them over the past 2.5 years following an accident. For the past year, Barry has helped me to heal my neck, and the dizziness associated with the injury. I feel that he really cares about his patients' recovery, and has so much wisdom to share. He has helped me to see how my mind and emotions also play a role in recovering, and this has prompted me to change patterns in my life that were worsening my symptoms. His approach to treatment has been gentle, but very effective. I can't recommend Kinesis Clinic enough. Thank you :)
Megan McInnes
Megan McInnes
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The team is very welcoming and supportive with all your needs. I see them every 2 weeks just get my body sorted out to help with any niggle that come up. I would definitely recommend kinesis Clinic and there team to help you with any problems your having. Weather is sports related or your haven’t any past injuries this the team to help you.
omololu abiodun
omololu abiodun
1625807758
Jason is a professional, friendly and brilliantly talented osteopath. I started treatment at the clinic for upper back/shoulder pain and migraines a few years ago and I have experienced a significant improvement in pain levels/migraines since then. Initially I had regular appointments but now I just book when needed. I get immediate relief with each session, and the positive effects often last for weeks afterwards. Out of all the treatments I have tried, Jason’s osteopathy practice at Kinesis Clinic is by far the most effective. I am so glad I found the clinic and I would now not go anywhere else. Highly recommend.
Kate M
Kate M
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Gareth at the Kinesis Clinic is an amazing Osteopath. He has helped me to provide effective solutions for over 2 years with different muscular and neural issues I have had as an elite athlete. He is extremely knowledgeable in his field and can expertly used different treatments such as manual and laser therapy for rehabilitation. He always adapts his approach and provides personal home programmes to follow which greatly help too. I would definitely recommend him for anyone who wants to use the Kinesis clinic for the first time.
Olumide
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Barry Harpur

Principal Osteopath

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