Parents STOP! Don't make this common mistake when it comes to feet.

Recently we had a comment on our facebook page along the lines of treddies don’t provide enough arch support for “over pronators”… here it is from the Treddies expert Physiotherapist on what you must know about your child’s flat feet.

Pronation is the motion of the foot as it strikes the ground whereby the ankle and foot roll inwards.  The reason we all pronate to some degree is to absorb the impact of the ground as well as to store energy that is released as we push off the ground. 

As adults, depending on a number of factors, we all pronate to varying degrees.  Some adults are considered to over pronate or pronate too much which can create problems.

However, children and in particular first walkers and toddlers are different.  It is medically recognised that all young children have flat feet.  Sometimes this can be confused with “over pronation”, but flat feet in children is not a problem it is normal.  As young children develop, their arches gradually begin to emerge so that at least by the age of 5 years healthy children will be demonstrating arches. 

It is in these early years that we need to encourage as much sensory information as possible going to the central nervous system from the soles of the feet.  This is how young children’s nervous system learns to use the lower leg and instrinsic arch muscles.  It is these muscles developing over time that help young children’s arches form along with their efficient movement.  So giving young children lots of arch support actually inhibits this important developmental process.

This is why health professionals advocate for young children to spend as much time as possible barefoot and when they are not barefoot, to be as close possible to barefoot. That way their feet and nervous systems are getting proper stimulation and giving their arches the best chance to develop.  Times when they can’t be barefoot would include environments that are unsafe because of sharp or unknown objects, when it is very cold or even some social situations.

So don’t be alarmed.  It is normal for young children to have flat feet.  And in fact most adults with flat feet don’t have problems as long as the muscles in their lower legs and feet are functioning well.  First walkers, toddlers and young children don’t need arch support, but rather they need shoes that are well fitted and flexible that creates an environment for their arches to develop.

Treddies have been specifically designed to meet the recommendations of health professionals.  The thin, flexible and well-fitted sole provides the optimal environment for foot and lower limb development.  We advocate that parents should follow health recommendations to allow children to be barefoot as much as possible and use Treddies for the times when they require