Hand-me-downs can make life easier for parents with growing children. Kids outgrow clothes, car seats, toys, and shoes so quickly. Being able to save money on barely-used items by passing them down to another child, or inheriting them from others, can help you avoid always buying brand-new, expensive items. While hand-me-downs can work great for kids’ outfits, they aren’t a good idea for footwear. Hand-me-down children’s shoes are better off being skipped.
Shoes are designed to protect and support feet. The longer they are worn, the more the insoles form to the foot of the wearer, matching its shape. In addition, the soles and other structures in shoes break down with use, making them less effective at supporting and protecting the lower limbs later.
This means that a pair of shoes will shape itself and develop wear and tear spots that are unique to an individual’s foot. This happens more quickly than you might think. Even though most children outgrow their shoes before they wear them out, the standing, running, and playing they do is enough to form the footwear to their unique foot shape and biomechanics. Another child’s foot won’t fit quite the same inside a used shoe, which increases the second wearer’s risk for trouble.
So while passing shoes down to younger siblings may seem like a money-saving plan, it could be forcing children’s feet to form to shoes that don’t fit them correctly. This could potentially contribute to a variety of problems and negatively impact your son or daughter’s foot health in the long run. That’s why it’s better to skip the hand-me-down shoes.
The exception might be for very lightly used baby or toddler footwear. Babies don’t do a lot of walking on their own. More than that, because they are still mastering that skill, they aren’t able to run around and break down footwear as much as older kids. If a pair of baby shoes is in good condition, shows no signs of forming to another child’s feet, and is clean, you can pass them on if you’d like.
Getting the best footwear for your sons and daughters is an important part of helping them grow up with healthy feet. To be safe, it’s better to skip the hand-me-down children’s shoes. Instead, let our team at Family Foot Care & Surgery, LLC help you invest in your children’s foot health. Contact our Connecticut offices online or by calling us to make an appointment: (203) 876-7736 for Milford, or (203) 288-4055 for Hamden.