Children, Shoes and Clogs. What Should they be Wearing?

Clogs or also commonly recognised as the brand ‘Croks’ have become a very common footwear for adults and gradually they have streamed to every age, even to one year olds. Clogs have become very popular due to their convenient  and practical use.  Just as thongs (flip-flops) are regularly used in Australia, even though they are not suitable for feet, so have clogs become injected into our everyday life.

Usually made of rubber fabric, they can slip on and off easily and can be used on wet surfaces. Clogs are commonly used by professions such as theatre nurses and kitchen staff for their practicality. But why do so many podiatrist advised against clogs?  Clogs are an exaggerated shoe without coherence to normal foot motion. They are bulky, lack heel support and modify a walk to almost a shuffle like appearance.

Clogs can cause or contribute to many painful foot problems, such as heel pain, arch pain, toe pain and other joint pain. The reason being is their design does not create a supportive platform and support the foot, encouraging  joints to be over-stressed or strained.

Now that I have highlighted the reason not to use clogs, now consider a child’s initial few years of learning how to walk properly and attempting to improve stability, balance, co-ordination and gain a spring to their step. Clogs will be like a child learning to work with an oversized shoe with the heel cut-out. I also believe it increases the risk of a child tripping over due to being chunky and oversized. So this summer, do not put your children feet in clogs, but rather a stable supportive sandal that is fitted well.

A foot is composed of 26 bones (quarter of the human body), 33 joints, more than 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments, and an abundance of tiny nerves, arteries and veins. With so much anatomical architecture to the feet, it is important that they are appreciated and valued. In order to understand if a shoe is suitable for feet or not, think about this:  Would you wear it for a 10km walk ? .

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Dr Vanessa Hadchiti (Podiatrist)