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Kids’ feet come in loads of different shapes and size, all of them completely normal and natural. Wide feet are very common and typically don’t cause any issues - except when it comes to finding the right-sized school shoes.

Having correctly fitting shoes is essential for kids and adults as an improper fit can lead to serious medical issues.

What causes wide feet?

There are a few causes of wide feet:

  1. 1. Genetics Whether or not someone has wide feet usually comes down to plain old genetics. Just like our height, hair colour and eye colour are all different, some children are just born with wider feet. This isn’t a problem at all - if you make sure they wear the right shoes for wide feet instead of them into too narrow shoes.
  2. 2. Flat arches Kids that are born with flat arches may develop wide feet as they grow older. This happens as the curve of the foot collapses, widening the feet as the toes spread out to create more balance. While flat arches are most frequently genetic, when they are caused by too much stress on the foot or untreated injuries, simple treatments can fix this problem and help to slim wide feet. For those with naturally flat feet, wide shoes and arch support will help ease any issues.
  3. 3. Oedema Oedema, or swelling of the feet, may case wide feet to develop. Oedema could be brought on by any number of factors, including something as minor as sitting too long, or could be a sign of something more serious. If you think your child’s feet may be swollen, you should contact your doctor. Once you’re discovered the reason for oedema, wider school shoes can be used for comfortable, well-fitting school footwear.
  4. 4. Ill-fitting shoes If you force your child’s feet into shoes that are too tight over a long period of time, feet will become swollen and wider. Tight shoes put extreme pressure and can cause inflammation. This inflammation causes the feet to swell further, widening the foot even more. Joints and bones are forced to shift out of place in order to fit and this can eventually lead to issues such as bunions and corns.

Can wide feet cause problems?

When wide feet are the result of genetics, they shouldn’t cause any problems. The thing that causes problem is too tight shoes. Unfortunately, many parents don’t even realise their kids have wider feet, or they can’t find the right school shoes.

Too narrow shoes cause a whole host of issues for fragile, developing feet.

These include:

    • • Bunions - bone deformities that form either on one side (the big toe) or on both sides (big and small toes) of the foot, causing a bony swelling in the joint. The swelling deforms the natural shape, making feet even wider. Bunions can often only be fixed through surgery and can be very painful.
    • • Corns - these typically develop on the toes from shoes rubbing against the skin. While they heal easier than bunions, they’re often painful and can cut the skin open.
    • • Calluses – similar to corns, calluses are large areas of tough, thick skin that can be painful.
    • • Crossover toe - when the toes cross over each other when they’re squeezed too tightly in a shoe.
    • • Hammer toe – when a toe starts to curl up, rather than lying flat.

How to find the right fitting school shoes for wide feet

        For children whose feet are naturally wide, wearing the correctly sized school shoes is the key to healthy feet. Not only will they be more comfortable and secure, but they’ll prevent foot swelling, inflammation, and foot deformities from developing.

Discovering your child has wide feet is the most important step.

Signs that your child’s shoes are too narrow for their foot width are:

        • • It’s a struggle to fit their feet into their shoes.
        • • The sides of their big toe and little toe hurt when they walk, run or stand.
        • • Their feet or ankles start to swell after they’ve worn shoes for a while.
        • • Their shoes fit length wise but are too tight.

You can find out your child’s foot size with our easy-to-use tools for measuring at home. Depending on the age of your child and what works best for you, you can measure your child’s foot size with a measuring gauge, our 3D app, or a paper measure.

At Start-Rite, our school hoes are not just available in whole and half sizes, but wide (G) and extra wide (H) width fittings to fit wider feet. Once you know their size, choose from our wide range of Fit G school shoes for wide feet or Fit H school shoes for extra wide feet.

Once your school shoes arrive, you can check they fit wide feet perfectly with our school shoe fit check.