Many children in South Africa run the risk of developing foot abnormalities such as hammer-, clawed- and retracted toes and heel spurs because they wear school shoes that don’t fit properly.
This is one of the key findings of a new study at Stellenbosch University (SU).
“Our research shows that habitually barefoot kids wear school shoes that are either too short, too long or too narrow for their feet. Wearing ill-fitting shoes regularly can have a negative impact on the development of their feet which can lead to various foot abnormalities, and musculoskeletal problems such as lower back pain later in life,” say Marise Breet and Ranel Venter from the Department of Sport Science at SU. They set out to determine if the length and width dimensions of prescribed school shoes match the foot dimensions of habitually barefoot children.
The findings of their study were published recently in BMC Pediatrics.