Oh the Places You Will Grow!
Have you ever stopped to consider how your children's feet grow?
The foot takes a wild journey to reach its optimal goal of being a multisensory, hyper efficient, load bearing machine.
Your Baby's Foot
When your child is born, they only have 22 bones in their perfect little feet. They have not fully developed the pieces of bone that will ossify (harden) into a fully mature foot. These tiny little wonders are getting prepped for locomotion.1
Your Toddler's Foot
By the time your little is 3 years old they have approximately 45 bones in their feet. The bone pieces have now appeared, but they have not fused together into their final form.2 & 3 While your kids are building their foot strength and range of motion their foot bones are arranging themselves into the proper architecture for load bearing. Feet reach their optimal natural alignment with the foot muscles developing the strength to hold up the three arches of the foot.4 & 5 According to a recent study, children as early as age 3 start to have significant inward big toe deviation (bunion) from wearing conventional footwear when compared to barefoot children.6 Other studies have shown that children raised without footwear have less big toe deviation than children raised in restrictive shoes.5
Your Teen's Foot
Around the age of 13 your teen will now have fully formed feet that have solidified into 26 bones. The foot might still have some room to grow, but all the bones have now fused together.7 & 8
Keep Them on Track
All along this journey your child's foot is very malleable, considering the bones haven't even fused together yet.1-3 Restrictive shoes will rob developing feet of critical strength and flexibility necessary for the development of foot architecture.9 Their feet will end up taking on the shape of what they spend the most time moving in.5 & 6 Most shoes on the market today are far too narrow and restrictive for natural foot development, with studies finding that anywhere from 66-98% of shoes are too narrow for children’s feet.4,10 , 11 Make sure your children have a great start to their foot journey by letting them play in Natur Athletics footwear, with wide toe boxes and natural flexibility that will keep your children’s foot development on track.