I bought my eldest daughter some sandals at the start of the summer. They are now too small for her so I haven't even considered buying school shoes just yet, although I am not particularly looking forward to it, despite my love of shoes as we tend to have very different ideas on what is appropriate for school shoes these days. I want well fitted and practical whereas she wants whatever all her mates are wearing!
It is therefore interesting to learn that barefoot shoes pioneer, Vivobarefoot, have launched a nationwide campaign to highlight the damage ill-fitting, tapered non-foot shaped shoes do to children’s feet. Supported by medical professionals and parents across the UK, the barefoot shoe brand is mounting pressure on mainstream footwear manufacturers and retailers to carry warnings informing people of the proven[i] danger of conventional footwear design on a child’s natural foot development.
- To launch the campaign, an army of frustrated parents and children took to the streets of London barefoot to highlight the dangers of wearing standard tapered, cushioned shoes.
- With 200,000 nerve endings, 33 major muscles, 26 bones, 19 ligaments; the human foot is a natural feat of biomechanics, and is the most sensitive part of the body after the hands and mouth.
- Cushioned shoes compromise vital feedback to the brain from the feet, and a tapered shape, which does not mirror the natural shape of the foot, prevents the foot from splaying when you step, limiting toe mobility and weakening the foot.
- Up to the age of ten years old, the bones in a child’s foot are soft and can be easily misshapen by external forces like poor fitting shoes and in a matter of weeks a child’s foot development can be compromised.
- The company is campaigning for footwear that does not meet the standards required to avoid damage to feet to carry a formal warning on packaging and sales material in the same fashion as cigarettes and other products proven to damage health and wellbeing.
- As evidence surrounding the dangers of conventional footwear on children’s feet grows, Vivobarefoot is building an army of medics, scientists and health professional to take its barefoot message global and lead a revolution within the footwear industry.
- Barefoot footwear, which provides wider, flat-soled, flexible shoes without cushioning is proven to mitigate issues of footwear damaging children’s feet.
- In order to educate parents, Vivobarefoot is running parent learning sessions at its London store in London and has provided a guide to buying safe shoes on its website www.vivobarefoot.com
I have got terrible feet from doing pointe ballet at a (too) young age and squeezing my feet into fashion heels for the last 15 or so (ahem) years so making sure that the girls have the right footwear is really important to me. I love being barefoot, so I already have a pair of Vivobarefoot trainers myself, so welcomed the chance to get some for the girls. They have a handy size chart on their website which you can download so you can buy online confidently and my youngest daughter wont take them off her feet .... even when she is watching TV.
We will be reviewing them fully once the girls have had a chance to give them a good run out and we will let you know how we get on!