The instep support, also known as a podvodnik or laying out the inner arch, is the same seal on the insole, without which, according to many parents, children’s shoes automatically become bad. What caused the mass dissemination of such an opinion is unknown. But orthopedists claim that this is just one of the myths about children’s shoes. Why do you really need an arch support in children’s shoes and to whom it suits, and in what cases it can harm growing legs.

Arch support functions in children’s shoes

Most of those reading these lines, of course, know what insoles with an arch support look like. The more advanced even know that they help with flat feet. But the mechanism of action of these tabs is not clear to everyone. Therefore, for starters, let’s figure out why the arch support exists and what functions it should perform.

Let’s start with the fact that while walking, the human foot makes many movements. If the description of this scheme is greatly simplified and complex terminology is avoided, then the following will be obtained. A healthy foot is not flat, but has the shape of an arc. During walking, and especially running, when the foot touches the floor, this arch straightens (experts call this process pronation), and then quickly returns to its previous shape (supination). Thanks to such simple actions, a softening of the impact is created when the foot contacts a hard surface. Why is this needed? To ease the load on the joints, spine and even prevent microconcussions of the brain. In people with flat feet, the “pronation-supination” ligament does not occur, so they do not have the effect of depreciation during movement. To correct this violation, instep supports were invented — small rollers that allow you to create supination of the foot.

But speaking of arch supports, it should immediately be noted that not all of them are the same. The example described above is the so-called orthopedic slippers, which are used just the same for the treatment of flat feet, and are also used after foot or lower leg injuries. They help to restore the deflection of the foot, give the leg stability, bring the ligaments, muscles and joints of the leg into the anatomical position. But there are other versions of the arch support that do not have a therapeutic effect, but can affect the process of forming a child’s foot.

Proper submersible

A truly correct orthopedic arch support with a therapeutic effect is present only on orthopedic insoles made according to an individual cast of the foot. Therefore, its shape, size and degree of rigidity are purely individual characteristics and are calculated in such a way as to correct one or another deformation. That is, the slippers, which are present in ordinary children’s shoes, have nothing to do with medical orthopedic ones. Yes, they also represent a tubercle that contributes to the supination of the foot, and accustom the child’s leg to an anatomically correct position, but they cannot treat complex deformities of this type. Let’s say more, some orthopedists, on the contrary, oppose the fact that healthy children constantly wear shoes with an arch support.

When does a child need shoes with an arch support

Let’s start with the fact that ancient people, who did not know about arch supports, ran barefoot and, according to researchers, did not complain about flat feet. Then why does a modern person with such trepidation choose shoes with slippers for himself and his children? The reason is precisely that civilized people stopped walking barefoot, from infancy they “chained” their feet into shoes with hard soles, which deprived them of a natural massage that strengthens ligaments and muscles. And without properly developed muscles, the foot cannot hold the arch. This is where the vicious circle comes in. But of course, no one in the modern world will walk barefoot, so shoes with arch supports will continue to be relevant. But if the sailors are intended for a child, it is important to remember some rules.

Firstly, shoes with arch support are not needed for young children. All babies have congenital flat feet. This is normal and does not require treatment. Therefore, crumbs up to 2 years old do not need shoes with an instep support. Let the baby’s muscles and ligaments develop naturally, without harmful «helpers».

If the child is growing, but flat feet do not go away, or other deformities of the foot have appeared, then he can not only wear shoes with a drawer, but also need it. Only you will need not ordinary arch supports, but medical ones — rather rigid, high, made by special order.

And now the main question: why do healthy children need shoes with arch supports? The usual arch support (present in most models of modern children’s shoes) is softer and not as high as orthopedic. Yes, it does not give a therapeutic effect, but in some cases it can make the child’s movement more comfortable. Shoes with arch supports are especially useful for very active children who are fond of sports and outdoor games. Good cushioning is important for their legs, which is impossible without proper supination.

In what styles of shoes do you need an arch support

First of all, a drawer of a certain stiffness and height must be present in medical orthopedic shoes. But such options, as a rule, are chosen together with the doctor, so this issue will not dwell on for a long time. It is much more interesting — in what styles of everyday children’s shoes a bowman is welcome, and when it is superfluous.

As already mentioned, the arch support is important for mobile children. Therefore, he must be in sports shoes. In other options — at the request of the parents. Although it is still preferable that the product in which the boy or girl spends several hours a day has a soft, low arch support. This will ease the load on the musculoskeletal system.

Tips for healthy baby foot development

The golden rule for choosing children’s shoes with arch support: the product must fit the child perfectly in size. If the shoes are bought for growth or even a little small for the child, the slipper under the foot is displaced, thereby forming an anatomically incorrect arch (arch). The result — instead of cushioning and creating the right movement habit, it increases the load on the legs and causes deformation of the feet.

Now regarding the design of the arch support itself. If it is almost flat, and is easily pressed under the pressure of a finger, then it will not perform its function in shoes. In other words, a model with such a drawer is no different from a model without it. Also, you should not buy styles with too hard and high (more than 5 mm) arch support. Over time, such a substrate causes weakening of the muscles of the foot. The correct instep support should not exceed 4 mm in height, it is moderately soft, and when pressed, it springs well.

But when choosing shoes that are useful for children’s feet, you should pay attention not only to the presence of an arch support. The sole is of great importance for the correct formation of the feet. It should be light, flexible under the thumb, have a wide stable heel and not slip. Equally important is the presence of a strong back that fixes the baby’s ankle joint, and a wide toe that does not squeeze the fingers. Only compliance with all these rules makes shoes useful for children’s feet.

No harm to children’s feet

Now you finally know the truth about arch supports in children’s shoes and you will undoubtedly be able to choose for your fidget, among the huge range of Theo Leo, the model with the most comfortable arch support.


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