What is it about?

Our research has shown that the feet of children and adolescents that grow up habitually barefoot differ from their habitually shod counterparts. The shoe industry in South Africa still uses the lasts (sizing) from the British system. After measuring children's feet, as well as worn and new shoes in retail, we have shown the current shoes available are too narrow.

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Why is it important?

Shoes are one of the external factors that influence foot development. Wearing ill-fitting shoes for long hours could lead to a number of foot pathologies. These problems will typically become worse during adulthood and as people age.


We would like South African shoe companies, parents and educators to take note of our findings and work together to provide school shoes that would fit the unique feet better.

Stellenbosch University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Are habitually barefoot children compelled to wear ill-fitting school shoes? A cross-sectional study, BMC Pediatrics, April 2022, Springer Science + Business Media, DOI: 10.1186/s12887-022-03263-9.
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