Why is it so hard to find good shoes for kids?

A question we asked ourselves each time we went looking for kids shoes online (from site to site) or offline (from store to store). We struggled to find the perfect combination of looks, comfort and fit. It was hard to consistently find a trustworthy brand that had a range of good quality shoes in sizes and styles that met the kids needs and fit our pockets at the same time! As we spoke to parents across, we realised that it’s not just us, looks like shoe shopping is every parent’s nightmare across the country!

We decided to dig deeper and understand — are kids just being fussy and finicky or is there truly something wrong in the current range of Kids Shoes Online and offline, across the market. We talked to the experts — podiatrists, child orthopaedics, sports therapists; to understand the needs of growing feet and how footwear should be designed for them.

Here is what we learnt:

Children’s feet are DIFFERENT from adult feet. However, kids shoes available in the market today are just a MINIATURISED version of adult shoes. They are mostly uncomfortable, ill-designed and not Flexible Shoes For Kids. This can have an impact on both their current wearing comfort and more importantly future muscle and posture development.

1. Kids feet need to MOVE FREELY in different directions for proper GROWTH. Hence, it is important to buy fully flexible shoes for kids.

2. Kids feet are WIDER and their toes need to spread for better BALANCE and GRIP. Hence, kids shoes should have a wide toe-box to give room to their toes.

3. Kids feet need to FEEL the ground contour for the brain to get the right signals for better MUSCLE and ARCH formation. Hence, their shoe soles should be thin and allow feedback from the ground.

Both the shoes available in stores and kids shoes online, lack these aspects today.

Kids shoes online and offline are mostly:

Not fully flexible
Narrow in front
Thick soled

Such shoes restrict kids' FREEDOM TO MOVE and will be instinctively rejected by them within the first couple of wears. In fact, you would have all experienced this as 'unworn shoes' lying in the cupboard or as the pain of multiple returns of kids shoes online.

And that is the expert view on why we struggle to find the right shoes for kids — simply because the footwear being marketed to kids has just not been DESIGNED FOR KIDS.

Next time make sure you listen to the kiddos voice when they try tell you the shoes are not right, no matter the words they use to describe the issue. Remember, they know something instinctively about their feet that we adults just don’t understand or have learnt to live with thanks to years of living with hard to walk in shoes. Think about the joy of a pair of flexible shoes for kids and how nice it would feel on their feet. Go ahead and share the joy with your kids today. It’s now available!

— Parul Sarin, CMO
Energiser of Brands and People