SALZBURG, Austria, February 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Little feet are sensitive, and kids' shoes protect them from injury, cold and heat. While it's nice if they look good, too, manufacturers often overlook one important aspect: If children's shoes don't fit properly, kids' podiatric health is at risk.

A team of researchers from the Medical University of Vienna investigated the effects of poorly-fitting shoes on children's feet, and published their findings in the journal BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders. 858 three to six-year-old children participated in the study. The results: 69.4% wore too-short shoes. Indoor shoes, worn by Austrian children in pre-school, were even worse: 88.8% of shoes tested didn't fit properly.


In a second step, researchers took a closer look at kids' feet. Examinations of the hallux angle showed that deviations were present in 76.1% of the children, and in 14.2% of the cases, the deviation was 10 degrees or more (highest value: 19 degrees).

Are too-short shoes to blame? Statistical analysis of the results showed without a doubt: The shorter the child's shoes, the more serious the deviation of the big toe (hallux valgus).

Orthopedist Christian Klein, author of the study, says, Children often can't tell if their shoes are too short and force their feet into poorly-fitting shoes. We now know how unhealthy this is. It's up to industry and retail to act responsibly, because most shoes are mislabeled and shorter than indicated.

Kids need 12 - 17 mm of extra space in shoes. Researchers advise parents and retailers to measure feet and the inside length of shoes with a measuring device (e.g. plus12) to ensure that shoes fit properly.


Further information:

Dr. Wieland Kinz, Salzburg, Austria, +43-664-264-34-50,


CONTACT: Dr. Wieland Kinz, Salzburg, Austria, +43-664-264-34-50,