Shoes have been used for centuries to protect feet from various environmental and climatic factors. However, the use of shoes as status symbols dates back to ancient civilizations such as Egypt and Greece, where there was no practical need for them due to the ideal landscape and weather conditions. Today, the global footwear market is thriving, with a projected CAGR of 5.5% from 2020 to 2027. In 2020, the market was valued at $365.5 billion and is expected to reach $530.3 billion by 2027. The market for children's footwear, which makes up about 10% of this, was valued at $40 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 8.2%.
However, the children's shoe industry often fails to take into account the unique needs of children's feet. Unlike adult feet, which are fully developed and consist of 26 bones, children's feet are still growing and developing and contain more cartilage than bones. This makes it especially important for children to wear shoes that allow their feet to grow and develop naturally.
One important factor to consider when choosing shoes for children is the Natural Foot Shape (NFS). Children's feet are not simply smaller versions of adult feet but have their own distinct shape and form. Wearing shoes that do not take this into account can cause problems with foot development and even lead to foot pain and injuries.
It is essential to choose shoes that fit properly and support the natural shape of children's feet. This is especially important during the first ten years of life when children's feet grow the fastest. Shoes that are too tight or constricting can cause problems with foot development, while shoes that are too loose can lead to falls and injuries.
In addition to considering the NFS, it is also important to choose shoes that are made from materials that are soft and flexible, as children's feet are still developing and need room to move and grow. Shoes should also have a sturdy, non-slip sole to provide stability and support, and should be appropriate for the child's age and activity level.
By taking the time to choose the right shoes for children, parents and caregivers can help ensure that their little ones' feet have the support and protection they need to grow and develop properly.