We know growing feet need special care – but what makes us so confident our kids’ shoes offer the perfect fit?
Why’s it so important to support young feet?
At ASICS we put our founding purpose of achieving a sound mind in a sound body at the heart of everything we do. We know just how important it is for kids to feel supported – and that starts with their feet.
It’s our aim to encourage a healthy early interest in the power of movement and sports. That’s not going to happen with painful feet, and shoes that restrict natural movement and freedom of expression.
Why are kids’ feet different to adults?
Children’s feet are constantly developing, so it stands to reason they need comfortable shoes that fit well, provide proper support and allow for natural growth.
Kids’ feet mature in distinct phases, and so does our shoe range:
- Pre-School (PS): 3-7 year-olds
- Grade School (GS): 7-14 year-olds
Our new kids’ sockliners are tailored to the needs of growing feet at each stage. From the flatter sole and heel cup of our PS kids shoes, to the Kids 3D arch found in the GS range to support arch formation, it’s all there just when they need it.
ASICS tech for kids’ shoes – and what it actually means
We’ve broken down our latest kids’ shoe tech enhancements – found in shoes like our new NOVABLAST 2 and PATRIOT 13 – into six unique features:
- Special grading
- Flatter instep
- Oblique shape
- Moderate toe spring
- Centred heel angle
- Growth margin
But how do these actually help your child’s movement and comfort?
Special grading means… the right amount of room
If you’ve bought kids shoes before you’ll know the frustration of slightly different fitting sizes and shapes.
By specially grading our kids’ sockliners into PS and GS you can be sure you’re buying a proportional fit – a shape that’s been adjusted to scale, from heel to arch, based on your child’s physical development stage.
Oblique shape means… a roomy toe area
Children’s feet change quite a bit on the way to adulthood. A kid’s big toe, for example, is almost straight until the age of around 7, when it will start to develop at a wider angle.
It’s crucial for children’s growth they’re given more space in this first toe area, so toes can move freely – both up, down and side-to-side. Our oblique shape also caters for the development of the foot’s arch, with a higher, thicker shape meaning easier extension.
Centred heel angle means… pressure off little toes
If kids wore adult shoes, (aside from being too big) their heel angle would be gradually shifted to the outer side of the foot, eventually putting pressure on their little toes.
The centred heel angle of our kids’ shoes accounts for children’s relatively flat feet and undeveloped arch, keeping things in position and directing foot growth in the right way – reducing the risk of bunions in the process.
Flatter instep means… no sliding around
Another product of kids’ flatter feet and incomplete arch – their instep is flatter than a typical adults’, sometimes by a significant 4-5 degrees.
The flatter instep shape found in our kids shoes provides a better lockdown for a more stable stance, putting a stop to feet sliding forward and offering a more comfortable fit when lacing up.
Moderate toe spring means… no trips or falls
There’s a lot to be said for the right level of toe spring in a shoe. If toe spring is too high a child’s toes can stay curled up, tense and free movement becomes a problem.
Just as importantly, if toe spring is too low it makes kids far more likely to trip or fall over. That’s why our moderate toe spring strikes the perfect balance.
Growth margin means… a buffer for growth
As you’ve no doubt discovered, kids feet grow fast. In fact between the ages of 5-10 they grow roughly one shoe size every half year.
To allow for this – and given that tight fits can harm healthy growth – our latest kids’ shoes incorporate a 2-5% growth margin. This means a greater buffer for growth and free movement for those ever-expanding toes.