When we treat a child with foot and leg pain at Waikato Podiatry Clinic, the treatment often includes excersises, footwear recommendations, and in some cases, custom-made arch supports (orthotics)
Parents sometimes have a concern about costs and how long orthotics and quality footwear will last because their child's foot is growing so fast, which is understandable.
Put Your Mind at Ease
If this sounds like you, let me put your mind at ease. Between the ages of six to twelve, both boys and girls feet grow at their fastest rate. Then from twelve to seventeen, it slows quite considerably.
On average, the length of the foot will grow approximately 1cm per year from age six to twelve. From age twelve to seventeen a boy's foot will only grow an additional 10% and girls about 2%.
Some More, Some Less
You have to remember that these are averages and some children's feet will grow slightly more per year and others will grow marginally less. If you look at your own feet, this can be a good guideline for your child's eventual foot size.
For example, two parents with a size eight foot will rarely have a child with a size twelve foot, especially if there is no family history of big feet.
No Replacement for Years
Therefore, it is safe to say the average child between six to twelve years of age would not need to replace their orthotics for about two to three years. A child between twelve and seventeen may not need to replace their orthotics for three or more years, or until the orthotic itself has worn out.
I know no parent wants to see their child in pain, so i do hope this article has put your mind at ease about how long orthotics and shoes last, and that they are a very cost-effective treatment plan.