Recession could literally be crippling our children – shoe survey reveals
A worrying consequence of the recession on the nation’s children has been revealed by research which shows parents are being forced to make financial decisions which may negatively affect their children’s long term health.
A survey carried out by shoe retailer Brantano shows almost a third (28%) of parents are being forced to buy fewer new pairs of shoes for their children, with 11% passing on misshapen hand-me-downs from siblings.
And while 16% of parents are continuing to get their children’s feet measured in line with podiatrist recommendations, 23% admit that they are put off going to get measured as they expect to be pressured into buying new shoes, with 16% believing that these will have to be an expensive fitted brand.
The inevitable outcome is that parents are increasingly less likely to get their children’s feet measured, with as many as 1 in 10 parents surveyed saying they do not get their children’s feet measured and 13% settling for cheaper, unfitted shoes.
Podiatrist, Emma Supple, who advises Brantano on foot health, said: “If children aren’t wearing correctly fitted shoes, it not only has short term effects such as redness, soreness and blisters, but can also impede foot growth leading to longer term health problems. These include bunions, foot deformities and even back and knee pain and posture problems which can directly affect their walking for the rest of their lives. It is so important to ensure your child is wearing correctly fitting shoes and shoes that are not worn out. Children’s feet grow in variable bursts so awareness and being vigilant are key.”
The survey showed that general knowledge about the importance of fitted shoes is good amongst parents, with two thirds (65%) saying they appreciate the associated health risks to children from wearing ill-fitting shoes. However, it was generally the short term impact such as blisters and ingrowing toe nails that were picked out in the survey.
The squeeze on household budgets is leaving 39% of parents in the hopeless position where they feel they are letting their children down when they can’t purchase the shoes they need, with the vast majority (81%) confirming that they would sacrifice shoes for themselves instead of letting their children go without.
David Short, managing director at Brantano said: “Parents are currently in a very difficult position juggling the household budget. While it is pleasing to see mums and dads are aware of the short term implications of their children wearing ill-fitting shoes it is worrying to hear that they feel so alone in terms of confronting the problem of affording fitted shoes that are key to the healthy development of their children.
“We offer a completely free fitting service with no pressure to buy, friendly, expertly trained staff and stores that are open late to make it as easy as possible for parents to pop in at a convenient time. Parents should not feel as though they are facing this problem alone, and we are committed to providing fitted shoes to match any budget.”
At Brantano choosing correctly fitted shoes is a straightforward process that does not need to be expensive and involves not only measuring the
length, width and depth of both of the feet, but also trying the shoes on and watching how the child
walks in the shoes.
The stores offer a free fitting service, with staff trained by top brands such as Clarks, Start Rite and Hush Puppies, in a scheme recognised by the awarding body Edexcel. The team are put through rigorous training followed by at least 25 supervised fits before being given the title of ‘expert fitter’. Brantano have stores nationwide and offer a wide range of shoes and brands to suit all budgets. For more information visit www.brantano.co.uk
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Notes to Editors:
Survey carried out on 1,000 UK adults by Redshift Research on behalf of Brantano, February 2013.