Stride Rite Children’s Group is finding out more about how feet develop at an early age.
The Lexington, Mass.-based company, a division of Collective Brands, released the results of its commissioned study, “The Effects of Shoe Design on Children Learning to Walk,” on Monday. The report was conducted over a two-year period with the Leon Root, M.D. Motion Analysis Laboratory at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, the Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine in Philadelphia and the California College of Podiatric Medicine in San Francisco.
The study focused on identifying how shoe flexibility should vary at each development stage of a child’s foot growth in order to gain more insight for product design.
Findings showed that children learning to walk stumbled and fell less frequently when they were barefoot or wearing shoes that “matched [natural] foot movement.” Results also found that children who have been walking for more than five months need shoes with more structure, protection and durability because of their increased movement compared to younger walkers.
SRCG President Sharon John said, “We’re continuing to collaborate with expert pediatricians and podiatrists to better understand children’s foot development and work closely with them to achieve our goals of advancing footwear through leading innovation.”