At birth the bones in the foot are mostly cartilage, the last bone doesn’t begin to form until children are about 3 years old. By 18 years of age, most of the bones are fully formed. Children’s feet are soft and pliable making them prone to damage from abnormal pressure, such as shoes which are too small or ill-fitting.
Children usually begin to walk any time between 10 and 24 months of age. Each child is unique and will move through the developmental states at their own pace. Each child follows a developmental sequence from lying to sitting, crawling, standing, cruising, walking to running, jumping & hopping. When your child first begins to walk, shoes are not always necessary. Sometimes children walk with their feet pointed inwards (in-toeing) or outward (out-toeing), other children walk on their toes (toe-walking). In most cases, these variations in walking are normal. Most children will have grown out of these walking styles by the age of two. However; if these patterns persist, or you have concerns, you should take your child to a podiatrist.
A child’s feet will double in size by the age of one and they are approximately half their adult length by 18 months of age. Between the ages of 5 and 12 growth is approximately 9mm per year, with adult foot size approximated by twelve to fourteen years of age. Frequent changes in the size of shoes and socks are necessary to make room for rapidly growing feet during childhood. Do a size check at least 1-3 months up to the age of three, every 4 months up to five years and every 6 months from five years.