As premium leather shoes manufacturers, it has always been our endeavour to understand the ‘feet’ and design footwear accordingly. As part of this wider ‘understanding’ we embarked on an extensive foot survey of children, which ultimately led to some insightful findings. Our survey was a step further from another such foot survey done by the Austrian government between 2001 and 2007
We addressed two key issues:
- For a given length, what is the girth of the child’s foot? Or conversely, is the child’s foot also comparatively ‘wide’ as in the case of an average Indian adult?
- Analysis of defects visible in children being surveyed.
- We surveyed a sample of 1225 children taken across from various age groups and segments of society in the north region.
- Children surveyed were between 1.5 and 15 years of age.
- We used a size chart based on the standard length and girth measurements followed in Europe. In children with shoe sizes up to EU size 31, the size chart dimensions were adequate to cover the different lengths and girths of children’s feet. However, for at least 53% of the children having size 32-39, the girths were beyond the normal girth in the chart while the lengths were as per the size chart. In some cases, the deviation from normal girth was as much as 22 mm.
- Our survey revealed that foot girths were found to widen after a specific age in both boys and girls. In boys, the feet were seen to widen around the age of 5 while in girls this age was 6.
- The foot girths were found to widen after a specific age in both boys and girls. In boys, the feet were seen to widen around the age of 5 while in girls this age was 6.
- We made some interesting observations regarding the socks. Socks as well as the shoes kids wore at school (where they spend a large part of their day) were of synthetic material which did not absorb sweat, thus giving the children sweaty and smelly feet. Also most children’s socks were too big for their feet, which results in wrinkling of the socks within the shoe, thus creating shear pressure points. Depending on the size of the wrinkle and its location, the shoe possibly felt 1 to 2 sizes short.
From the survey it is clear that we needed footwear to accommodate higher than ‘normal’ widths also. So, we have decided to carry two widths as of now. One is ‘normal’ and the second is ‘wide’. The latter is 10 mm more girth than ‘normal’ in case of girls and 13 mm more girth than ‘normal’ in case of boys.