Are Barefoot Shoes Good for Childrens’ Foot Development?

Latest scientific research shows Softstar Shoes increase foot muscle size in children.

PHILOMATH, Ore., June 21, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — A recent scientific research study of elementary aged school children wearing Softstar shoes confirms that minimalist shoes increase foot muscle growth in kids. It is the first scientific study focusing exclusively on children’s foot development, and the results are consistent with existing research that until now has focused mainly on adults. While kids are inarguably the biggest fans of being barefoot, they now have their first piece of scientific evidence that their natural instincts are, in fact, best for growing feet.

“Softstar is proud to be part of the first scientific research study showing minimal shoes increase muscle size in Childrens’ feet.”

– Softstar CEO Tricia Salcido

The recent research study was conducted by scientists from the University of Sydney, Western Sydney University, and the University of South Florida[1]. The study looked at children aged 8-12 attending a private school in Sydney where black dress shoes were required by uniform. The researchers wanted the most barefoot-like shoes which would meet the approval of the school dress code. They found their ideal shoes with Softstar, a well-respected USA brand of barefoot shoes. The Softstar Primal RunAmocs have a minimalist rating of 94%, where 100% represents the highest degree of minimalism.

The minimalist rating is a standardized research index[2] to compare footwear. It considers the weight, stack height, heel-to-doe-drop, use of stability / motion control technologies and flexibility of each shoe. Most minimal shoe brands are moderately ranked in the 40-70% rating range. Softstar shoes are among the most minimalist shoes available, closer to protective leather gloves than traditional footwear.

After eight months of wearing the Softstar shoes during school hours, researchers found statistically significant increases in flexor digitorum brevis (FDB) muscle size in the group that wore Softstar Shoes compared to the control group. FDB muscles are the large muscle belly on the bottom of the feet in charge of toe flexion as well as stabilizing and supporting the foot during movement. Choosing well-fitting minimalist shoes over padded, inflexible footwear is an important way to help children’s feet develop muscle size even while doing more sedentary activities like being in school.

Parents are always looking for the latest edge to help their children thrive. While most emphasis is put on nutrition, sleep habits and exercise, sometimes it is easy to miss the low hanging fruit, like choosing healthier footwear. Feet are the foundation of our amazing and complex muscular and skeletal systems. Improving foot development in childhood can not only prevent long-term problems but can give kids immediate improvements in muscle structure.

Also of equal health importance, cautions Softstar CEO Tricia Salcido, is ensuring your kids have enough space for their feet—which can be tricky when children’s feet seem to grow overnight! Check your kids’ shoe fit every 6-8 weeks to ensure they still have plenty of room, and when it is time to size up, steer towards the most barefoot-like, breathable footwear in your budget.

Softstar is a certified B Corp that has been designing and handcrafting minimal leather footwear in the USA since 1985.

Anna Lammers
[email protected]
Softstar Shoes
Philomath, OR 97370

1 Roy T.H. Cheung, Shayan Quinlan, Alycia Fong-Yan and Irene S. Davis.  Softstar, Western Sydney University (Australia), The University of Sydney (Australia), University of South Florida (USA) research collaboration report. (2 February 2023)
2 Jean-Francois Esculier et al.  A consensus definition and rating scale for minimalist shoes (Journal of Foot and Ankle Research 2015) 8:42.

SOURCE Softstar Shoes

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Fashion - TREND MAG originally published at Fashion - TREND MAG

This news story originally appeared at Fashion - TREND MAG on 26 June 2023