High heel companies target children

Posted by Jessi Turnure

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Many little girls play dress up with their mother's high heels, stumbling while they play because the shoes are always too big.

But now, these girls do not have to wait for their feet to fit into the shoes. Many companies are now making high heels for younger consumers.

Many of the young heel fanatics here in Region 8 say they cannot get enough of the shoe.

"I like this one...it looks fancy," six-year-old Hannah Phongsa said.

"This one's pretty like me," two-year-old Abigail Phongsa said.  

"I have wedges...I wear them to school, in town, or to church," ten-year-old Olivia Cornish said.  
Cornish said she tries to pick shoes based on style and comfort, and one local podiatrist agrees with her. 

"Wedges, chunky heels, you know, versus the stiletto type or something that has a really narrow heel. A wedge is gonna be better than something that's narrow. It's gonna give you a lot of ankle stability. You're not gonna be using the lateral ankle as much and you have less chance to twist the ankle, roll the ankle over," Dr. Walter Hayes said.  

Dr. Hayes said it is best to wait to wear these shoes until the teenage years.

"Most of the foot shape is gonna be it's adult form at that point."

Hayes said if girls younger than this favor heels over flats, it could lead to foot problems.

"It could inhibit the development of the foot. It could lead to problems with tendon issues, balance issues, tripping and falling. Bunions, hammer toes, other typical adult problems that we see in the foot and ankle. Ankle sprains all the way up to ankle fractures. Dress up would probably be as far as they need to go."

But if you are just not a flats girl, Hayes said to buy heels two inches high or less and only wear them occasionally.

"Have enough room so it doesn't push on the toes to lead to the instability that you would normally see in the front part of the foot, leading to the problems we associate with the bunions and the hammer toes."

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