Welcome to the Podiatry Arena forums, for communication between foot health professionals about podiatry and related topics.
You are currently viewing our podiatry forum as a guest which gives you limited access to view all podiatry discussions and access our other features. By joining our free global community of Podiatrists and other interested foot health care professionals you will have access to post podiatry topics (answer and ask questions), communicate privately with other members (PM), upload content, view attachments, receive a weekly email update of new discussions, earn CPD points and access many other special features. Registered users do not get displayed the advertisments in posted messages. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our global Podiatry community today!
If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact contact us.
ICWales are reporting: Demands for ‘shoe with a toy’ may lead to damaged feet
SHOES that come with a small toy in the heel could be leading children to demand their parents buy them ill-fitting footwear, experts warned yesterday.
Shoemaker Clarks is currently promoting its YoToy range, featuring a toy in the shoe’s hollow heel.
Shop owners say it can be hard to persuade children that a different type of shoe, with no toy inside, would fit them better.
Peer pressure in school has seen some pupils return to shoe shops for YoToys, having persuaded their parents they have already outgrown shoes they had in September.
Podiatrists warned that unsuitable shoes could quickly damage children’s feet, potentially causing long-term problems.
The Children’s Foot Health Register, representing children’s shoe retailers, has concerns about YoToys.
Karen Little, who chairs the CFHR’s management committee and who owns a shoe shop, said, “It’s difficult, because very often the child is led by the fact that a shoe has a toy in it. We’ve had children refusing to take any shoe unless it’s got a toy.
“I blame parents – they give in to children.”
She said other companies provide inducements, such as free mini radios inside shoeboxes, without restricting the offer to one type of shoe.
“It isn’t detrimental to feet, and they don’t advertise in the same way that Clarks do.
“The YoToy, according to one of my staff who watched Nickelodeon, was advertised five times in one hour.”
Some shop assistants remove the toys before showing the shoes to children, but Mrs Little said many youngsters already know about YoToys from adverts or peers.
“With the girls’ shoes, there’s a clear bubble in the bottom. The doll’s face is peeping out,” she said.
“Since they went back to school there’s been peer pressure. You’re not cool if you haven’t got a YoToy in your shoes.
“They’re coming back for shoes with a YoToy in. They say, ‘My shoes are hurting me.’ We re-measure their feet and say, ‘Are you sure?’ They say, ‘But I want a new pair with a YoToy in.’”
Fred Beaumont, spokesman for the Institute of Chiropodists and Podiatrists, said, “This is like bribery. If you ask a child if the shoe with the toy in feels all right, they are going to say yes.
“Clarks have a good reputation for fitting, but I can see that the child is obviously going to say, ‘I want the toy.’
“It’s essential that children have shoes that fit them properly. Children’s feet are still developing and they’re very malleable.
“They can crunch their feet up if the shoes are too tight and it doesn’t hurt them, but they are pushing bones out of line.
“The bones are extremely soft. They’re not fully ossified until the child reaches 25 years of age.
“Damage can be done within months.
“It’s quite expensive to buy children’s shoes. People tend to put off buying new ones.”
Alan Phelan, a podiatrist in Barry and Cardiff, said the advantage of YoToy is that it could draw people into Clarks shops when otherwise they would buy shoes without having their children’s feet measured.
“But on the other hand, you don’t want them to go into a particular shoe which might not be for them just because it has a toy.
“With that age group, you might have trouble anyway finding out whether a shoe is comfortable,” said Mr Phelan, a father of three.
Mrs Little said children had previously been influenced by shoe fads but without the prolific advertising.
“The media then weren’t anywhere near as powerful as now. These days, if they want you to believe green is blue, they can,” she added.
A Clarks spokesman said the YoToy shoes have undergone podiatric tests.
He said: “We would not have put out a product where there was any risk whatever of damaging the children’s feet. That would be completely counter to the Clarks ethos.
“As far as I’m aware, there’s never been any criticism of the quality of the footwear because it has a toy in it.
“There are the usual health and safety implications of having a small toy, which could be swallowed, but we’ve been very diligent in warning customers about that.”