One day, I went to a public bathhouse with my son, Takeh.While I was in the bathtub, Takeh collected washbasins from around and set them on the tub’s edge. I don’t know why he enjoyed it, but it was a game he’d play anytime we visited a public bathhouse. Somehow, as I watched him, I chuckled.He curled his toes like a cat and waddled along.
I thought he was playing around. I rushed to stop him and warned him that he could fall if he curled his toes.But his toes stayed curled and wouldn’t go back to their normal position, so I made him spread them apart.I had never noticed this before because I never got to observe a child’s toes up close while they walked.When I asked Stone about it, he replied, “I don’t know.” He suggested, “Perhaps he bent his toes due to the slippery bathroom floor.”As the couple conversed, he got up and accidentally bent his toes. “Oops,” he exclaimed, “my fingers are bent.”
If he thinks it is fun and he is just fooling around, “Hey, hey, look at this!” and smiling, he comes to show us. But he looks so normal. Seriously, he seems to bend his toes as if it were natural.
This is abnormal. It’s not good if we leave him alone.
I quickly searched the Internet and found out that it seems to be a condition called “hammertoe.
Hammertoe” is a term for a condition, not a disease, and if you take him to an orthopedist, he will probably say, “It’s not a disease. Only when the hammertoe persists for many years, causing bone deformities and other problems in his life, does it become a “disease” and he can access medical care covered by insurance.
Of course, we couldn’t let his symptoms go untreated until that happened, so we decided to take care of it as soon as possible.
Apparently, hammertoes tend to occur when shoes are the wrong size.
If the shoe is too small, the toe hits the shoe and hurts, so the toe bends to prevent this, resulting in a hammertoe.
If the shoe is too big, the foot is not stable in the shoe, and the habit of stepping on the toe naturally develops, resulting in a hammertoe.
Now, in the case of my son Takeh, the shoes may be “too big”.
His feet are wider and higher in the instep than others. Because of this, cheap children’s shoes from Nishimatsuya (Nishimatsuya) come off the Velcro straps very quickly. For this reason, he always wears shoes with the model number “313” from New Balance. These shoes are made for wider feet.
He purchased a pair of 5.3-inch shoes in February 2023. However, his shoe size has been fluctuating, and he has been buying shoes that are 0.5 inches larger. Throughout his life, he has spent more money on shoes than on food or diapers.
Since he has taken such extreme measures to increase his shoe size, it is possible that he now wears shoes that are too big for him. He might be wearing shoes that are too long because he chose shoes that fit his wide feet.
If that’s true, we want to find shoes that are “wide but short length.” Shopping for shoes online is not an option. I want to go to a shoe store with my child to try on shoes and find the perfect fit. I also hope to properly measure his feet and get advice from the store staff.
While searching for a store to measure my child’s feet, I discovered Genki-Kids, a shop run by shoe manufacturer Moonstar that specializes
in kids’ shoes.
Check out their website at https://www.moonstar.co.jp/genki-kids/.
I was surprised to learn about it and impressed that their unique machine measures children’s feet and suggests the best shoe options. This is exactly what I was looking for, and I am grateful for finding this store. I went to the store right away.
They have a feature called “Hoof-taking” at Genki-Kids that uses a machine to measure the size of your child’s foot.
Your child just needs to step onto the machine while barefoot, wait a few moments, and the measurement will be done. It’s really easy.
The machine takes pictures of the feet from all angles and uses them to determine the length, width, and circumference of both feet. Based on these values, the system recommends a shoe size. The numerical values and foot image data are printed on a data sheet and given to the customer on paper.
According to it, the customer can choose the appropriate shoe size.
The sales clerk said there should be one inch of space between the toe and the tip of the shoe. She also advised me to take out the insole and check if any part of the foot is protruding.
To verify this, I put the 15.0cm New Balance insole he was wearing against his sole and found a tight area around his pinky toe.
I was regretful for not observing it sooner.
When this happens, I can’t just buy bigger shoes from a cheap online store. I need to help him walk more comfortably.
I recently purchased Moonstar shoes from the store and wore them home.
I realized I haven’t used my 15.0 cm shoes for a while and already bought 15.5 cm shoes. However, I couldn’t tell him to be patient and wear the cramped shoes for a while.
It’s not like telling someone who is overweight to wear tight clothes until they lose weight. My feet will continue to grow over time, so it’s important to find comfortable shoes that fit properly. Buying new shoes won’t immediately fix hammertoes, which are a defensive response that can take months to develop. To restore the toe to its normal state, it’s necessary to gradually treat it over the same or an even longer period of time.
When I spoke to his preschool teacher, she didn’t know about his hammertoe, and it didn’t seem like he always had it.
Shortly before we noticed the hammertoe, we took him to Kamikochi and walked him the 4 miles to Tokusawa. I believe this trip made him realize that he should walk on his own and not ask to be carried. Luckily, we found the best shoes for him just in time.
He seems to be enjoying his new shoes and now runs around without requesting to be carried.