Research done by the Department of Sports Science in the Faculty of Education at Stellenbosch University has discovered that shoe shapes here are modelled on European standards and are not suitable for South African children.
Dr Ranel Venter from Department of Sports Science Stellenbosch University says the study tested and measured the feet of about 800 children in Germany and in South Africa.
The discovered that South African children have bigger and wider feet compared to children in Germany.
The feet of our children in South Africa are more pliable. That is a good thing if you think of the functions of the foot, if you jump and run, your foot has to absorb that shock.— Dr Ranel Venter from Department of Sports Science Stellenbosch University
Dr Venter says they also discovered that children who grow up walking barefoot have better balance and can also jump further than children who wear shoes.
When they measured the school shoes, they found that they were too narrow and not big enough for the children's wide feet
If you look at sizes, it's written UK, Europe and US and they built their shoes narrow and pointed, which are not suited for our children.— Dr Ranel Venter from Department of Sports Science Stellenbosch University
Dr Venter advises that small children should be left to run around barefoot because it is good for foot development.
To hear the rest of the conversation with Dr Ranel Venter, listen below: