Sneakers with children's rollers: what do podiatrists say?

The slippers with rollers or heelys, which combine footwear and skates, are fashionable, triumph among children and rare is the park or school yard where children are not seen wearing this new contraption with which they have fun, race and even use as a type of usual footwear.

However, fashions are not always linked to good health and running shoes with rollers They are not an exception in this regard. This is expressed by the General Council of Official Schools of Podiatrists of Spain, which states that "the use of this footwear in the long term, can cause problems in the feet derived from its weight, the height of the heel, the lack of flexibility and of the own "ruedín" and its instability ". This organism is based on a study carried out by the Miguel Hernández University, in Elche, where it is warned that the use of heelys It has negative effects on children's feet.


In fact, after knowing this study, the General Council of Official Associations of Podiatrists of Spain recommends that schools, mainly children and primary schools, prohibit children from going to school with the heelys, commonly known as footwear with "rollers".

Roller shoes: the Christmas star gift

This attention on the shoes with rollers arises as a result of which this footwear became a typical gift of the past Christmases to the children. A fact that awoke the attention of podiatrists as more and more schoolchildren came to school with this footwear. That is why the Miguel Hernández University paid special attention to the heelys during the study he has been doing for more than 10 years and in which he looks after the children's podiatric health in the educational centers of the Valencian Community.


In this study we have analyzed a sample of one hundred children aged between 2 and a half years and eight and a half years. The day I was reviewing to take data in this study, 11% of schoolchildren came with heelys to school, mainly girls. This fact awoke the alarm among the podiatrists since this means that the students wear these shoes for at least eight hours.

A garment that, as stated by Roberto Pascual, director of this study, "It's not a shoe but a toy." So in your opinion, the shoes with rollers or heelys they should stop selling in shoe stores and be offered only in toy stores. Pascual also trusts that the heelys be a fad since its long-term use can cause problems in the feet because they weigh more than the recommended shoes or shoes, the height of the heel is excessive and presents a disturbing lack of flexibility. In addition to the instability caused by the wheel in the sole.


Risks of the use of zapatilas with rollers for children

There are many dangers for the health of children's foot use of heelys in the opinion of podiatrists.

1. The height of the heel. It is more worrying, according to experts, since in the shoes with rollers this can increase up to five centimeters. This fact means that the anterior part of the foot does not support most of the body weight, a mission for which the heel is anatomically designed since barefoot supports 75% of this load.

If the heel of the footwear increases, the load of weight that the heel supports diminishes and this falls on the forefoot. This pIt can cause growth problems, metatarsalgia (pain in the bones that join the fingers with the anterior part of the foot) and Freiberg's disease (characterized by the loss of blood flow in the bones of the foot). The director of this study warns that in the case of slippers with wheels the increase of the load on the forefoot increases up to 40%, which is similar to the use of a 5-centimeter heel. A worrying fact if one takes into account that the scholar spends an average of 6 hours a day at school while wearing these shoes.

2. The pressure on the heel is higher than the average. This study gives the example of a girl who weighs 32.4 kg and measures 128 centimeters and whose pressure on the heel is 2.072 grams per square centimeter. This number increases to 5,017 grams / square centimeter when using sneakers with wheels and can reach 8,743 if the wheel is deployed.

The study shows that among the students who used heelys during the review they were appreciated heel pressures between 1.5 and 2.7 times higher than the average. In the long term it can cause a shortening of the posterior muscles (twins, soleus and hamstrings). This fact may result in the appearance of flat feet. Pascual clarifies that if the use of shoes is reduced to brief moments of leisure do not worry, there are only these problems if you wear this shoe for long periods of time throughout the day.

3. The weight of this footwear doubles that of a normal sports shoe. Pascual gives the example of a size 33 that normally weighs 418.85 grams while in the case of heelys this number increases to 867.25 grams. Podiatrists warn that it can lead to hip problems because the effort to lift the foot at the time of walking increases excessively.

Recommendations of podiatrists on the use of heelys

In view of the results of this study, the General Council of Podiatrists recommends schools that do not allow their students to go to school with heelys like other objects such as mobiles are prohibited. There is also a call to parents who are advised not to put their children this shoe or any other that is not designed to spend hours standing as the fact of wearing shoes designed for football could also be harmful.

Also it is called the attention of the commerce since as it was said before this footwear would not have to be offered by zapaterías but by jugueterías since it is not considered like a normal slipper. At the same time it is recommended that the use of heelys by children never exceed two hours per week.

Damián Montero

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