PLEASE USE THIS STRAPLINE IN SOCIAL MEDIA ON THE LEAD UP TO THE CAMPAIGN – #Loveyour feet.
This is a public information initiative and everyone is welcome to join in as long as they promote the message that professional shoe fitting is vital to the health of the nation. All donations gratefully received to cover p&p.
Few people realise that putting a child in ill-fitting shoes can damage their health in later life. If we walk to avoid pain then it wears out other joints and tendons in the body and that is why so many people get problem knees, leg, hip, back, shoulder and neck pain. If joints wear unnaturally then nerves can get caught in them creating great pain and later rheumatism and arthritis may also attack the worn joints. The bones in our feet are hugely delicate in childhood and can be mishapen like a bonsai tree. They continue to grow and harden (ossify) into teenage and then change shape throughout our lifetime.
We do not have an exact shoe size it depends on so many factors – where the shoe is made, the materials, the construction method, the Last shape, the heel height, etc.
The public often think that the size on a fitting gauge is the size they are, when there is actually no standardisation of shoe sizing in the U.K. (a good thing) and gauges are all calibrated differently.
Footwear is the only item of clothing that can seriously affect your health and wellbeing.
NO TWO PAIRS OF FEET, NO TWO PAIRS OF SHOES AND NO TWO GAUGES ARE THE SAME – IT TAKES AN EXPERT TO FIT SHOES CORRECTLY.
A list of well-respected and recommended organisations supporting National Shoe Fitting Week are:
C.F.H.R. – Children’s Foot Health Register – www.fitkidsshoes.org
I.F.R.A. – Independent Footwear Retailers Association – www.shoeshop.org.uk
SOCPOD – Society of Chiropodists & Podiatrists – www.scpod.org
B.F.A. – British Footwear Association – www.britishfootwearassociation.co.uk
Healthy Footwear Guide – www.healthy-footwear-guide.com
SOMSR – Society of Master Shoe Repairers – www.somsr.com
The Lymphoedema Support Network – www.lymphoedema.org
Diabetes UK – www.diabetes.org.uk
The Institute of Chiropodists & Podiatrists – www.iocp.org.uk
NEED POSTERS, HELP OR SUGGESTIONS TO JOIN IN NATIONAL SHOE FITTING WEEK? SEE BELOW!
FREE POSTERS – AVAILABLE FROM 1ST MARCH – they will be sent free to members of the S.S.F. – Society of Shoe Fitters, C.F.H.R. – Children’s Foothealth Register advertisers and I.F.R.A. – Independent Footwear Retailers Association Members.
A donation toward postage would be appreciated if you do not belong to one of these organisations. Please complete the form above.
COLOURING COMPETITION TEMPLATES
(These may look a little untidy onscreen but print well)
These are just suggestions for templates and not S.S.F. competitions.
Please note you need to set your own age groups and must always comply with the law surrounding competitions.
The entry form is merely a suggestion and we can email in Word format if it helps.
Bear in mind that if you are displaying the artwork instore, you must not be able to see the child’s contact information (child protection). It is therefore advisable to take copies of entries to display and keep the original entry safe and private.
You are welcome to use this material. It can be supplied in word too. Email email@example.com
THE FACTS: Footwear affects the way we walk (our entire physiology), therefore if we walk unnaturally for whatever reason (normally due to footwear), it throws out other joints in the body and wears them unnaturally. As we get older rheumatism and arthritis attack worn joints, often causing severe pain and occasionally immobility.
If feet were fitted by professional shoe fitters in childhood (preferably throughout life) and advice taken over the years, it would not mean wearing ugly old-fashioned or expensive footwear, it simply means wearing the right shoe for the right occasion, feeling comfortable and not suffering later.
IS IT CERTAIN SHOES?: High heels are often criticised, and if worn for prolonged periods or are ill fitting they are not good – but neither is a completely flat ballerina style pump if cheaply made and ill-fitted. Ballerina-type pumps are often fitted too tightly to keep them on the foot and the insoles are not padded enough on cheaply made shoes, resulting in cases of Plantar Fasciitis (severe pain in the sole of the foot). Because they have been fashionable over the past couple of years, more teenagers are being seen by Chiropodist’s because of this than ever before. In the same way that sheepskin boots have been in vogue. The original brand of high quality sheepskin boot does not present a problem as they are constructed properly, but cheaply made look-alikes become crushed and allow the feet to slop about inside. The foot is not held correctly in position and pronation and supination (feet turning in or outward) occurs. Look at the heels of many young people in these cheaply made boots as they walk in front of you…not good….and so on….far too much to mention here. G.P.’s are inundated with problems that would not have arisen if people had worn correctly fitting shoes. I
Professional Shoe Fitting is preventative medicine that is FREE!
FUNDING: Despite our lack of funds (we do not get any government support), National Shoe Fitting Week is inclusive not exclusive to all. The S.S.F. are trying to help educate the public and assist our industry as a whole. We cannot afford Advertising Agencies or P.R. companies, we are relying on networking, posters and kind journalists who wish to broadcast our news and advice.
SOCIETY OF CHIROPODISTS & PODIATRISTS: Our members have been working closely with The Society of Chiropodist & Podiatrist member’s and their numbers have grown over the past two decades. There are now over 11,000 in the U.K. which speaks volumes about the state of the nations feet!!! The Society of Chiropodists & Podiatrists are endorsing National Shoe Fitting Week as they are more than aware of the problems that arise and the difficulties people are having in finding good footwear – particularly the elderly.
SHOP CLOSURES: The number of shoe shops that can offer a professional shoe fitting service has dwindled and continue to close as they are finding it impossible to compete with online sales and self service supermarkets, and certainly cannot afford High Street overheads. The availability of very cheap fashion footwear on the high street has not helped either This is costing the nation dearly…but they don’t know it…..YET! How and why? …..
If independent shops close, there is A. a lack of knowledge and expertise and B. less choice of footwear available. Chainstores do not see the point in educating their staff as there is a high staff turnover and as shoe fitting can be quite labour intensive, the majority opt for self service. The big stores will also source their own footwear and it is usually cheaply made from overseas to create the right mark up to retain high street multiple positioning. It is the small shops that traditionally give families advice and personal care based on loyalty.
GAUGES: Some brands of footwear and large shops have unfortunately taken to selling gauges to the public. This is like giving a Porsche to a learner driver! You can buy scissors and cut your own hair, but there is no substitute for using professional scissors and having hair cut professionally. We feel that fitting gauges should not be allowed to be sold to the public – no-one knows their shoe size…because their shoe size will vary dependent upon brand, style, toe shape, materials, construction method and even country of origin. A qualified shoe fitter takes all these things into account.
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
If you are a journalist, please write about our organisation and about all types of shoes, not just high fashion. It is too easy to write about a celebrity and what they are wearing…be different, you don’t need to scaremonger, just give best advice – seek help from a professional shoe fitter!
If you are in government or a position of power. Please set aside £50,000 a year to keep our Society alive and kicking enabling us to undertake national advertising campaigns and more help lines available. We can survive (just) on £35,000 a year, but another £15,000 would give us the means to help and educate many more people.
If you are a Chiropodist/Podiatrist. Work with your trade body and find your local S.S.F. member and support one another. Our members have trained on a 5 or 10 month course to know how to do the job of shoe fitting professionally. Later this year we are providing a course specifically for you – so watch this space!
If you are a shoe shop. Make sure your staff are professionally trained – you are only as good as your weakest link in business. New businesses need firm foundations and we give so much advice and support. It will save money by taking one of our courses. We can all hit a golf ball, but with the right lessons we will rarely miss a shot. Training and subscriptions are tax deductable for existing businesses, and if you have a member of staff who has been fitting quality shoes for more years than they care to remember, ask them to complete the S.S.F. Entrance Application. Staff like to feel valued and they will feel far more comfortable discussing which shoes fit best if they have a qualification and membership behind them.
If you are the public. THINK about your own feet and your families feet. Do you have a neck, back, shoulder, hip or leg pain? Do your feet look ugly? Are you too ashamed of your feet to wear nice strappy sandals or go barefoot? Why take the responsibility of fitting your children’s feet when there are professionals to do it for you? It is not cheaper to buy self service or online in the long run. Shoes can be inferior quality and therefore will not have good fitting properties, will look awful and fall apart in no time at all. Buying online costs postage and packing (and the hassle of sending them back if they are wrong) ….BUT how do you know if they are wrong? You are not qualified to know, why should you be, but like teeth, ears and eyes, your children’s feet need professional care. It is important to get children’s feet regularly checked, but please do not ask what their size is because it means nothing in relation to the shoes they need. Using your local shoe shop just as a showroom or fitting service to buy elsewhere is rude, you wouldn’t go into a restaurant and bring out your sandwiches! Their stock and their overheads are costly and the profit margin is very low. You can always ask the Manager if there is any room for negotiation, but generally they all adhere to current price lists recommended by their suppliers.
PLEASE THINK FEET, THING FITTING and if you want a professional shoe fitter then check out our list from our homepage or click this link Register of Members