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. As we are a charity donations will be gratefully received to cover p&p and if you are a tax-payer you could complete the following Gift Aid form which allows the charity a further 25p in the £1 from HMRC.
Few people realise that putting a child in ill-fitting shoes can damage their health in later life and this is not good for them or our NHS. Too many people suffer problem knees, leg, hip, back, shoulder and neck pain in adulthood requiring operations and medication. If you adjust your natural gait to relieve foot pain, other joints wear out unnaturally. For someone living with diabetes this is even more serious (Diabetes UK is a mine of information).
The bones in our feet are really delicate in childhood and can be misshapen like a bonsai tree. Few bones are present in a babies foot and they grow throughout childhood. They do not ossify (harden) until mid-teenage, then as we grow older our bones continue to change shape throughout our lifetime. In pregnancy you can go up (or down) a full shoe size, so it is important to keep an open-mind about shoe sizing whatever your age.
A shoe size is just the starting point – the Last shape, where the shoe is made, the materials, the construction method, the heel height, etc. all affect the fit of a shoe.
Fitting gauges are all calibrated differently and shouldn’t be compared against each other. Only a qualified shoe fitter can assess which shoe fits best by knowing their stock and trying on various styles to see which fits best (taking into account lots of factors). The best fit may not be the size given on the gauge.
Footwear is the only item of clothing that can seriously affect your health and well-being.
A list of well-respected and recommended organisations who we highly recomm supporting National Shoe Fitting Week are:
C.F.H.R. – Children’s Foot Health Register – www.fitkidsshoes.org
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 THE LOGO OR POSTERS? SEE BELOW.
You are welcome to use this material. It can be supplied in word too. Email email@example.com
COLOURING COMPETITION TEMPLATES
(These may look a little untidy onscreen but print well)
These are just suggestions for retailer 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.
Professional Shoe Fitting is preventative medicine that is FREE!
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.
INSTITUTE OF CHIROPODISTS & PODIATRISTS
Our organisation has been working closely with the Institute of Chiropodists & Podiatrists and their members. The IOCP are endorsing National Shoe Fitting Week as they are more than aware of the importance of professional shoe fitting for the health and well being of the public. The IOCP is also a dementia friendly organisation and appreciate the importance of well fitting footwear for all ages.
Both diabetes and dementia are increasing, both needing considerable care. Keeping everyone mobile and safe is good for general health, therefore the IOCP is a vital conduit in educating both its members and the public.
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.
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 month course to know how to do the job of shoe fitting professionally.
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 deductible 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 – then end up in landfill. 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!
PLEASE THINK FEET, THINK FITTING and if you want a professional shoe fitter then check out our list from our homepage or click this link Register of Members