Psychosocial development and corrective shoewear use in childhood

J Pediatr Orthop. 1998 May-Jun;18(3):346-9.


To assess the short- and long-term psychosocial effects of wearing modified shoes during childhood, we compared measures of self-esteem and self-image of 46 adults who wore shoe modifications during childhood with 92 adult controls. The treated cases characterized their remembrance of the experience through a subjective report questionnaire. Those who wore shoe modifications during childhood showed lower self-esteem than controls (p < 0.05). In addition, the treated recalled a decrease in their self-image (41%), the experience as negative (57%), being teased about their footwear (47%), and having their activities limited (41%). These findings show that wearing shoe modifications during childhood, in addition to being ineffective and unnecessary as demonstrated in prior studies, is a negative experience in childhood and is associated with lower self-esteem in adult life. Such data suggest that children who wore modified footwear may fall into the spectrum of the vulnerable child syndrome.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Body Image
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Child Development
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Orthotic Devices* / adverse effects
  • Psychology, Child
  • Self Concept*
  • Shoes* / adverse effects