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Long Toes

Posted by DeborahW on 12/19/03 at 12:48 (140341)

My daughter is 12 yrs old. She is wearing a 9/12 shoe in womens'. During 2003 her shoe size has increased by 2 sizes. I noticed she has very long toes. Her big toe is 2 1/2 inches long but her other toes are not as long. I am worried that her foot is going to keep growning and I will not be able to find shoes to fit her. Currently, she can only wear sneakers but this is becoming a problem because they slide off the back of her heel. Another problem is that her foot is very narrow.

Is there a procedure available that shortens toes. How much longer will her foot continue to grow? I am not worried about how her foot looks, the problem is finding a shoe to fit her correctly.

Re: Long Toes

Carole C in NOLA on 12/19/03 at 13:02 (140342)

Hi Deborah. I'm a mother too (not a foot doctor). We mothers do worry about our daughters so I think I can relate to what you're saying.

It seems to me that 9 1/2 isn't that large for womens' shoes. Your daughter is already 12. My daughter's feet seemed to reach their full size before the rest of her did, and I think she was wearing size 10 or so when she was your daughter's age. She now wears a 10 1/2, and has no problem finding shoes that size. Americans seem to get bigger with every generation so maybe that's why a 10 1/2 is no longer that unusual.

I would definitely urge you to wait and see if there's a problem finding shoes for her, before even thinking of surgery. These things do have a way of working out, in time. I hope that is the case for your daughter as it was for mine.

Carole C

Re: Long Toes

Dorothy on 12/19/03 at 13:29 (140345)

There are many, many, many places that sell shoes that are cute, stylish, fashionable to appeal to a young girl as well as styles that will appeal to other ages and tastes in an amazingly wide range of sizes and widths. I am going to suggest to you that you look harder for SHOES not surgery to change the feet. Good grief! Even if her feet grew to a size that was not available in women's shoes (so unlikely as to be beyond belief), you could have shoes custom made for less money and LESS RISK than surgery!

Re: Long Toes

Richard, C.Ped on 12/19/03 at 15:07 (140356)

Sounds to me like she is going to be tall.

Re: Long Toes

Suzanne D. on 12/19/03 at 15:37 (140358)

Hi, Deborah! It sounds to me like your daughter has been going through a real growth spurt. I did the same between the 7th and 8th grades of school. I wear an 11 in women's shoes, and it USED to be very hard to find shoes (when I was in high school and college). I grew up in a small town, and there was one shoe store. They stocked women's shoes through size 10. I remember feeling like I was a 'misfit' at that age.

But the GOOD NEWS is that many, many stores carry women's shoes through size 11 or 12. And there are catalogs with larger sizes readily available.

If you don't mind a suggestion from a 51 year old who is tall and has long, narrow, thin feet ~ help her find cute shoes that fit her, and try to make her feel good about it. If you can refrain from saying things like, 'I don't know how I'm going to fit her in shoes if her feet keep getting bigger' and things like that, it will go a long way in helping her not to feel self-conscious. And that will be ultimately as important for her as keeping her in good shoes.

Many girls reach their full height by the beginning of their teenage years and also reach their full growth in terms of their feet. She may, like me, be tall, and then she may not. My older daughter (22) is 5'4' but wears a size 9. My younger daughter (17)is 5'9' and wears 10 1/2.

Again, please, I am not trying to meddle here, but since I've been down that road a long time ago, I know some of the pitfalls to avoid! :) I hope you understand what I'm trying to say.

Best wishes!
Suzanne :)

Re: Long Toes

Pamela S on 12/19/03 at 16:05 (140361)

My daughter and I have been reviewing together a book on puberty. In this book, it states that it is extremely common for the feet to go through a huge growth spurt first, and then the child shoots up to 'grow into the feet'. Your daughter is also 12 years old, which is about when all of this happens - I remember that my feet grew quite a bit, and then I shot up, getting to 5'8' at the age of 13. I did grow a little after that (both height and in the feet), but not the huge spurt. I suspect that she has just gone through this foot growth spurt, and it won't continue at this pace indefinitely.

Re: Long Toes

Dr. David S. Wander on 12/19/03 at 16:46 (140364)

Your daughter is obviously going through a growth spurt, and I'm sure you'll be noticing other changes in her body soon. The only way to determine when her foot is finished growing is via x-rays to see if the growth plate is closed or open. However, I certainly would not x-ray her just for this reason, and I would let mother nature takes her course.

Womens' and mens' feet have been getting progressively larger over the years, and fortunately it means that there is a greater variety of styles than before. Yes, surgery can be performed to shorten her toes, but this should be reserved for patients that have completed growth and are having pain to justify the surgery.

Re: Long Toes

Dr. Zuckerman on 12/20/03 at 10:20 (140430)

I agree. Give this time and see if her foot size stabilizes There are toe surgery procedures that down the road can help her alot, but so long as she is able to wear some type of shoe give this time