The child’s foot is still growing and we really do not want to interfere with that process. Shoes can interfere with that process and if they are not right can led to problems as adults, such as bunions. There really are two opposing schools of thought on this and has led to some controversy. On one hand some argue that the shoe should be as minimal as possible to avoid doing anything to interfere with the normal and natural development of the foot. On the other hand others argue that the shoes could or should have designs that encourage the foot to grow and develop in the right way. As there is no evidence either way it comes down to different philosophies and biases as to which is the one that should be given preferences. This can lead to some interesting comments in social media; especially when there are is no evidence to support more supportive shoes.
At the end of the day, clinicians do have to give some advice. Obviously the shoe must fit; it probably also should bend where the child’s foot bends. Where the controversy is, is if the shoe should be supportive or not. It probably should if there is a problem that needs intervention that needs support and probably should not be used if there is no problem present that needs a supportive intervention.