Woolworths is proud to announce that its exclusive Walkmates are the first children’s shoes in South Africa to receive the seal of approval of the South African Podiatry Association (SAPA). “Like Woolworths, the SA Podiatry Association recognises the need for products that promote health and well-being,” says Anette Thompson, chairperson of the of the SA Podiatry Association’s Footwear Sub-committee. “Woolworths is the first retailer to work with us as part of our Footwear Approval Programme. Because maintaining and caring for a child’s developing feet has long-term benefits in terms of general health, well being and mobility in later life, we were excited to work with Woolworths on the development of their children’s Walkmates for winter 2007.” Children’s feet are not only softer and more flexible than those of adults, they’re also wider across the toes and have a less pronounced arch. Because they develop and change shape as they grow, it’s essential to make sure that a child’s shoes not only give feet plenty of room, but also provide the support and flexibility they need to develop properly, especially in the critical area across the ball of the foot. This is particularly important between the ages of 3 and 7. Woolworths’ exclusive Walkmates have been specially designed to help promote proper foot development and are specially shaped for children’s feet, with a wider forefoot and plenty of space for little toes. The uppers are made from specially selected, top quality leathers to provide the comfort and protection children’s feet need, while the soles are constructed from flexible, lightweight, non-slip materials. In addition, closed styles have padded collars for extra comfort and support. In accordance with Woolworths’ policy, all metal buckles and trims are nickel and ferrous free to prevent possible skin irritation or rusting, and, as you would expect, are firmly and securely attached. The lengthy and detailed SAPA approval process saw Walkmates being put through their paces. Not only did they have to meet certain technical specifications, but they were also assessed in regard to shape, fit, flexibility, heel height, toe room, moisture and air permeability and overall weight to ensure that they conform to the best characteristics of a good shoe for a naturally developing foot. Walkmates passed with flying colours. You’ll find a wide variety of SAPA-approved genuine leather Walkmates in styles and colours for both boys and girls at your favourite Woolworths store now. ENDS NOTES FOR THE EDITOR:
  • The South African Podiatry Association is a non-profit organisation that advises the public, associated professions, government, industry and commerce about podiatry and the importance of ensuring good foot and lower limb health for Southern Africa.
  • As shoes play an important role in foot health, SAPA is concerned with the quality of footwear in South Africa and in 2005 established a footwear subcommittee.
  • Podiatry is a modern foot and ankle medical speciality. In South Africa, a podiatrist holds a four-year university degree that includes study of basic ‘medical school’ subjects common to practitioner members of the Health Professions Council of South Africa. In addition to diagnosis and treatment, their scope of practice includes biomechanics, pharmacology, surgery of the skin and nails and physical therapy modalities as well as prescribing any device necessary to treat feet and ankles.