I know many of you may have a concern that you or your child may develop foot problems similar to the elders in your family. I agree that it's published that many problems, including arch height and bunions, are hereditary. And with today's technology, who wouldn't want to take advantage of what's out there and prevent their child from having such problems? I for one would love to. Only one problem.
Even though it is published that bunions, for example, are hereditary, and can be caused by trauma, being a ballerina or a gymnast, or even just having flat feet, there is nothing published stating that anything actually prevents bunions. This includes orthotics. It's been tough to design a study which takes all the variables of daily living into account. Such variables as sometimes wearing shoes appropriate for orthotics, then sometimes wanting to wear shoes that orthotics don't fit in. Of course some orthotics are made better than others. Also, we usually walk around our house or the beach without orthotics, etc., etc. So scientific method loses due to long-term life variables. And no study would be safe for its population if it had people wearing an orthotic on one foot and no orthotic on the other foot for thirty years and then seeing what happened.
That doesn't mean I haven't given, or even recommended orthotics for kids coming from families with a strong family history of bunions. It's just that before I proceed in these cases, I explain all of the above to the parents and expect them to participate more influentially in the decision-making. A further problem here: for the orthotics to actually be used by a non-hurting kid, they'd better be glibly comfortable. No one is going to wear something which actually makes a comfy foot hurt. But sometimes the envisioned orthotic (not one which is flat and play-acting, but one which would actually inhibit arch-sag) winds up being more uncomfortable to the foot than without, and the plan loses anyway.
All part of a day's work.