BAREFOOT WALKING is okay, sometimes.
When your child first begins to walk, allowing he or she to go barefoot or wear soft sole shoes while inside helps the feet to grow normally and to develop musculature, strength and grasping action of the toes. When walking outside or on rough surfaces, an infant’s feet should always be protected in lightweight, flexible footwear made of natural materials.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT SHOES FOR INFANTS
The ideal shoe is soft and flexible, with breathable leather uppers and a fully adjustable fastening for a snug fit. Children’s feet sweat quite a bit, so avoid buying synthetic shoes, as they will not allow your child’s feet to breathe. Synthetic materials also tend not to stretch, and the resulting pressure could damage a child’s growing foot.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT SHOES FOR TODDLERS AND BIG KIDS
New shoes should never need to be “broken in.” It means either they were not properly designed or not properly fitted for your child’s foot. Select shoes with a rounded toe box that give plenty of room for toes to move. Shoes should be made of a breathable material, like leather or canvas. Avoid man-made materials, such as plastic, because they can cause odor or even bacteria growth.
SAY NO TO HAND-ME-DOWN SHOES
It is not recommended for children to wear hand-me-down shoes. Most shoes form to the foot, so wearing hand-me-downs that have already been “formed” can affect the shape of your child’s foot.
DID YOU KNOW?
- The critical development years happen from infancy and into the toddler years.
- The bones in a baby’s foot are made of cartilage, the same flexible substance you find in your ears and nose.
- A shoe that is too rigid or too tight can change the shape of your child’s foot.
- Around 70% of foot problems come from wearing the wrong footwear or ill-fitting shoes. A child’s feet develop until he or she is about 18 years old.
- A child’s feet grow in spurts and often require new shoes every 3 to 4 months.
Image via @lindseyleeandtheboys