Babies are born with flat feet, and as they grow older, their arches become more prominent. Shoes are not necessary until they can walk, and the boots can only be used to protect their feet from cold, heat or unpleasant surfaces until they start walking on their own. To ensure the flexibility of mobility and growth, it is important to choose socks, boots and sneakers that are not too tight.
When your baby starts to stand up and walk, it is crucial to keep him as barefoot as possible. This helps with proprioception, the development of the leg muscles and the prevention of abnormalities caused by improper footwear.
When your baby takes his first steps, you can give him soft, breathable shoes. A pair of baby sneakers with non-slip soles and thicker heels are best in this situation. The baby’s ankle is already strong enough when it starts to stand up, contrary to popular belief a few decades ago, so there is no need to wear strong baby sneakers.
It is essential to understand the peculiarities of a baby’s foot in order to facilitate a smooth transition from boots to shoes. Around the age of 18 months, when the cartilaginous tissue begins to calcify, the feet of very young newborns begin to strengthen. The baby takes the first steps when his feet and legs are strong enough to carry the weight upright.
Allowing them to explore the ground barefoot allows them to learn about the environment while exercising the muscles and flexibility of their little foot. It also allows them to become more aware of their body position in space and to improve their balance.
As your baby gains confidence and stability, he or she can wear soft shoes, such as non-slip baby sneakers to protect his or her feet, while extending his or her range of exploration.
When your child is old enough to go outside, you can start looking for shoes designed for the outside, with heavier materials, but which keep their flexibility.
It is not an easy task to choose the right shoes for babies, given their growth spurts and unstable walking technique. However, choosing the right shoes is very important to ensure the comfort and safety of your little ones, from birth to the age of 18 months.
Here are some important factors to keep in mind when choosing baby shoes.
Choose the right size
You can use a foot scale to determine the size of your baby’s shoes, or you can draw the shape of your foot on a piece of paper before making measurements. Once you have determined the right shoe size for your child, always opt for the next larger size if it is between two shoe sizes.
Also, if the sole of the shoe can be easily removed, you can use it to see if there is enough space between the toe and the baby’s toes. Normally, a space equivalent to 2 centimeters wide is sufficient.
Velcro, laces or zippers?
Although your baby is learning to walk in the first few months, it is best to choose baby sneakers with laces, which provide better support, stay better, and fit better.
For babies who have not yet reached the walking stage, a pair of soft leather shoes will do their job to protect their feet. When the baby is taking his first steps, you can choose soft-soled shoes that provide solid foot support. These shoes should provide good support and be flexible at the toes. A sole that is too soft is buttoned and bent at the toes. A sole that is too cushioned may slow down your child’s progress while walking.
Proper matching is important to make sure your baby is comfortable in his shoes. Make sure that the chosen model holds its feet firmly in place and that the feet do not move towards the front of the shoe while walking. This would make them unsteady, lead to falls and hinder their progress.
Is it really the perfect shoe for kids?
It is difficult to answer this question, as each brand offers baby shoes with different features, depending on the price. When buying baby shoes, keep the above tips in mind and pay close attention to the following features:
– Soft leather shoes with a light rubber sole offer more flexibility and are recommended for indoor use for children who do not have foot problems;
– Lightweight models will help the child to move easily;
– The heel of the child’s foot must fit properly with the sole of the shoe, the heel must be properly supported at the back, and the front of the foot must have freedom of movement;
– The shoe pattern must be firm enough to absorb shocks while walking outside on hard surfaces such as concrete and asphalt.
Lastly, keep in mind that a baby who doesn’t walk doesn’t need shoes yet, and when he or she starts moving, he or she doesn’t always need to wear shoes. Allow their feet to explore different soil textures, such as grass, sand, and earth, and instead use shoes to protect their feet and help them get used to covering them! Wearing a shoe will often give babies confidence and encourage them to take a few steps inside.
Feel free to consult a podiatrist for any questions regarding the purchase of baby shoes or for questions related to the development of your child’s foot!