Many parents believe that baby shoes should be selected very carefully. And it’s not for nothing that a developing children’s foot can be easily deformed if you put it in uncomfortable shoes. As a result, this is fraught with many negative consequences in the future (flat feet, scoliosis, etc.).
In the article, we’ve gathered some recommendations for moms and dads with the help of which you can easily choose shoes for your child.
At What Age Should You Buy Baby Shoes?
Pediatricians advise purchasing the first pair of baby shoes only after the child begins to walk.
Firstly, many children, taking their first steps, feel more confident in their shoes, and, besides, correctly selected shoes do not allow the baby to fall backward.
Secondly, even putting on shoes at least for two hours a day (provided that they are chosen correctly), you gradually accustom your baby to wearing shoes constantly.
Children up to a year do not need shoes. The only exception is special orthopedic baby shoes prescribed by a doctor.
Before buying baby shoes you should determine the size of the baby’s feet. For convenience, make a “sample copy” of your baby’s feet. To do this, put socks on the baby’s feet, circle them with a pencil on cardboard, and cut the image. Be sure to make a “cope” of both legs of the child, since the size of the feet may vary.
You can put these patterns into the shoes you like to determine whether the shoes are suitable in length and width. Thus, you will not exhaust the baby with unnecessary fittings and also save your time and energy.
By the way, before you buy shoes you should definitely try them on! Between the fingers and the tip of a shoe, there should be a space of about one and a half centimeters. This applies to both winter and summer shoes. In summer, due to the heat, the leg may swell and, accordingly, increase in size. And in winter, this “extra” centimeter will not allow the legs to freeze.
In addition, while walking, the foot of a person is pulled out a little in length. A small test will help determine this space – try to insert your little finger between the back of the shoe and the heel.
Baby shoes should not be too narrow, otherwise, blood circulation is disturbed. In addition, if it is winter shoes, then the child will feel cold. And if the shoes are too wide, then the foot will constantly “fall out” of the shoe and will not have support.
Other Important Features
Shoes that fit perfectly are put on and off without effort. Today, almost all manufacturers produce shoes of various sizes: narrow, medium, and wide. What’s more, many models of baby shoes are equipped with Velcro or clasps, which allow you to adjust the size of the shoes.
It is necessary to try on shoes for a child in a standing position since the bodyweight lengthens the foot by about 6 mm and on both legs. It is better to try on the fitting in the second half of the day, as the legs swell a little and increase.
Ask your baby to walk a little around the room in new shoes. Pay attention to the baby’s walk. Make sure it has not changed.
It makes no sense to ask the kid if his shoes are too tight or not, because there is a layer of adipose tissue in the children’s foot, due to which the pain is dulled. The baby will not feel discomfort, even if he walks in tight shoes or mixes up left and right shoes.
Never buy your child bigger in size shoes. Thus, children’s legs are subjected to a greater load, and the baby gets tired very quickly. Also, too loose shoes contribute to the appearance of calluses on the feet. Also, because of the attempts to “keep” the shoes on the legs, the manner of walking becomes shuffling. This may become a habit in the future. What’s more, keep in mind, that winter shoes that are too large will not warm your baby’s feet at all.
Also, pay attention to the appearance of baby shoes. By all measures, it must meet the requirements of quality and safety.
Choosing Baby Shoes – Do It Correctly!
The material from which the shoes are made should be natural. This applies to both the top of the shoe and the lining and insulation. Leather is one of the best options, as it has very good hygienic qualities and, most importantly, adapts to the shape of the foot.
Nubuck is an alternative to leather for active children. Over time, scratches and abrasions may appear on the leather, while the nubuck is more durable and defects are almost invisible. Suede baby shoes are also a good option, but only for dry weather.
In addition to natural materials, synthetic materials are also quite acceptable, but only those that pass air and trap moisture. The lining should be woolen or fur if it is winter baby shoes.
Pay attention to the insole. Since children’s legs are pretty sweaty, the insole should be made of a natural material that absorbs moisture well. For example, textiles or treated leather.
Shape And Style
The shoes of the correct shape and style will be comfortable for your child. Choose baby shoes with round toes. They should be wide enough so that the toes of the feet are free.
As for the style, choose ankle-length shoes, with velcro or lace-up. This type of fastener will provide the legs with a secure fit. A small soft cushion that protects the foot from rubbing should be present at the upper edge of the baby shoes.
The Back Of The Shoes
The back of the shoe must be hard. Otherwise, it will not hold the heel, and it will turn out to the side. Check the stiffness of the back of the shoe by clicking on it with your finger – it should not bend.
The sole of the shoe must be flexible enough so that the foot of the child can amortize when walking. But at the same time, it must be tough enough to absorb the blows.
You can check whether the sole is perfect in flexibility and stiffness by bending the shoe in half. If it bends easily, then such shoes are suitable for a child.
In addition, baby shoes should have lad soles. Do not buy shoes for children on flat soles. They may be too slippery. In modern baby shoes, the sole is made of microporous rubber, as well as polyurethane. These materials possess the above qualities.
Orthopedists are sure that a small heel is a must. It contributes to the formation of a correct gait and also prevents the baby from falling backward. For the little ones, choose shoes with a heel of 5 mm. By seven years, a heel with a height of 1 cm, by thirteen – 3 cm heel is acceptable.
Many experts are still arguing whether the arch support is necessary for ordinary baby shoes, not intended for correcting foot defects. After all, hard arch support, designed to straighten the foot, can harm healthy baby feet.
However, all of them are unanimous in their opinion that the soft arch support, which is now found in almost all baby shoes, is absolutely safe for feet.
Weight Of The Baby Shoes
If the shoes are heavy, the child will quickly get tired.
But perhaps the most important criterion for choosing baby shoes is their quality. The fact is that the costs for the production of children’s shoes are exactly the same as for the manufacture of shoes for adults. Therefore, high-quality children’s shoes cannot be cheap.
Remember, that by buying high-quality and correct baby shoes, you give your child not only safety and comfort every day, but also ensure the correct formation of the feet, and, consequently, the correct development and preservation of the health of the spine and the entire musculoskeletal system.
Born in Belarus, 1985, a pedagogue and family psychologist, mother. Taking part in procedures of social adaptation of the foster children in new families. Since 2015 is a chief editor of the motherhow.com project, selecting the best and up-to-date material for those, who are planning, expecting, and already having babies.