There are so many models of shoes in stores that it is not always easy to know how to choose the right pair for a child. Here are some tips to guide you.
a. When baby is not working yet
The child who does not walk yet does not need to wear shoes. As a general rule, before the age of 8 or 9 months (when some children start to stand up and want to take their first steps), the shoes are only used to protect their feet from the cold or the sun, for example .
You must choose a very soft shoe that does not prevent the feet from moving, like leather slippers . Wearing such sandals on babies gradually familiarize themselves with wearing something on their feet.
b. When baby starts to walk
When the baby starts to hang on to the furniture to get around or when he starts to walk, it is advisable to leave him barefoot as often as possible to promote the proper development of his foot. Walking barefoot allows the small muscles of the foot to work. This develops the child’s stability, balance, coordination and muscular strength. It is therefore not necessary to wear shoes inside the house to a baby who is learning to walk.
Letting your child walk barefoot on different surfaces (eg in the grass, in the sand, on a carpet, on mattresses, in the bed) also exerts his ability to perceive his body in space.
Of course, your baby needs shoes to protect his feet, for example to walk outside or in public places. In this case, his first shoes should be light, flexible and have a cushioned sole. They must also fit well in the heel to prevent his foot from getting inside his shoe while walking.
Some studies have also shown that wearing shoes has some benefits for toddlers. This gives them confidence and encourages them to take steps.
c. Choosing a good pair of shoes for a child from 2 to 5 years old
At around 2 years old, the child is more and more confident in his movements. He works better and he needs a comfortable shoe. Here’s what to check when choosing your toddler’s shoes:
- The shoe must be light;
- The sole must bend at the toes to promote the natural movement of the foot;
- The sole must be slip-resistant (eg: rubber) to prevent the child from slipping;
- The sole should be slightly thicker at the heel;
- The shoe must be made of a material that “breathes”, such as leather or some synthetic fabrics used in the manufacture of sneakers, to allow the foot to be well ventilated. Avoid synthetic materials, such as imitation leather, that do not let foot perspiration escape;
- Remember to put your fingers inside the shoe to check that no seam will irritate the foot in the long run.
- What shoe size?
To choose the right size, bring your child to shop with you. Here is the ideal technique to choose the right size:
- Remove the false sole from the inside of the shoe;
Put the false sole on the floor and ask your child to put his foot on it when he is standing up. His toes must not extend beyond the sides of the sole in the width;
A space of about 1 cm should also remain free between the longest toe and the tip of the sole to allow the foot to grow a little.
- If the false sole does not withdraw: Have your child put on the shoe and stand up. You must be able to place an index on the back of his heel. Your child must also be able to move his toes;
Touch his toes through the shoe. If you feel that they are “pushing” on the sides of the shoe, this is a sign that his toes are too tight and that he needs a wider model;
Ask your toddler to walk around the store to see if he finds the shoes comfortable.
- When to change shoes?
According to the Canadian Pediatric Society, before age 3, the child’s feet grow on average half a size every two or three months. After 3 years, they grow one size each year. However, every child grew up at his own pace. To know when to change your child’s shoes, it is best to check regularly if his toes reach the end of the shoes.
d. Choose shoes for school
The same tips mentioned above apply when it comes time to choose a shoe for a child who starts school. He must wear his shoes all day to do a variety of activities. It is therefore better to favor a shoe made of strong enough materials and that holds the foot well, that is to say a shoe with a fastener, laces or velcro.
Avoid fashionable shoes like ballerinas and Converse type shoes. These shoes have flat soles and it is better to choose shoes whose soles are a little thicker at the heel. This can help prevent heel pain and tendonitis.
e. Choosing good sandals for the summer
- Favor a good foot support . When it’s hot, the child is in a sandal, provided that it meets certain characteristics. A good sandal has:a heel reinforcement, that is to say that the part of the sandal that surrounds the heel must be strong enough;
an attachment to the ankle and at least one attachment to the forefoot;
- A non-slip sole (eg rubber).
Hybrid shoes made of synthetic fabrics (eg Keen), which are halfway between sandals and sneakers, are a good choice of sandals. They allow the foot to be ventilated while offering a good support thanks to a heel reinforcement and a non-slip sole. As the tips of these sandals are closed and often reinforced with rubber, it also protects the toes of the child.
In fact, when the sandals do not have a handle on the back of the ankle, they are not good for the foot. Wearing it can cause discomfort, irritation, blisters or other foot injuries, such as heel, toe or ankle pain.
f. When to consult a podiatrist?
The child is born with flat feet and his arch is gradually formed as his feet grow. It is therefore not necessary to consult for flat feet before the age of 3 years.
After 3 years, it is possible that the child always has flat feet without this being worrying. There are many designs dedicated to shoes for kids with flat feet . Here are the signs that should however encourage you to consult:
- He complains of leg pain;
- He stumbles often;
- He gets tired quickly when he walks;
- He asks regularly to get caught or to go in the stroller;
- He has ankles and feet turning inward.
When baby starts walking, it is advisable to leave him barefoot often.
The first baby shoes should be light and flexible. Boots are not necessary.
For a child over 2 years, choose a comfortable shoe with a non-slip sole that is slightly raised at the heel.
For the summer, shoes midway between sneakers and sandals allow the foot to be well ventilated, while being supported and protected.
You have many options, with the information provided, hope that you will choose for your child the most suitable and best quality shoes. We have more information about best children’s shoes for flat feet , you can learn more to choose accordingly https://kidbeast.com/best-walking-shoes-for-babies-learning-to-walk/