It is pretty usual for children to go around in footies or in socks during their first months. At that age, shoes are merely a ‘decoration’ item because newborns or young babies never walk so they don’t need any kind of support for their body and feet. Nevertheless, the minute kids begin to walk, generally quite a few months before or after they turn one, you must know what types of shoes your kid is going to wear. You may need to buy several pairs of new shoes for toddlers and preschoolers quite regularly, so you will probably begin to ask yourself lots of questions regarding your child’s shoes.
Picking the right shoes for your kid is not easy. If you are about to buy shoes, you must ask 3 particular questions before buying. They are the following:
1. How does it fit?
2. How is it made?
3. Is the shoe appropriate for your kid’s age?
Let’s analyze every single question a bit more thoroughly.
1. How does it fit? – When you ask this, you must take into account the length, width and depth of the shoe and check this carefully once the shoe is fitting your child’s foot. If you pick a shoe that is ill fitting, you may harm your child’s feet. Your kid can have ingrown toenails, calluses and bunions. Also, try checking your child’s ‘growth spurts’ because when kids grow, their feet grow too. It is advisable to buy new shoes for your child every 3 to 4 months, because it will keep the fit suitable for their feet. Bear in mind that shoes really needn’t to be “broken in”. When a shoe is not comfortable from the start, it means that is definitely not the right shoe for your kid.
2. How is it made? – Four distinctive parts form every shoe: upper part, insole, outer sole and heel. Children are usually quite active, so it is advisable that the upper part of the shoe is made of a strong but breathable material such as canvas or leather. (Try avoiding shoes that are made of plastic, especially at young ages!). Try picking a shoe which insole is made from an absorbent material. It is not actually necessary to have padded insoles or special arch support insoles at this age. The outer sole has to give flexibility, traction and cushioning to the shoe, but it shouldn’t be bulky or sticky when your kid walks. Bulky, sticky outer soles can lead to unnecessary injury by making your child clumsy. Also, heels aren’t really necessary at this age at all! Try picking shoes with flat soles; it will make it much easier for your kid to walk.
3. Is the shoe appropriate for your kid’s age? – A pre-walking kid doesn’t actually need shoes. Their feet just need footies and warm socks; they can even walk barefoot indoors. If you have a toddler and he is just learning to walk, he should wear shoes that have a smooth sole and a high top. Also, it must be made from materials that are light and breathable. These kinds of shoes stay on better and help avoiding falls. If you have a school-age kid, there is a great assortment of suitable shoes, such as tennis shoes, sandals and even hiking boots. If you have an older child, you just have to follow the first two questions and pick the best shoes for your kid.