What You Need to Know About Children’s Feet and Shoes
As parents, we want our children to be safe and healthy from head to toe. It’s especially the case with our children’s feet because these are the areas most in contact with various surfaces. Also, the condition and development of our children’s feet are crucial to their overall physical development.
What you need to know about children’s feet and shoes
To help them with their development, it’s highly advisable to let toddlers go barefoot as much as possible. That physical contact between your child’s feet and the ground is important in encouraging physical coordination, balance and posture. This also helps children feel what they touch with their feet (early sensory input to help with their physical and brain development) and develop their own muscle strength.
Although barefoot is the best way to go, you still want your child’s feet to have enough protection against rough or uneven surfaces both indoors and outdoors. In this case, it’s recommended to choose soft-soled shoes so that your child will still feel and grasp the ground. By the time your child is confident walking on his/her own, you can now let your child wear firm-soled shoes. The key here is to let your child first feel the ground and let his/her feet develop.
About children’s shoes
When it comes to footwear, the priorities should be on comfort and safety. Both in width and length there should be a comfortable fit. There should be plenty of room in the toes (toddlers might be walking with their toes going inwards or outwards). In addition, you might need to buy a new pair every few months because children’s feet are still rapidly growing and developing.
Between eight and 18 months of age, children begin to walk and the movements might be awkward. After all, they’re still trying to figure out how to walk on surfaces and how to keep themselves steady while moving. As the ligaments and muscles develop (and as children gain experience), the movement becomes more steady and they also gain confidence even on their own.
As parents, our role then is more about guidance and making sure our children are safe and protected. It’s also our job to make sure that the footwear we buy is of high quality and that they’re ultimately comfortable for our children. This way, our children can best enjoy walking and that the footwear will give them the best protection.