When to introduce first shoes in child’s life? What kind of shoes to buy? How often to to buy them? These are just few questions new moms are concerned with. And with good reason. The first shoes are extremely important because of proper formation and development of child’s foot and walking technique. Child’s feet are extremely sensitive – bones and joints are still not completely formed and muscles and tendons are not strong enough to withstand the weight load of child’s body. And this is where footwear comes in – it serves as stabilizer and prevents deformation of child’s feet. Thus, kids shoes must be above the ankle, closed-toed and with laces or velcro. However, many parents make the common mistake when it comes to buying baby or toddler shoes – they choose soft, comfortable shoes which quickly adapt to child’s foot and it should be the other way around.
First shoes should not be bought before a child masters walking and is able to walk outside without anyone’s assistance. This is usually between 14 and 16 months of age. Kid’s shoes must be made of natural material to prevent excess sweating which can lead to irritation. Also, a size should match the size of the foot. In an oversized shoes, kid’s foot is not stable which can lead to abnormal gait. Shoes should not feature hard soles which restrict easy bending. Soles need to be flexible, springy and very light. It is important for a child to feel comfortable in his/her shoes. Therefore, regardless of whether you purchase baby or toddler shoes in retail stores or shop for kids shoes online, it is imperative to pay close attention to the above mentioned details. A good quality pair of shoes literally shapes and develops child’s feet.
That is why it is also very important to frequently change child’s footwear. An average child’s feet grow about 2 shoe sizes in the course of one year, but just like anything else, foot growth is an individual thing. Therefore, check your child ‘s feet regularly since kids grow fast and so do their feet. And even though every child’s foot grows differently, expect to change your toddler shoes every 6 months or roughly about every season. However, this may not be true for all kids. Many kids experience growth spurt. To be a bit precise, child’s feet may stop growing for some time and then grow a lot in a short period. Thus, it is very important to closely follow your child’s foot growth, and never forget how important it is for child’s shoes to be the right size. So, the next time you’re browsing for new toys, type kids shoes online in the search box and surprise your child with a new pair of good quality shoes instead.