Do you know how important to give the first pair of Correct shoes to pre-walker? This can seriously have long termed impact to their feet development. Fact: there is all floating bones in newborns’ foot, yep, and they will fuse together eventually. Therefore, their first pair of shoes should be like a second skin; flexible and lightweight.
It is a must to avoid buying newborns shoes that have hard edges or rigid structure that can pressure their little feet. All pre-walkers deserve healthy foot development.
The first step is to choose the science-based baby shoes.
Now, let’s check out the science to design a pair of great baby shoes and podiatrists endorsed baby shoes.
What do the studies say?
Opposite to adults that need supportive footwear, studies show that babies walking barefoot is the best way for healthy foot development. With the bones of the baby foot are slowly developing and hardening, confining shoes with heels or arch supports can hinder the baby’s movements, and may cause problems through to adulthood. Adding to that, rigid shoes might also cause them imbalance when they are trying to walk.
Not only that, there is a lot of mental development that goes on through the process of learning to walk. Fact: 70% of our brain’s information on how to walk, run, and jump comes from the nerves on the soles of our babies feet.
Therefore, the more they can feel the ground, the greater the baby’s understanding of their surrounding environment.
To conclude, barefoot walking is the best, or soft and flexible shoes for outdoor walking. Now, the question is: how a baby shoe should be designed to?
Design of baby shoes
What is the first thing come to your mind when you are choosing shoes? Appearance! We want to look good and for babies, Cute! BUT, cute shouldn’t be the main factor in buying shoes. First thing first, the shoe is protecting their feet.
While it is best to walk barefoot, walking outdoor without protection may not always feasible. Therefore, baby shoes have to be designed in a way to allow babies to walk naturally and at the same time protect their little feet.
Soft and flexible
The sole of the shoes should be soft, and when you bend it, it should be able to easily bend in different positions. This ensure that the sole is bending with baby feet, not limiting the movement of their feet. Rigid and regular shoes can restrict them to walk naturally. Look for shoes with no arch, heel or ankle support.
It is common sense that not buying heavy shoes to put onto their little feet. This can only do bad and burden their feet. Heavy shoes such as leather boots can cause them dragging the shoes while walking. Imagine they are actively running in those heavy shoes, they might easily be tripped off. Not only that, after a long day wearing those shoes, their muscles could be sore and overused too.
Make sure the shoes are made from non-hazardous materials and adhesives, and no use of formaldehyde. Materials such as natural, absorbing cloth or leather are preferable to synthetic materials as babies feet sweat more than adults. It would be better if the shoes are breathable and able to release heat.
Check the bottom of the soles, it should have a non-slip feature. You would not want your baby to bruise everywhere!
Sizing up their feet
This part is hard for parents. It is tempting when we see the price of some shoes and not buying extra large for them, thinking they will ‘grow in to’. But this will actually makes walking harder and falling easier. Having said that, you should allow some wiggle room, at least a thumb space from your baby’s toes to the top of the shoe.
Really let your baby try on the shoes, make sure the length is right, also, the width of the shoes. Some of the baby/children’s shoes are made too narrow.
The best way to get the correct width is to get your baby stand up and putting their weight to allow the foot to completely expand. Narrow shoes could impact their foot structure, as well as their balance.
What brand to buy?
We as parents want the best for our kids. And we have to be wise too. Buying the most expensive pair in the store is not always the best choice. You should pick the companies that specifically designed shoes for baby and children. You don’t want to spent money on the branding or designer’s name. You want to spend on shoes that have quality and research involved in the making of the shoes. Some shoe manufacturers children’s shoes are simply scaled down versions of adult shoes, which is not suitable for toddlers as they need a much bigger toe area than adults.
Podiatrist endorsed baby/ prewalker/ toddlers shoes
Look for podiatrist endorsed shoes. Podiatrists are specialized in feet, they know what shoes are better.
Here is three of many brands that are endorsed by podiatrists:
Bobux: Bobux aims to protect their little feet and let them be free to develop naturally. They support true foot health and go to great lengths to keep up with the science of healthy childhood development.
Memo footwear: Memo is claimed to be the highest quality children footwear in classic style, made of natural materials suitable for children’s feet. It maximizes foot comfort, as the shoe is made of natural soft goatskin. In addition, natural hygrosopic materials make the shoe breath and foot not to sweat.
Attipas: Podiatrist Daniel Gibbs has great comments on Attipas shoes, which protects their feet, also encouraging healthy development with closer contact to the ground. He frequently recommends Attipas as a great start for babies who are newly walking, and toddlers who are growing at a rapid rate.
Baby healthy development matters!
All of us want the best for our children. These baby shoes have ticked all the right boxes to ensure the proper development without any restictive. So make sure they are on your top list when you are buying shoes for your child.