Have you heard that a child should walk in shoes that shape the foot and support the ankle? The truth is that a toddler’s foot should have the freedom to move naturally, not be “shaped” by a shoe. Therefore, shoes with a hard heel or Nike type sneakers are NOT suitable for babies and small children.
According to studies, over 99% of children are born with healthy feet, but only about 1/3 of them remain with healthy feet and proper posture, without complaints as adults. All this is a result of the inappropriate shoes that children wear daily. See the picture below.
The appropriate shoes for a toddler and child are barefoot shoes – light, soft, flexible, manufactured according to the shape of the child’s foot. They don’t have a heel, heel lift or hard sole like the modern shoes on the market – Biomechanics and Nike Revolution.
Attention! During the first 4 weeks of walking, the baby should be barefoot if possible. The baby’s first shoes should be chosen after he can walk independently without someone leading him by the hand.
As already mentioned, there is no need to buy shoes with heel support, for example Biomechanics shoes, if your child has healthy feet. Sneakers from conventional brands like Nike and Adidas are stiff, with a raised heel, narrow toes and heavy, even if they don’t feel like so heavy to you. Only when you do the comparison of the above and a barefoot shoe, you will see that really conventional shoes are heavy and hard for the child’s tender foot.
Barefoot shoes have the following 3 characteristics:
1. Flat sole without lifting the heel or the so-called Zero drop
With conventional shoes, there is a heel lift that may be so small that you don’t even notice it at first glance. This is because manufacturers hide the “heel” inside the shoe. Lifting the heel leads to shortening of the muscles and tendons of the feet – stiffness and immobility. Therefore, barefoot shoes have a completely flat sole that does not take away from the movement of the foot and is completely healthy for a child’s or baby’s foot.
2. Flexible and flexible sole
All the muscles, joints, ligaments and bones in the foot are involved in the movement of the leg when walking, jumping, running. This allows the joints to move freely, as well as distribute the weight of the body evenly when walking.
The thin and flexible sole allows the child to feel the pebbles and rough pavement under his feet, allowing him to develop the sensory feeling of his feet. The pebbles will not lead to unpleasant stinging, as some parents worry. Barefoot shoes have a thick enough sole to protect a toddler’s tender foot while still not depriving it of the sensitivity every foot should have!
3. Wide toe box
The front of the shoe should be wide and roomy enough for the toes to move freely. The thumb toe needs free space as it takes a large part of the body’s weight when stepping. Pointed shoes flatten the toes and quickly deform the child’s foot. And this, in turn, leads to problems with feet and posture in the future. Shoes should be foot shaped, which looks like this:
Appropriate shoe brands for the first steps of your baby are:
Narrow feet: Bundgaard
Normal feet: Pegres, Fare bare, Tikki, bLifestyle
Wide feet: Pegres, Fare bare, Tikki
The shows for both normal and wide feet can be easily adjusted so that they fit good enough.
Now that we’ve told you what shoes are suitable for a toddler, it’s time to tell you how to measure your foot to correctly judge which shoe size to get. See this article.
We will conclude this article with the recommendation that you should always consult an orthopedist before buying shoes for your child. If the child has a health problem, then barefoot shoes may not be suitable for him. But if the child has healthy feet, there is no need to wear shoes with a hard heel (Biomechanics) or orthopedic insoles.