How to Buy Baby Shoes

How to Buy Baby Shoes

There is no shortage of baby shoes. There’s a shoe style for every child, from sandals to sneakers, hard-soled shoes to soft-soled ones. Are shoes necessary for babies younger than a year?

Even though they look adorable, shoes are not necessary for babies that aren’t yet walking. It’s important to ensure your baby is comfortable walking before you put them in shoes every day.

We spoke with Dr. Tracey Agnese, a pediatrician and mom, who shared all the details about how babies’ feet develop, as well as what to look out for when buying baby shoes.

Is it best to have shoes/socks/bare feet for children’s foot development?

It is better to have bare feet than socks for foot development. The human foot is made up of 26 bones, 30 joints, and more than 100 muscle, tendons, and ligaments. Around the age of two, the foot structure is fully formed. However, the bones of the feet are not fully developed and hardened until 18 years. It is important to keep baby’s feet healthy and growing while wearing shoes.

Baby’s feet appear flat because of the “fat” pad that is located in the arch. However, this is not true. They don’t require any additional arch support because it’s a natural, built-in arch support.

What is the difference between hard-soled and soft-soled shoes? Are they better for babies than one another?

Soft-soled shoes offer lightweight and flexibility. Hard-soled shoes tend to be rigid and heavy. It’s important to avoid limiting babies’ feet in rigid shoes, as their feet will be growing and developing. A hard sole can also make it difficult to learn to walk.

Babies should learn to walk barefoot. The ability to feel the ground can aid in balance, coordination, and proprioception. Proprioception requires that your feet touch the ground in order to be able to do so. Barefoot helps babies grip the ground better and reduces their chances of falling. To protect their feet from injury when walking, shoes are only necessary. Soft soles are not recommended for outdoor environments that can be dangerous to the feet. Hard soles should be used for as short a time as possible to protect the feet.

Your baby can go barefoot and use their own muscles to balance and strengthen themselves. Relying solely on the strength and stability of the shoe can inhibit the development of the foot and ankle muscles.

Is there really a best first shoe for children?

A soft, flexible-sole shoe is a good choice if you can’t allow your baby to walk barefoot. This will provide protection, but also give the child the freedom to move and bend their feet easily. Non-skid and skid-resistant soles will help reduce slips.

It is important to find the perfect fit for comfort and to prevent any ingrown toenails. Baby feet grow so quickly that you may need to replace your shoes every few months. You should check the fit of your shoes about once per month. You should make sure the heel is snug but still allow for room at the top of your child’s big toes. This should be approximately finger-width from the shoe’s inside edge. Shoes that are too tight can be worse than shoes that are tight!

Babies don’t need shoes that provide arch or ankle support. Comfort is the most important thing.

Do you recommend soft-soled shoes as “first shoes”?

Babies don’t require shoes if they aren’t walking. They will only need socks until they can walk.

Do you know of any “training shoes” for babies to learn to walk? Would you recommend them to others?

It is the best way to learn how to walk. You can go as close as you like to barefoot if it isn’t possible to keep your feet safe. I don’t recommend shoes for babies learning to walk.

When is the best time to recommend that children wear shoes on a regular basis?

When the child can confidently and comfortably walk outdoors without shoes, then it is okay to use shoes. This takes place between 15 and 24 months. It is different for every child.

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