A Guide to Shoes for Children

Babies that are only crawling, but not walking, do not need a pair of shoes. New walkers can benefit from footwear; they can keep your child from hurting themselves. There are no real advantages to shoes with high ankle support over shoes with low ankle support. The one exception is that for very young children, they may be a better option because they are not as easy to take off.

Your child’s feet should grow appropriately without the use of shoes. There is a misconception that shoes are required to help develop muscle tone and bone structure. This is not the case.

As your little one grows, so does his feet. From the age of six months to 18 months, your child will likely grow by three shoe sizes. Once he reaches preschool age, he is likely to move up one shoe size each year.

What shoes are the best shoes?

Shoes have changed over the years and there are more choices now than ever before. Some are wide, some are heavy and some are soft. What do you need for your little one?

Pick a pair of shoes that offer both protection and grip. Pick a pair of shoes that feel good on his feet whether he is running in the grass or walking on the street. The shoes should fit well, so that the heel does not slide up and down. There should be some room between the end of the toes and the end of the shoe. A good rule is to have a thumb’s width worth of room. In addition, never buy a pair of shoes without letting your child try them on first.

What is corrective footwear?

If your child has an issue with their feet, they might need kids orthopedic shoes. For example, one condition commonly targeted by corrective footwear is flat feet. Normally, corrective footwear is not necessary, as children’s feet change throughout their youth. It is not unusual for the condition to simply correct itself.

The vast majority of babies and toddlers have flat feet. At some point before they turn six years old, the foot’s arch develops. If this does not happen, your child has flat feet. If the condition isn’t causing any problems, it likely will not need intervention. However, if your child states that walking is painful, you need to speak to your doctor about what is going on. They may recommend corrective footwear or come up with an alternative solution.

Intoeing is a condition where the feet point in toward the body rather than straight ahead. This is nothing unusual; many children deal with it in early childhood. In general, intoeing improves as your child ages. It is usually not necessary to wear corrective shoes for this condition either. As with flat feet, speak with a doctor if your child complains or seems to have problems walking or running.

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