A child learning to walk receives important sensory information from the soles of their feet touching the ground so it’s a good idea they should be in bare feet or a soft soled shoe as much as possible so they can feel what they touch with their feet and develop muscle strength. When toddlers have been walking on their own confidently for a period of time, they can progress to a firmer soled shoe.
Having your child’s shoes professionally fitted, which should include measuring each foot for length and width can help to protect their feet from injury and from the heat and the cold.
Shoes for your child should ideally have:
- A flexible, flat sole – check the sole can bend near the toe
- The front of the shoe should be wider than the heel, to match the natural shape of the foot
- Laces, straps or fasteners are great in preventing too much movement or slipping of the foot inside the shoe. Avoid backless or slip on shoes
- While they may look cute, always avoid heels on your child’s shoes
- Have your child’s feet measured before choosing shoes – what might seem comfortable to them for a minute or two in the store may not be comfortable after a day of playing. Measure both feet while standing and, since one foot is often larger than the other, buy shoes to accommodate the larger of the two.
- A comfortable fit in length and width. Have at least a thumbs width between the end of the longest toe and the end of the shoe, on the larger foot
- While it may be tempting to buy shoes that are too big as our children grow so quickly, you should avoid buying more than one size bigger than required. Shoes that are too big can cause your child to trip and stumble
- Look for a patterned or textured sole, as this will provide traction and help prevent your child from slipping
- Check for a good fit regularly. Don’t wait for your child to tell you that they are too tight
- Look for shoes made from breathable materials, such as canvas or leather. In addition to being more durable, they will help keep your child’s feet dry and cool, helping to prevent blisters, discomfort, and smelly shoes
And if you still prefer to talk to someone, the Podiatrists can help.
Making an appointment is super easy! You can book online or call our friendly reception team on (03) 9711 7562. We look forward to seeing you at The Footcare Clinic.