Footwear for Kids…

When should kids start wearing shoes and what kind of shoe is best?

Your child’s first steps are one of their big developmental milestones. But when should you put shoes on your children’s feet and what kind of shoes should they be?

Kids need shoes… and bare feet too!

Before your children start to walk, there is no good reason for them to wear shoes. Bare feet in warmer weather and soft, warm socks or booties with plenty of room for toe wiggling is all that is needed in cooler weather.

Once your child starts to walk though, there is the possibility of injury from hard, rough, sharp, very cold or very hot surfaces. Your toddler’s first shoes should protect them from potential injury. But remember that bare feet are best for sensory and muscle development. Toddlers need plenty of bare foot time on soft safe surfaces indoors and outdoors on grass and sand for sensory development and balance.

What kind of shoe is best?

Shoes for children should have soft uppers, preferably natural material such as fabric or leather. The sole should bend easily at the toe joints. The heel cup and the shank (under the arch) should be firm. Fastenings should be adjustable such as Velcro, buckles or laces. Some kids may need specialist shoes and their needs are best discussed with your podiatrist.