Shoes With the Right Fit for Toddlers
Until your wee one has mastered the art of walking, allowing her to walk barefoot around the house is the way to go, says Marlene Reid, D.P.M., a podiatrist in Westmont, Illinois, and a spokesperson for the American Podiatric Medical Association.
"Walking barefoot is necessary for the development of the muscles and tendons of the feet, and it also allows her to feel the sensation of the floor and grip it better," she says.
But as soon as your toddler is ready to take her act on the road -- like the sidewalk or playground -- she's going to need a new pair of shoes to protect her precious tootsies.
Shoes to Avoid
While it may be hard to resist those adorable slip-ons with the pink rhinestones or the sneakers with a fire truck that lights up when you walk, when it comes to your baby's first shoes, you need to put form before fashion. This means steering clear of things like:
- shoes with slippery bottoms
- ankle-high boots that may be too restrictive
- shoes you can fold in half (a sure sign they don't offer enough support)
How to Get the Right Shoes
Proper fit is also crucial, so take the time to have your child's feet properly sized. And, be sure to have them sized at least every three months or whenever your child shows signs that his shoes are too snug -- for example, if she's struggling to put them on, kicking them off any chance she gets, or has redness anywhere on the feet or nail area. Note the size and width of your baby's feet.
Then choose a shoe that is supple, says Reid.
"When he's walking in it, it should bend at the ball of the foot. The shoe should fit snugly (not tightly) in the back, and there should 1/2 inch between the longest toe and the tip of the shoe."