No parent, grandmother, cousin, or neighbour can resist the cuteness of itty bitty little baby shoes for itty bitty feet.
Many pediatricians say that barefoot is best, but that isn't particularly practical a lot of the time, and it really isn't very fun either.
Where it was once advised that a hard-soled shoe provides a sturdy platform for your little one as they learn to walk, both personal experiences and medical observation have noted that a hard-soled shoe is not ideal for most young babies and toddlers. In fact, especially if they aren't flexible or don't have non-skid soles, many baby shoes can actually make it harder for your baby to take their first steps.
According to Dr. Elizabeth Berger in “Parents” magazine, hard, restrictive shoes may affect foot development in babies. Tight, hard-soled shoes limit the amount of movement in your child's feet.
On the contrary, thin soft-soled shoes allow your child to feel the ground, allowing a better grip and promoting natural muscle development.
Fun Facts on Foot Development
- When we are born our feet have only 22 partially formed bones.
- Over the first year, your baby’s feet will reach almost half their adult size.
- By the time they are 18, their feet will have 26 bones, 19 muscles and over 100 ligaments. This development and pace of growth explains why proper footwear is so important.
- So now what?
Things to Consider
- Shoes need to stay in place. If they’re too big, they can create uncomfortable callouses.
- Shoes need to be flexible, specifically bending at the metatarsal joint (the spot underneath the ball of the foot) to avoid impeding any muscle development.
- Shoes should be lightweight. Traditional hard-soled footwear is heavy and can make it harder to lift feet and walk. Soft-soled lightweight footwear are easier to walk in.
- Shoes should have soft, flexible soles. Stiff soles and toe caps can cause babies and toddlers to trip, especially when they are learning to walk.
- Shoes should have thin soles. This allows your baby or toddler to grip the floor the same way as if they were barefoot, making it easier to walk.
The Added Bonus
Soft soled shoes are super easy to put on. There is nowhere near the struggle of putting on a traditional hard-soled shoe. And when you've got a baby or toddler, you've got enough struggles.
Soft Soles FTW
At the end of the day, its soft-soled shoes For The Win (FTW). They are better for your babe’s foot development, easier for them to walk in, easier to put on, and just plain great. So what are you waiting for? Get your sneak on.