The purchase of the first pair of shoes for a baby who is just starting to take his steps is an important event for new parents. However, here many questions arise related to the choice of shoe material, its type, the stiffness of the sole and the type of fasteners. All this really needs to be taken into account when choosing children’s shoes, since the health of the baby largely depends on such trifles.
We want to share proven tips on the age at which it is recommended to buy shoes for a child and what you should pay attention to when choosing children’s shoes.
The first shoes are bought for the baby at about 9–12 months, when he begins to walk confidently. Most experts recommend learning to walk barefoot or in non-slip thick socks. Thus, the load on the muscles of the legs is evenly distributed, the ligamentous apparatus is developed and the foot is correctly formed. In the apartment, it is still recommended to wear soft booties so that the baby does not catch a cold from a slight draft.
Rigid orthopedic shoes and boots with arch support are preventive and sometimes therapeutic shoes. Walking in such shoes for a 2–3‑hour walk a couple of times a day is good for the baby’s legs, but you can only walk around the apartment in such shoes all day if prescribed by an orthopedist.
“Depending on the season, sandals or boots will be the first shoes. Check the flexibility of the sole: grab the heel and toe and bend the shoe. If only the front of the sole bends at the level of the fingers, do not take this model. The baby will be uncomfortable, he may stumble, fall. The sole should flex easily from where the heel ends to the toe.”
When choosing shoes, consider the following points:
Proper shoes should have a high enough heel. It is desirable that it covers the ankle and is tightly fixed on the ankle;
It is convenient if the shoes are on laces or Velcro. So it is easier to adjust its width exactly to the leg;
Children’s shoes should be light so as not to overload the child’s muscles.
Only an orthopedic doctor will be able to determine if your child needs shoes with a small heel and a special orthopedic insole. Consult with a specialist.
It is very important to choose the right shoe size. To do this, put the baby’s foot on a piece of paper and circle the foot. Make sure that the child’s fingers lie relaxed, not tucked in. Add 0.5–1 cm to the length between the heel and toes. This will be the correct shoe size in length.
Cut out the contour of the foot and check the width of the insole at the front of the shoe. If the insole is even slightly narrower than the contour, such shoes cannot be bought, because it will compress and deform the fingers.