Baby shoes are much more than a simple fashion accessory, they play an important role in the development of the foot during the first years of life. Proper footwear not only facilitates psychomotor development and favors the activities that children carry out on a daily basis, but also protects their feet from possible injuries. However, if the footwear is not suitable it could cause serious problems in walking and the morphology of the child’s foot. Therefore, we explain how to choose the best shoes for your baby.
At what age should a baby start wearing shoes?
At birth, the child’s foot is still very fragile as its structures are mainly made up of cartilage. As the foot matures, the bones consolidate and their functional structures take shape. When the baby begins to take its first steps, the foot is sufficiently developed to articulate walking, although it will not be until around 6 years of age that it achieves a constitution similar to that of an adult foot and, until 18 or 19 years old to reach full maturity.
Until around the first year of life, babies have a great exteroceptive tactile sensitivity in their feet, which helps them to know the world around them, according to a study conducted by the National Institute of Pediatrics of Mexico. For this reason, most pediatricians advise that at least during the first year of life the child spends most of the time barefoot and walking on various terrains to stimulate reflexes, activate the tactile sense and tone the foot muscles. Although this does not mean that they cannot wear shoes from time to time, as long as they are appropriate.
A type of shoe for each age
1. Shoes for newborns
Shoes for newborns have a single function: to protect the feet from cold, humidity and shocks. For this reason, light socks or booties are recommended, preferably cotton or wool. In these cases, it is important that the toe is slightly round or square so that it better adapts to the shape of the foot and the sole must be smooth and not exceed 2 or 3 mm. The inside of the shoe should have a smooth finish, without seams, and the back should be high to prevent the child from losing the shoes.
2. Shoes for crawling babies
The main function of shoes for babies who are beginning to crawl is to protect the toes and heel from possible blows, as well as to keep them warm on cold days. That is why it is recommended that the shoes have external reinforcements in the toe or heel. Like newborn shoes, the interior must be very soft, preferably without seams, and the outer material very flexible to facilitate foot movements. The sole should not exceed 2 or 3 mm thick and although it is recommended that it be smooth, it can have some type of friction to help it gain momentum.
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|3||Biomecanics 191168-a, Unisex Baby Trainers, Navy Blue no (Grid), 22 EU||39.94 EUR||Buy on Amazon|
3. Footwear for babies who walk
The baby’s first shoes for walking should not only protect the feet from shock and cold, but also guarantee breathability. In this sense, it is important to make sure that they are made with a breathable material. In addition, the interior must offer a slack of about 10 mm in length so that you can move your fingers while the toe must be closed , round or square, and have a reinforcement to provide extra protection. For its part, the sole must be flat, not exceed 3 mm or 5 mm if it has a heel and made of a resistant but flexible material that has moderate friction. The inner lining must offer some grip to prevent the foot from slipping inside the shoe, although it must be very soft and smooth, without seams.
¿ How to choose the right shoe size for your baby?
Shoes should adapt to the shape of the baby’s foot and not the other way around. Therefore, choosing the most suitable size for your little one can make the difference between comfortable shoes and shoes that hurt him. The ideal way to choose the correct size is to measure the length and width of both feet, trying to spread the child’s toes to ensure that they will be comfortable and loose enough.
Another alternative is to draw the silhouette of the foot on a sheet of paper that you can place on the floor as well as on the wall. Then, you can cut it and insert it inside the shoe to make sure it will fit like a glove. Also, if it is possible to remove the insole from the shoe, another option is to place it on the baby’s foot to check if it is the right size for her. In addition, there are other tricks you can use to make sure you choose the right shoes:
- Try both shoes on, preferably with the baby standing up in case I already walked Keep in mind that the size of each foot may vary slightly.
- When trying on shoes for your baby, always put on socks. This way you ensure that the shoes fit loose enough.
- With the shoes on, check the length by feeling for the longest toe with your thumb. Ideally, there should be a space of about 10 mm between the toe and the toe box.
- If you find it hard to find your thumb above the shoe, try pushing your foot forward and checking for slack in the back.
- If the baby is already walking, put his shoes on and ask him to take a few steps. If you notice that he walks uncomfortably, it may not be the most appropriate footwear.
- If you have trouble putting him on shoes or when putting them on you notice certain lumps, it means that they are too tight.
- When removing the shoes, check that the feet do not have redness or injuries of any other type.
How often should you change your shoe size?
Baby’s feet grow very fast, so in the blink of an eye the last pair of shoes you bought will no longer fit them and you will have to choose a larger size. In reality, there is no set period of time in which you should change sizes as it depends on the growth rate of each baby, although it is recommended that you check the shoes regularly according to age.
- 0 – 1.5 years: every 2 months
- 1.5 – 2.5 years: every 3 months
- 2.5 – 4 years: every 4 months
Also, if you notice that the baby’s foot has deformed the shoes or that the widest part of the foot is compressed, it may be time to think about a size up. You should also consider it if blisters or sores appear on your foot after wearing the shoes or if the toe area on the inside of the shoes is clearly worn.