Did you know that when babies don’t wear the correct shoe style or the correct shoe size you are putting them at danger of developing several foot issues as well as foot, leg, and back problems in the future?
Parents need to understand that their babies’ feet are not the same as their feet. The foot of a baby or a toddler is soft and pliable because the bones are not yet completely formed.
It’s important to take proper care of your babies’ feet from an early stage, and taking proper care of your babies’ feet start with providing your baby with the correct shoe style and the correct shoe size.
I have been working for a specialized children’s shoe store for over 10 years now. This experience has afforded me many insights into children’s shoes and the way they fit. Our store specializes in shoes for children with foot and leg problems, but we provide regular shoe fittings as well. From my experience fitting hundreds of babies, I have become familiar with the best baby shoe brands and the best styles among those brands.
By providing your baby with the correct pair of shoes you will be preventing foot infections, blisters, calluses, corns, as well as general foot and leg pain.
I will show you exactly which shoe styles are better for your baby depending on your baby’s foot shape and foot condition, and I will also show you how to make sure that you provide your baby with the exact shoe size. However, there are other 2 factors that you must take into account if you want to keep your baby’s feet healthy.
These are the 3 factors that play a key role in keeping your baby’s feet healthy:
✅ Shoes: Parents are often overwhelmed with the myriad of baby shoe options. Most of the time they find themselves staring at a wall of shoes that look very similar and very different at the same time. However, there are only a few shoe styles out there that will provide the correct amount of support, flexibility, and sensory pods (I will explain the importance of this feature shortly). In addition, depending on your baby’s foot shape which can be narrow, medium, wide, or extra wide, the selection of shoes might get even smaller. I will provide you with a selection of these shoes shortly.
✅ Socks: There are certain babies’ socks that are better than others in terms of fit and quality of the materials. Some socks are made of softer and more breathable materials. Socks that are seamless are also great in keeping babies’ feet comfortable and healthy, I will explain this in more detail shortly.
✅ Washing and Drying: Please make sure that you always wash and dry your babies’ feet thoroughly.
First Step: Wearing the Correct Type of Shoes
The first step in keeping your babies’ feet healthy involves providing them with the correct pair of shoes. In addition to providing your baby with shoes that emulate barefoot walking, you need to make sure that you provide your baby with the correct shoe size, which involves getting the correct shoe length and the correct shoe width.
Most babies won’t be able to speak up when their shoes feel too tight, so you must be proactive and check your babies’ feet and shoes regularly.
Shoes that are too short or too narrow can easily damage your baby’s feet. This doesn’t mean that you need to provide your baby with longer or wider shoes, since that will allow for too much foot movement and that constant friction between the toes and the shoes might lead to other foot issues such as blisters, calluses, and corns. Shoes that are too long will also compromise your baby’s stability.
It’s important to understand that the features that we want for the shoes to provide for a baby who is learning how to walk are very different from those of a child who is already walking. Let me break down the features below.
Babies’ Shoes – Sensory Pods, Lightweight, Flexible, and Extra Depth!
Babies who are learning how to walk need to go barefoot as often as possible for healthy foot development. Shoes start to play a role when you take your baby outside, and they manly serve as a mean of protection. Your baby’s shoes should emulate barefoot walking, and there are 5 key features that they need to provide:
✅ Sensory Pods: This will allow your baby to get a better feeling of the ground, which allows your baby to feel more confident when taking those first steps.
✅ Lightweight and Flexible: Babies don’t have the power thrust to bend a harder sole, so it’s important for your babies’ shoes to be as lightweight and flexible as possible.
✅ Extra Depth: This feature will allow your babies’ feet to fit deeply inside the shoes, which will prevent the top part of your babies’ feet and toes from rubbing against the top part of the shoes. Most babies tend to have wide or extra wide feet, since they might still carry some fat pad on the bottom of their feet.
✅ Round Toe-Box: This feature will prevent your babies’ toes from rubbing against one another or the side of the shoes.
✅ Widths: Most babies have wide to extra wide feet, so it’s important for the shoes to be available in different widths to be able to accommodate the shape of your babies’ feet.
Here you can find a selection of the best babies’ shoes that I have fitted before. These shoes are available in different width such as medium, wide, and extra wide.
Disclosure: Keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases.
I always recommend proving babies with a half a size longer (3/8 of an inch) between their longest toe and the end of the shoes. Please keep in mind that your baby’s longest toe doesn’t necessarily has to be the big toe, it can be the second or even the third toe.
Never provide your baby with a particular shoe size based on your baby’s age. The issue with getting your baby’s shoe size based on the age is that it obviates a very important factor: Babies grow at different rates, and the shoe size that a 1 year old baby might need can differ from the shoe size that another baby in the same age range might need.
Please consider that babies and toddler’s feet grow quite rapidly, and you might find yourself changing she sizes every 3 to 4 months, even when you provide them with the correct amount of growing room.
Parents might be tempted to provide their babies with a larger amount of growing room in order for their babies to wear the shoes for a longer period of time. However, shoes that are too long will compromise your baby’s stability, making your baby more prone to falling down.
- Never “hand down” shoes from one baby to another. The only time it might be appropriate is with rain boots or winter boots.
- Always measure both of your babies’ feet. We all have one foot that is larger than the other one.
Second Step:Wearing the Correct Type of Socks
Socks play a key role in keeping your babies’ feet healthy, since they act as a barrier between the feet and the shoes. Socks will prevent the formation and buildup of bacteria inside your baby’s shoes.
If you have a baby or a toddler at home, it’s important to provide them with socks that are seamless and breathable.
Babies move their toes as a way of exercising their feet, which means that it’s really important to not constrict this movement. Seamless socks will allow your baby to freely move the toes even when wearing socks.
Getting the correct sock size has the same importance as getting the correct shoe size. If you provide your baby with a pair of socks that are too small, you can constrict toe movement and make your baby’s toes overlap and rub against one another.
I created an article that describes the best seamless socks for babies. You can find that article below:
Third Step: Washing and Drying your Baby’s Feet
It’s really important to maintain good hygiene to prevent your baby from getting fungal infections. Always make sure that you wash your babies’ feet and that you dry them thoroughly to prevent any trapped moisture.
If you follow these 3 steps you will be keeping your baby’s feet healthy!
I am always asking parents to keep an eye for any signs of abnormal walking gait. This involves walking with the feet turned inwards or outwards. Your child’s walking gait will tell you whether your child might have a foot condition such as flat feet, rolled ankles, or overpronation.
Please do not hesitate to contact me directly if you believe your child might have a foot condition, I always encourage parents to be proactive and to not take the “wait and see approach”: firstname.lastname@example.org
I am always emphasizing to parents how it doesn’t matter how narrow or wide their child’s feet are, there is always at least one particular shoe style out there that will accommodate the shape of the child’s feet, and I will help you find it.