Should Kids Wear Shoes with Velcro or Shoelaces? – Find Out Why Shoelaces Are the Better Choice!

Have you noticed how most children wear shoes with velcro instead of shoelaces? Children are not learning how to tie their shoes at a later age, they are being taught later by their parents. I don’t want to get into the debate of whether parents are being lazy and don’t want to teach their kids how to tie their shoes, as I feel every situation is a little different.

Most parents tell me that it’s not about teaching their children how to tie their shoes as it is about keeping them tied through the day. There are also underlying developmental problems to consider like hypermobility syndrome or dyspraxia which can make simple things like tying shoelaces an enormous task for a child. Unlike laces, velcro tabs can be manipulated with one hand and by children under the age of 5.

Should Kids Wear Shoes with Velcro or Shoelaces?

I always emphasize to parents how sneakers with laces always provide better support and stability than sneakers with velcro closure.

The laces can be adjusted to the shape of your child’s unique foot shape, and because the laces are capable of “hugging” your kids’ feet better than velcro closure, your child is going to get better support from the shoes and feel more stable when walking or running around.

Why do you think that all sport shoes are available with laces instead of an alternative closure? When children are running faster or stressing their feet and legs at a whole different level, they need their shoes to provide as much support and stability as possible.

Shoes with velcro closure are a good option for first walkers and toddlers. However, if your baby or toddler has a particular foot condition then you should consider providing them with a pair of shoes with shoelaces instead of velcro closure.

At What Age Should Children Be Able to Tie Their Shoes?

Most children don’t have the fine motor skills or coordination to learn how to tie their shoelaces until they are at least 5 years of age.

I have noticed how girls start learning how to tie their shoes at a younger age than boys. At the shoe store that I work for, I noticed how most girls start learning how to tie their shoes at age 5, while most boys start learning how to tie their shoes at age 7 or older. This is mostly due because girls tend to have better motor skills than boys.

It’s important to note that some children even have difficulty tying their laces when they get to 9 or 10 years old.

The average shoe size for a 10-year-old child is a shoe size 3 1/2. Once a child wears a shoe size larger than 3 ½ the selection of shoes with velcro is very limited to non-existent and the child either has to choose a shoe with laces or consider an alternative closure such as a toggle shoelace, which looks like this:

If you have a child who wears a shoe size above 3 ½ then take a look at a different resource I created that describes velcro sneakers in big kid sizes.

Why Should Children Learn How to Tie Their Shoes?

Children’s feet come in different shapes and sizes, and the laces help alleviate pressure points depending on how their foot fits in specific shoes. For example, if your child has a “complicated foot shape” there are ways they can tie their shoes to get the most out of their shoes.

Children with narrow feet always complain about their heels moving up and down the shoes, which can create blisters and other foot issues. While children with wide feet tend to complain about the shoes squeezing their feet. I came up with the best shoe lacing techniques for children with narrow or wide feet.

Children who wear orthotics can also benefit from wearing shoes that come with shoelaces instead of velcro closure, as the shoelaces are going to help keep your child’s orthotic in place.

Are Shoe Companies to Blame? – Let’s Find Out

It doesn’t help that most shoe companies don’t manufacture lace ups until a child reaches a certain age group.

One common complaint parents have is the few selection of shoes with laces available below a shoe size 10 ½. Most shoe companies don’t want to manufacture kids’ shoes with laces and children only have velcro options.

For example, I am sure that you heard about the shoe company Asics. This shoe company manufactures supportive and high-quality shoes for children, but they start offering shoes with shoelaces starting from shoe size 13 and above.

Final Thoughts – Does Your Child Wear Shoes with Velcro or Laces?

Children are now able to get themselves ready faster with a simple buckle or fastener, and most parents don’t want to take the time to teach their kids how to tie their shoes.

Velcro is quick and easy, both for young children and their parents, teachers and caregivers.

Do you think schools should be teaching children how to tie their shoes or is this parent’s territory?

While the type of shoe closure that your child decides to choose may seem like a minor issue, the choices that parents and their children make reflect more important attitudes, principles, and learning styles that impact growth.

Let’s open the conversation, do your children wear shoes with velcro or laces?