10 Things Every Parent Should Know When Buying Baby’s First Shoes
Begin thinking about first shoes for your baby when your baby begins to pull up. Pulling up leads to cruising which leads to walking.
Barefoot is always best for your baby but not always practical.
While standing, cruising or walking indoors, a shoe should keep the foot warm and prevent slipping on wood floors or tile floors.
While standing, cruising or walking outdoors, a shoe must protect from sharp objects, rain, snow or hot ground over the summer
Shoes should resemble being barefoot offering only protection. Support is an old wife's tale. Barefoot is best, hence the natural support of the foot is just perfect.
Shoes that breathe and are easy to care for are important, so make sure you select genuine leather or breathable materials like canvas that can be put in the washing machine and dryer.
Try to find shoes that will be easy for you to get on and off and difficult for your child to get off. Particularly good are Velcro, slip on, elastic lace and even snaps. Laces are fine – just be prepared to double knot them.
A good fit is very important in order for your child to feel natural in the shoes. 1/4 inch room for growth is room for about three months. This is the right amount to prevent tripping and maximize the life of the shoes.
When you first put shoes on your child- if your child behaves differently in shoes vs. without shoes, the shoes are not flexible enough. Do not let any one tell you the child needs to get used to the shoes.
Feet grow quickly at early ages and shoes generally need to be changed every 3-4 months. As the foot is growing it is developing. If the shoes are too tight the foot cannot grow and will not develop properly. In fact, according to the U.S. government, 2/3 of all adults have problems with their feet by the time they reach middle age and 99% of the problems could have been prevented with shoes that were not too tight during the preschool years.
Jeffrey Silverman founder, inventor and CEO of Preschoolians, a children's shoes company making foot wear for children from birth to age four. Preschoolians was hailed by Time magazine as "one of the coolest inventions of the year for 2003."