When your child first starts walking independently it is time for their first pair of shoes. The best advice I can give is to make sure the shoes fit.
Make sure they fit
- Shop in a store that specializes in children’s shoes.
- Size should be checked about every 3 months. A little more frequently for children under 2 years old and a little less frequently for children over 2 years old.
- Have your child’s feet measured. It is not uncommon to have one foot larger than the other. Fit the shoe to the bigger foot.
- Make sure length is adequate. Should be at least a 1/2 inch to 5/8 inch distance from longest toe to tip of shoe. Not everyone’s big toe is the longest.
- Make sure the width of toe box is adequate. Feel for the little toe.
- For beginner walkers I like a straight last shoe. I prefer the sole to be stiff but still allow for flexibility in the front of the shoe.
- I like to see an arch “cookie” on the inside of the shoe.
- Tie or Velcro closure is the best. I really don’t like slip on shoes or sandals on children.
- Ensure proper fit around the heel counter. The shoe should not be falling off the foot.
- Go shopping at the end of the day because feet swell during the day.
- Shoes should feel good in the store. If not don’t buy them. There should be no break in period required.
- Children who are not walking independently do not need supportive shoes. Warmth and protection is all that is required. Flexibility allows for muscle development and proprioception.
*If you are concerned about the way your child walks and would like to have them evaluated by one of our physicians please call our office or fill out the contact form and we will contact you.