While pediatricians claim that babies and toddlers must be allowed to move bare feet to facilitate the full growth and development of their feet and toes, it is still advisable to buy comfortable shoes that will provide adequate protection when they move on rough surfaces. Make sure that the shoes are flexible and have soles that do not skid. Here are some things to keep in mind when you buy baby shoes.
- Ensure that the material you buy is lightweight and breathable. Synthetics and stiff leather often cause impediment in the normal development of the feet, and therefore it is best to opt for shoes made of cloth or soft leather.
- Bend the soles to check on their flexibility. Also, rubber soles with ridges allows the feet to get a solid grip of the ground.
- Always check on the size by making your child try it out. There should be sufficient space between the heel’s of the shoe and the child’s heel. Also, ensure that there is a full thumb-width between the child’s toes and the front part of the shoe. The shoe should be wide enough to allow sufficient space for movement to the toes without being so big that it easily falls off all the time.
- Squeeze the fabric and try to catch hold of some of the material on top when your child wears them. If you are unable to do so, it means that the fabric and size are both too tight to be able to provide any comfort.
- It is best to buy shoes in the latter half of the day. The logic behind this is that with constant movement, feet often tend to swell. Therefore, buying shoes later on in the day will ensure that you pick a size that will accommodate the feet in their swollen and enlarged state and allow you to be sure that it does not sit too tightly causing discomfort.
- Always examine your child’s feet and soles for any irritations or cuts that might result from wearing a particular model of shoe. If you find any such signs, then replace the shoes immediately.
- Take a pick between Velcro and laces. Velcro fasteners undoubtedly allow the wearer to put on and take off shoes easily, and it might often result in your child taking off the shoes when he/she should not be doing so. In such cases, laces are a good alternative. Ensure that the shoes you buy have laces long enough to be knotted twice over, thereby reducing the chances of them being unfastened, causing your child to trip.
The cost of baby shoes generally range between 15 to 20 dollars. However, this is not an item that should be bargained. Always chose a model that is comfortable, provides adequate support and allows your child’s feet to grow even if it is priced slightly higher than your alloted budget.