What Works Best and When to Use?
Watching babies move from crawling to walking is an amazing thing, and can happen faster than we realize!
But not many parents have a specific idea of how shoes fit into the equation, often asking: “When should my baby start wearing shoes?” and “What types of shoes are best for kids?”.
A large part of the problems is that there are varying opinions across studies & other countries – however, some general rules can be applied to most babies, toddlers & children as they begin their walking journeys.
In this series we will cover 4 main topics:
- When should children start wearing shoes?
- What is the best shoe type for my child to use?
- Picking the right size, and how often to replace?
- Recommended shoe brands for different ages?
When should children start wearing shoes?
There is no exact month or year at which all babies will need to start wearing shoes. The main time you are waiting for is when a baby starts to walk on their own outdoors (or on hard surfaces / areas where dangerous things might be stepped on).
Prior to actually walking, shoes for babies tend to be more fashion accessories than necessary protection for the feet (perhaps providing a bit of extra warmth & sock security!).
As most babies will start to walk between 10-24 months old, this can provide a general guide as to what age shoes will become necessary protection for their feet as they waddle around exploring.
How much time should children be barefoot?
Most modern research around babies (and indeed adult) feet shows us that walking barefoot is the best way to develop/strengthen the small muscles & other structures in the feet, and to build & maintain good balance and coordination.
Our feet weren’t designed to walk around with boxes made of leather, plastics & fabrics strapped around them, so the more time spent barefoot during these early years – the better chance of preventing foot problems in the future.