The question about shoes for babies comes up very often. Here are some tips for choosing the right shoes for your child.
At what age should baby be equipped with shoes?
Who would not love beautiful little baby shoes ? The same sneakers as mom or dad in miniature, that's way too cute not to succumb! But a baby who doesn’t walk yet doesn’t need to wear shoes at all, and even when he does start to walk, barefoot is still ideal.
The whole point of baby shoes is to protect them when they are outside, from the moment they are walking. Inside the house, wear bare feet or non-slip socks if you are afraid your child will catch a cold.
The acquisition of walking takes between 10 months and 18 months. But even if your child does start to walk, that doesn't mean that he or she doesn't crawl like four legs or sit on his knees. Shoes interfere with movement on the ground because the feet cannot move as they want. Indeed, when moving on the ground but also when walking, all the muscles of the feet are involved. The work of these muscles makes it possible to strengthen the foot. In addition, the contact of bare feet on different types of ground allows to develop the knowledge of his body by activating the proprioceptive sensors located under the foot.
It is also important to note that your child will not walk faster if they are wearing shoes.
What type of shoes should you choose ?
The footwear market for toddlers is very large. There is something for all tastes and styles, but don't be fooled by marketing and fashion. It is important to follow a few recommendations so that your child develops the best possible posture.
The recommendations at the time were to wear stiff, high-top shoes to protect the foot, but this is not at all correct. As seen above, the foot needs to move in all directions to develop its musculature as well as proprioception.
Walking barefoot or with shoes that leave the foot free to move around allows children to find their balance, work on their proprioception and posture.
Be careful, children naturally have flat feet until they are about 3 years old. It is therefore not necessary to take shoes with reinforcements at the level of the sole. It is the work of the muscles of the foot that will create the arch of the foot.
Advice from your osteopath
A child changes shoe size every three or four months between one and two years old. It is therefore imperative to regularly check the shoe size of your little one so that he is as comfortable as possible when walking.
What criteria for a good baby shoe :
- The shoe mimics the impression of the bare foot
- The insole is always flat and not too thick
- The shoe should be as flexible as possible, you should be able to bend it
- The upper (rear at the heel) should be rigid to guide the foot and prevent it from slipping on the sides but it is not mandatory
- It must not be too high to promote proprioceptive sensors
- It must be flexible all the time on the forefoot to allow good propulsion of the walk
- It must be breathable because baby's feet sweat more: use leather or fabric
Indoors or on smooth floors, without risk of injury, prefer walking barefoot or with non-slip socks or very flexible slippers.
Shoes should only be used outdoors as for us adults.
For more information, do not hesitate to contact your osteopath specializing in pediatrics.
Osteopath in Beausoleil
Near Monaco and Cap d'Ail