Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Little shoes for little feet

I remember I've had discussion some time ago with a very good and dear friend of mine from Romania, whose little girl is one month younger than my son. At a certain point, we came across the subject of little shoes and as I was showing her the kind of shoes I was buying for Bryce, she became a bit amazed by their softness and told me how doctors in Romania would advise moms to buy very stiff shoes for the little feet.
I've quickly googled some article where the contrary was stated and yesterday, while I was reading my amazing Baby Book by Dr. Sears, here is what I found:

By Dr. Sears

The Sole. As a general guide, the earlier the stage of walking, the thinner and most flexible the sole should be. Before buying a shoe, bend it in your hand to test its flexibility. Then watch your baby walk. The shoe should bend at the ball of the foot as your baby takes each step. Whether to get rubber soles or leather shoes is a matter of which is the most flexible. The rubber soles on some snickers are thicker and stiffer than leather soles. Also, rubber soles tend to be more grounded, whereas the flatter leather soles tend to provide more stability.  Avoid stiff shoes for young feet.  If you have difficulty bending the shoe in your hand, leave it in the shoe store.  Your baby will have even more difficulty bending the stiff show with his feet.  Stiff soles may catch on the walking surface, causing a nasty fall.

The Counter (Back of the shoe).  To ensure proper fit, the counter should be firm.  Try this test. Squeeze the counter between your thumb and forefinger.  If it feels too soft, it will weaken with wear, causing the shoe to slip off.

The Heel.  Beginning with your baby's first shoe, a slight heel is advisable to help prevent dangerous backward falls.

The Top and Sides.  The throat of the shoe (the area across the top of the shoe just below the laces) and the sides should crease easily when your baby takes a step.  If they don't, it means your baby's footwear is not flexible enough, and the foot can't bend naturally while baby walks.

Construction.  Stick with natural materials - leather or canvas - that breathes, letting air get to babies perspiring feet.  Avoid synthetic materials, such as vinyl, which don't breathe.

Selecting a good shoe fitter is one of the most important steps in buying your baby's shoes.  A qualified shoe fitter measures both feet while baby is standing, looking for flexibility at the ball of the foot while baby walks, and checks for toe room and heel slippage.  And don't forget to consult the walker.  Let baby test stride the new shoes around the store.


  1. Very hard to find this kind of shoes! Most of the footwear for little feet are made like they would go to army.


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