Little baby feet…
All feet are born delicate and soft, since they are made of cartilages, and these need many years to turn into bones- some bones do not develop until 18 years of age! So before your baby can walk with his soft feet, all necessary foot muscles have to be developed. At no time should one therefore put pressure on a baby to get up and walk!
If you feel your child needs an extra layer of protection and warmth other than socks, or if you could not resist some cute little baby shoes, be careful to only choose soft-soled shoes. These allow your baby to still feel the ground and to therefore further develop their feet muscles.
Precious first steps…
Once your baby feels ready and chooses to walk, you can go ahead and buy the first real pair of shoes. Look out for natural rubber soles as they are flexible and allow a natural foot movement.
Children are very active and their feet´s breathability is important, they should wear shoes that have an upper, insole and lining made of natural materials, like leather or cotton, as these allow little feet to breathe and sweat to escape.
Also ensure that the front shape of the shoes is wide enough, as small children have triangular shaped feet. These are also naturally flat as their foot arch only gradually starts developing at 2/3 years, small children therefore do not need an arch support.
Too small shoes…
A study in Austria has shown that half the children wear too small shoes, which can cause lasting damage to their feet and posture.
Children´s feet need enough space in shoes to move and grow, in order not to disturb their healthy natural development. Shoes should have 12 mm to 17 mm extra length for growth allowance (approx. the size of a thumb).
Feet grow at different rate and can experience a temporary slow down or a sudden increase of growth. Also, they will grow faster during the first 3 years.
So to check whether your children have outgrown their shoes, you should measure their feet every 2-3 months and check the growth space in their shoes.
Socks and tights …
Little feet need space to move and air, so keep away from too small tights or socks, which cause their toes to curl and can result in permanent damage to the growing bones. Especially synthetic socks only stretch so far and do not allow little feet to breathe properly.
Whenever you can, encourage your children of all age to walk and play barefoot indoors and outdoors as this allows their feet to strengthen and to develop their muscles.
Menthe et Grenadine sells high-quality leather shoes for young children and offers a simple and easy online fitting guide.
Download their gauge and measure your children´s feet for a healthy Back to School!