Just like adults, babies and children need to wear shoes. Shoes protect our feet from the weather, debris, and germs. Without shoes our feet can be riddled with disease, wounds, and other serious illness. Protecting our feet is critical because we use them to stay mobile every single day. Without our feet, we would not be able to walk, move, and play the way we are used to. From the time your child is born until the time they are adults, it is important to make sure you are outfitting them with the right shoe for their ever-evolving feet.

Cute shoes might look fun to buy, but think again. Usually, the cuter the shoe is, the least likely it is to be beneficial to a child’s foot. Cute shoes are typically rigid, sturdy, and lack a good grip. For normal day to day wear, try to find your child a shoe that is non-restrictive and allows freedom to use their normal range of motion. If a child wears a pair of shoes that do not fit properly, it can permanently deform their feet.

Shoes and socks should both be non-restrictive on all parts of the foot. Socks should not fit tightly around the ankle, or have seams that lift, or have flaps of extra fabric. Shoes should not be too tight, should have a soft flexible bottom and have good grip to prevent slipping. Crib shoes tend to be a great choice due to their well-made nature. Sneakers and closed toed shoes are also helpful for foot protection and breathability. Try to save all the cute shoes for quick photo shoots and special occasions.

When children are learning to walk, they do not always need to wear shoes. Shoes should be worn outside to prevent splinters and to prevent slipping but if a child prefers to have bare feet when learning to walk in the house, that is perfectly fine. Children tend to do better when learning to walk with bare feet as they feel out their surroundings and test their boundaries. If you want your child to wear socks, make sure that they have grip on the bottom so they do not slip and hurt themselves. Also, be sure to check the size of your child’s foot regularly. Small feet grow quickly and outgrow their shoes at a rapid rate.

Are you having a hard time deciding whether or not your child is wearing the right shoe? Do you need to talk to a professional to get the basics and discuss your child’s foot health? Look no further. Dr. James C. Ricketti and Dr. Stephen J. Sokan of James C. Ricketti, DPM, located in Hamilton Square, New Jersey, can help you and your child learn about the right shoe. Call 609-587-1674 and request an appointment today.

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