Children’s Shoes – Keep It Simple

You don’t have to spend a lot of time and money on your children’s shoes. The experts recommend to keep shoes simple. Children’s feet don’t need special support. For example, a toddler’s foot is naturally flat and the foot’s arch develops in most children on its own by the age of 6 to 8 years.

The key pieces of advice for choosing shoes are that they:

  • Fit well and allow room for growth.
  • Provide sufficient comfort for the weather (hot, cold, rain)
  • Protect from rough and sharp surfaces

In addition, you don’t need to buy expensive shoes. Just follow the above advice and stick with these features for specific age groups:

    ? Babies and Toddlers

For babies learning to walk (11-18 months) and toddlers developing skills, bare feet are best so they can feel surfaces as much as possible. When you choose a shoe for them, it should have:

  • A sole that is firm, but lightweight and flexible
  • The front part wider than the heel
  • A firm heel cup (back part)
  • Buckles and laces, if your child has narrow feet
    ? Pre-school and Early school

Thongs are good footwear at this age for similar reasons to bare feet. While style can become important for these children, as they choose sports shoes, hiking, school shoes and more, you should make sure they are:

 

  • Generally flexible
  • Well-ventilated (leather, canvas or mesh, not plastic)
  • Heels no higher than 2.5 cm

For more information visit www.health.vic.gov.au/vpon www.aofas.org

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