As a parent we always want to do the best for our children and that includes protecting their feet. Infants typically do not need any shoes since they are not walking around but before you know it babies start cruising around. Shoes can help to protect the feet and also add stability to help the beginner walker. Picking the right fit is crucial in the proper development of the child’s foot and should be done with every pair.
Measuring the child’s foot can be difficult since an infant’s foot is very soft and flexible. The width and arch length are all measurements that should be attained as well. Width of the shoe is typically proportional to the length. The way to test for proper width is by seeing if there is enough room in the shoe to place one finger on the side. Checking the length can be done by feeling if there is enough space in the front. Pushing down on the toes to make sure there is about one finger breath of space is appropriate.
Make sure that the heel fits snug. If it does not then the shoe will have trouble staying on. The heel should not be too snug or it will cause excessive rubbing to the heel of the child. After fitting the child with the shoe watch him/her while walking and running. The child should not look awkward or be unbalanced.
The material of the shoe is important as well. Try to buy shoes that have supportive materials such as leather or plastic. The sides of the shoe allow for stability and the bottom of the shoe acts as a shock absorber. Velcro laces is also a nice feature since shoe tightness can be customized easily.
If the shoes are not the correct fit then deformities can occur. The typical toe problem seen with tight fitting shoes is curly toes. Hammertoes can be very painful especially later on in life with the combination of arthritic changes to the toe joints. In order to preserve our foot structure proper fitting shoes is a essential piece. The key to finding the right fit shoe is patience and persistence. At the shoe store do not be discouraged if you have to travel to different locations for the proper fit. Another way to shop for proper shoes is online. Asics has a variety of shoes for early walkers and their website has a much wider selection as compared to a physical store.