It’s been a while since Amy took her first steps and I bought baby shoes but ever since that exciting stage in her life, it has been incredibly important to me that she wears age appropriate and good quality footwear. It’s so easy to get carried away with cute designs and colours but what really counts is that your kids’ feet are protected by a soft and flexible sole and have enough room to move and spread the way they would if they were barefooted.
Shoe company Dotty Fish have recently conducted some really interesting research with the help of the London Podiatry Centre and I thought I’d share some of their findings with you, so you know what to look out for when shopping for baby shoes or toddler shoes.
Baby shoes and baby foot health
Helen Chapman, found of Dotty Fish, explains the reason behind their research. “We have always been passionate about baby foot health and want to give people the information needed to make an informed choice when buying footwear for young children.”
Working closely with the London Podiatry Centre and Rob McCulloch, Consultant Podiatric Surgeon and Director at The London Podiatry Centre, Dotty Fish have measured a baby’s postural sway and balance, tested the effects of the shoes on a baby’s balance and attached sensors to the baby’s feet, legs and hips to capture him walking with and without soft sole shoes.
But what did they find out?
The results of all tests conducted were overwhelmingly positive and showed the benefits of wearing soft soled shoes in those crucial early years of walking. There was a noticeable improvement in hip and knee symmetry when wearing the Dotty Fish shoes as well as an improved pattern of movement in the ankle and an overall improved walking style.
According to their research baby shoes and shows for children need to be:
• Flexible so feet can move naturally
• Lightweight and allowing natural ankle, knee and hip movement
• Wide around the toes to allow the feet to spread when standing
• Thin soled so children’s toes can grip the floor in the same way as if they were barefoot
• A snug fit so they don’t come off but without restricting movement or growth
• Made from a breathable material as babies’ feet sweat 2-3 times more than adults’ do
What do you look out for when buying baby shoes and can you remember where you bought your baby’s first pair of shoes?