The shoes for toddlers are different from those of the adult ones. There are several reasons for the same. An adult has strong feet whereas a toddler’s feet are weak and soft. As a result, the requirements of their shoes also vary.
Due to this, there are several special considerations that one should keep in mind before buying toddler shoes. It would involve considering the structure, form, lightness, etc. Based on such points, here is a list of 5 things one should check before making such purchases.
The first and foremost thing one should consider for buying toddler shoes is the protection of the child’s feet. The design of the shoes must be such that it does not harm their feet. Due to this reason, their shoes are made up of soft materials. These materials are generally clothes. Without such materials, their feet will be exposed to the harshness of rough bodies like hard leather or plastic. In such a case, the feet may also experience pain.
The protection is needed not only from the harsh materials of the shoes but also from the harmful elements present in the surrounding. For example, if their feet are exposed to the water for a long duration, they may catch a cold.
- Perfect size
You must find out the perfect size for your child’s feet. An oversized shoe will not let your feet find balance with the floor while walking. On the other hand, small size shoes may lead to pain in the feet. It may also result in irritation in the feet region.
In both cases, the child will take more time in learning to walk.
Toddlers find it difficult to balance their bodies while walking. The main reason for this is their weak bones. In such a situation, if their shoes are not effective enough to provide appropriate balance, they will have a tough time learning to walk. Thus, an appropriate balance is important. This can be achieved by providing a fine grip on the sole. The grip will ensure that the child does not fall when the surface is slippery.
Getting balance while walking would also mean easy movement of the steps. This is possible only when the shoes are light. The fine grip and lightness, both can be achieved by having soft rubber material in the base.
- Appropriate structure
An appropriate structure would contain many things. The toddler shoes should have appropriate space between the toes and the front part. Also, the shoes should have sufficient flexibility. It will allow the feet to bend properly. Further, the weight should be light enough to allow them to lift their feet easily. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that the shoes should have a design based on the barefoot model. It means that the shoes should have a design similar to that of a naked foot. This is because such a design will ensure that the child is learning to walk in a natural way.
Apart from these, the appropriate structure would also mean having a cushion pad for softness while walking.
- Avoid dependency on Corrective Shoes
Corrective shoes are those shoes that are claimed to correct deformities in the feet. The American Academy of Pediatrics cautions people from depending on such shoes. As per the academy, they are not useful.
As per a survey, the effectiveness of these shoes is of questionable value.
Apart from the above 5 points, there are certain recommendations of The American Academy of Pediatrics which act as a standard guideline for choosing a toddler’s shoes. As per its recommendation, the rigid and compressive foot may lead to deformation of the feet. In certain situations, it may also result in loss of mobility. It suggests that load distribution, shock absorption and elevation are sufficient indicators for modification of the shoe.
Further, the suitability of a shoe may vary from child to child. For example, a shoe material that does not suit a child’s feet may suit another very well. Thus, specific requirements of a child should also be taken into consideration.
Considering the above points before buying the shoes is important for a person to avoid wrong decision. Keeping these points in mind will enable one in selecting the best option available for his toddler.