Gentle Foot Care - Children's Feet

A Guide to Children’s Shoes

Most children learn to walk around the time of their first birthday.

As a child begins to walk, you may have your first questions about what shoes they should wear.

A growing child will need new shoes frequently. Children’s feet grow in spurts and they can require new shoes as frequently as every 3 to 4 months.

Following are some basic suggestions in response to frequently asked questions we get about children’s shoes.

The Fit: Pay attention to the shoe’s proper length, width and depth when fitting your child’s shoe. Poorly fitting children’s shoes can cause toe problems such as ingrown toenails, hammertoes, calluses and bunions.

Pre-Walking Shoes: Babies and crawlers do not need shoes. They only need booties, warm white socks to keep their feet warm, or pre-walking shoes that do not bind their feet. The shoe should be flexible rather than providing a rigid support.

Toddlers’ Shoes: Shoes for toddlers (age 9 months to 3 years) should allow the foot to breathe since their feet perspire a great amount. Avoid synthetic materials that do not breathe. For children 9 to 18 months, choose a high-top shoe so that it stays on the foot more effectively. We also recommend you choose a lightweight shoe, since children use a lot of energy walking at this age.

School-Age Children’s Shoes: Style and shoe fit is important for school-age children. At this age, they can choose from a variety of options including athletic shoes, sandals, hiking shoes, etc. Look for reasonably priced, flexible, well-ventilated shoes that allow plenty of room for growth.

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