A baby's first step marks the transition into toddlerhood and the discovery of a whole new world. As your little kid grows and explores the environment, you’ll need to ensure their safety, especially if you’re outdoors. A simple yet essential point is wearing suitable, fitting footwear.
Finding a good quality pair of shoes for young children can be challenging as you need to ensure comfort as well as room for growth. Here’s how to eliminate the hassles of shoe shopping for your kids while ensuring the correct fit.
Why are fitted shoes important?
Children's feet, particularly newborns and toddlers, are sensitive and still developing. They should, therefore, be cared for from the start.
Properly fitted shoes allow for unrestricted growth by providing the proper amount of room and support to aid normal foot development. They also allow kids to move around freely with reduced risk of falling or tripping.
What should you look for when choosing kids shoes?
When shopping for a new pair of shoes for your child, it's critical to know what makes a pair of shoes appropriate. Here are a few things to watch out for:
Sizes: There are whole and half sizes available, and a variety of width fits so that you can make the most suitable choices for your child.
Speciality: Look out for shoes that have been made specifically for children's feet, designed to fit the curve of a child's foot and provide enough room for growth.
Shape: The shape of the shoes should resemble the form of a child's foot. Avoid designs that might be overly pointed or have a distorted appearance, which can harm sensitive feet.
Fastening: Many options are available, including buckles and rip tape/velcro fastenings, which allow for fine adjustment to ensure that shoes fit correctly. Shoes that have adjustable fastening are also easier to put on and take off, minimizing harm to the baby’s feet.
Breathable linings: Look for shoes that allow air to escape their surface, keeping feet fresh, dry and healthy.
How to choose children's shoes?
Children potentially require new shoes every four months as their feet grow fast. However, how often you replace their shoes depends on how active the child is and how rapidly their feet grow.
When selecting your child's shoes, some of the things to consider are:
When fitting your child's shoe, pay attention to the shoe length, width, and depth. Poorly fitted shoes can cause ingrown toenails, hammertoes, and blisters.
To ensure the perfect fit, remove the detachable insert from the shoe and make your child step on it to know the amount of space. About half-inch of space should be available between the front toes and the insert with their heel at the rear.
If the inserts aren't detachable, help your child wear the shoes and press down on the front.
Examine the shoe depth to ensure that the top of the shoe does not put pressure on the toes or toenails.
To offer your child's toes more freedom to flex, look for shoes with rounded toe boxes. Always keep in mind that shoes should be comfy from the beginning.
If your child's new shoes need to be "broken in," it suggests they were not correctly constructed or fitted for their foot.
According to Children’s Shoe Shopping Guide from the American Podiatric Medical Association, a parent should buy shoes that are comfortable immediately and do not need a “break-in” period.
Check your child's feet frequently for redness or blisters, which might signal that they require larger or wider shoes.
Children's shoes should consist of four parts: the upper part, the insole, the outer sole and the heel.
It is important that the insole is made of absorbent material. Unique arch support is not required for the majority of children. This is because flat feet are present in all toddlers under the age of 16 months, and an arch is only fully developed at the age of 6 to 8 years.
The outer sole of the shoe offers traction, cushioning, and flexibility. Avoid shoes with extremely sticky or thick outer soles since they might cause stumbling and falling.
The upper half of a child's shoe should be constructed of breathable materials, such as mesh or canvas because their feet tend to sweat a lot. Hence, plastic and other artificial materials should be avoided.
Toddlers' shoes do not require heels. It's easier to get started walking with flat outside soles.
Shoes with heels are okay for older children, but they should not be too high (more than one inch) since they might cause the foot to slide forward and cramp the toes against the shoe.
Prewalker shoes are suitable for little ones who are just learning how to walk. The shoe should be flexible and tailored to fit the child's foot. However, in a safe situation, such as indoors, your baby can go barefoot.
Shoes for toddlers should allow the foot to breathe since their feet perspire heavily. Avoid synthetic materials that are unbreathable.
For toddlers, you may choose a high-top shoe that will stay on foot better than a low-top shoe.
Shoes with adjustable ankle fasteners made of leather or canvas are more secure, stay on the foot, and fit little feet better. To avoid falling, the sole of the shoe should be smooth, like the palm of your hand.
Because children use a lot of energy walking at this age, choose a lightweight shoe. However, in a safe environment, such as indoors, toddlers can go barefoot. Shoes for toddlers are sometimes called first walker baby shoes.
For school-aged children, shoe fit and style are critical. There are several alternatives when it comes to shoes for active kids at this age, including athletic shoes, sandals, hiking shoes, and so on.
Look for flexible, well-ventilated shoes with plenty of foot room for development.
Find out more about buying your child’s first pair of shoes here.
How fast do children's feet grow?
Toddlers' feet grow fast until they reach a certain age (as much as 1.5 cm in 6 months), then begin to slow down until they finally reach full maturity at 16.
Because of the fast growth, you should measure your child's feet every six to eight weeks from when they first start wearing shoes, and then every two to three months. It is recommended that children see a qualified fitter for shoes that allow for growth.
Is it bad for kids to wear shoes that are too big?
You may believe that buying shoes that they can grow into would save you time and money.
However, buying shoes is not the same as buying a new sweater, and having the appropriate size is vital.
If you get sized-up shoes, children may find it difficult to walk in them. In addition, foot development can be negatively affected by ill-fitting shoes, leading to long-term feet issues.
According to the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society, because children's feet are not always the same size, you should make sure that both of your child’s feets are measured and their shoes fitted to the larger foot.
Other useful tips for choosing shoes for kids
Screen early for foot issues
Because genetics is the strongest predictor of subsequent foot problems, it's critical to get your child evaluated early if your family has a history of significant foot problems.
Parents with flat feet or other concerns should take their child to a pediatric podiatrist when their child begins walking.
To ensure the best for your child’s feet health, Two Little Feet’s special selection of podiatry-friendly shoes for kids features firmer heel counter, velcro ankle fastener, as well as broader and stiffer outsoles.
It's best to get professionally fitted
Parents should generally have their child's foot measured every time they buy a new pair of shoes.
Children's arches do not start to form until about four, altering how shoes fit. When feasible, get your child's foot measured and shoes suited by a professional.
Alternatively, use the pinky to measure
If you can't get your child's shoes professionally fitted, check for fit by measuring how much room your little one has in the toe box with your pinky finger.
When there is a pinky's breadth of space between the tips of the child's toes and the toe of the shoe, the shoes are well-fitting in that region.
Check your child's feet for red markings or indents after the first few times they wear a new pair of shoes. If any remains after a few minutes, the shoes aren't a good fit and are likely bothersome.
Where to buy baby shoes in Singapore?
If you're overwhelmed about where to start searching for good quality baby shoes in Singapore, don't worry, we've got you covered.
Slip your children's adorable feet into a vast selection of kids shoes at Two Little Feet. They offer various cute, stylish and breathable options and a solid range of baby's first shoes! The friendly exchange process and doorstep pick up services are an added plus. You don’t have to worry if you happen to purchase the wrong size.
Additionally, Two Little Feet also offers a home trial option for you to pick additional sizes for the right fit instantly.
Walking is a significant development milestone. You will need shoes for toddlers to help protect their little feet, especially if you’re outdoors. Shop with Two Little Feet for the right shoe choices for your little ones in Singapore.