Selecting good shoes for children
What are the key features of healthy footwear?

We have discussed the importance of healthy development in my previous blog and that you can best support this with having your child wear healthy shoes. But what are the key features of healthy children shoes?

My son started walking at the age of 13 months and just like most other moms, I wondered which pair of shoes would be the best for him? When starting to explore outside etc., where it may not always be ideal doing so barefoot. I have done a lot of research on the internet, as my hubby and I want the best for our children hence we wanted to buy a pair of shoes that is most suitable for his age. Through reading lots of studies and podiatrists’ websites, I learnt to know how important it is to keep an eye on children’s healthy feet development. This is something that most of us may or tend to overlook. We generally make sure we take them to the dentist regularly to check their teeth, we test their eye sights at least once or twice a year. But what do we do for their feet? Feet that are developing till your child turns around 18 years old and which will carry them through their entire life.

what to look out for when searching for good shoes?
… once toddlers start adventuring outside, protecting their delicate feet with a properly fitted, good pair of shoes is just as important and recommended.

So, how do we know what type of footwear is healthy for the little ones’ feet? I found some relevant information on the Podiatrist Association of South Africa’s website which lists the key features of shoes that best support the children’s feet while moving around outside their homes.

the key features of healthy footwear are
  • The sole of the shoe should be levelled and not curved
  • The shoe should have easy fastening methods e.g. Velcro, laces or buckles
  • The heel should hold firmly in the back of the shoe
  • The sole should be flexible and the heel needs to be firm and stable
  • Ideally, the shoe should have a round toe-cap and provide enough room for the toes
  • Leather and canvas are better materials as these are breathable

In addition to the above list, some podiatrists also mention that the stiffeners in the heel area provide extra support while walking, running as they keep the shoes tighter on the feet.

So Moms, look out for these key features when you go shopping for a new pair of shoes for your children. I certainly do, as healthy feet development is vital for my children and I want to give them the best foundation in life. Having them wear healthy shoes is definitely one element to it when they play and explore outside of our home.

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