Babies’ feet are very different to ours as their bones haven’t calcified yet and they don’t develop a visible arch until about 3 years old. As a result their feet can easily be molded into the wrong shape by poorly fitting shoes or even tight socks. When your baby is learning to crawl and only pulling to stand or cruising along furniture, they are best to remain barefoot and this will also allow the muscles in their feet to develop.
Once babies are taking steps independently indoors and just starting to find their feet they will need flexible lightweight shoes to protect their feet and give them some grip to prevent slipping up. They do not need a hard sole and they will still need some time out of shoes to allow their foot muscles to develop.
When your baby is walking most of the time indoors and outdoors they will need their first pair of proper walking shoes. They will need to have their feet properly measured by a shoe fitter. Reputable companies such as Start-rite, Russell and Bromley, and Clarks, have specially-trained and knowledgeable fitters on hand. It is important that the heel is well supported and held securely so that the foot doesn’t slip inside the shoe and cause rubbing and difficulty balancing. A semi rigid sole is appropriate at this age, you should be able to bend and twist the sole at the mid-foot region with little effort. The shoes should be about 12-16m longer than their big toe and wide enough for their toes to lie flat within the shoe. As children grow so quickly it is advised that you get their shoes checked every 6-8 weeks.
If you have any difficulties finding appropriate shoes or you have questions about footwear are physiotherapists will be more than happy to help you. Contact us on 020 7884 0374 or email firstname.lastname@example.org