Why Parents Should Consider Podiatrist Recommended Shoes for Toddlers
There aren’t many people immune to the sheer cuteness of a toddler shoe. They’re resplendent and eye-catching; miniature shoes adorned with sequins, glitter, bright colours, fun designs and even flashing lights! However, it’s essential to consider the practicalities of the shoes you purchase, particularly focusing on podiatrist recommended shoes for toddlers as their little feet grow and change.
Best Toddler Shoes For The Growth and Development of Little Feet
It’s a common misconception that children’s shoes should last a year. While quality manufacturing may make this ‘possible’, your child should outgrow their shoes far sooner than that.
A foot isn’t fully developed until well into a child’s teen years, and those first few years are when the most amazing changes happen! Up until six months of age, the foot is made mostly of cartilage, with the final foot bone not beginning to form until a child is three years old. Proper support for walking feet is critical during this time, particularly when selecting the best shoes for a newly walking toddler.
How to tell if toddler shoes are too small? A well-fitted shoe should, to the child, feel almost as though they are not wearing shoes at all and provide support appropriate to their stage of development. The rate of growth alone (up to 1,5mm per month) means that your toddler will require new shoes every three months, so if you’re close to that milestone, new shoes are highly likely and a good idea because a shoe that is too tight can restrict proper development and affect your child’s walk.
The Misdiagnosis of Growing Pains
While growing pains are a common occurrence, it’s important to consider the possibility of ill-fitted shoes and other paediatric medical issues.
Queensland Foot Centres advise that pains in children’s feet should not be disregarded as ‘growing pains’ as there are a wide variety of paediatric conditions that can contribute to those pains, including:
- Flat feet, wide feet, pronation, and rolling in;
- See best shoes for toddlers with flat feet
- See best shoes for toddlers with wide feet
- See best shoes for toddlers with narrow feet
- Common correctable walking styles such as pigeon toe walking and walking on tiptoes;
- See best shoes for pigeon-toed toddler
- Medical issues such as shin splints, bunions, warts, odd-shaped toes, and ingrown toenails.
Foot pain should be addressed by a qualified podiatrist, even if only for peace of mind, and then backed up by podiatrist endorsed footwear.
What’s the Difference Between a Standard Shoe and a Podiatrist Endorsed Shoe?
While all good shoes for toddlers are designed to promote a certain amount of support and protective foot coverage, a podiatrist endorsed shoe is designed primarily with the child’s development in mind.
Newborn and baby shoes are commonly designed to be similar to socks, with a soft sole and loose shape to allow gentle protection of the foot cartilage without hindering natural movement and development.
When deciding what shoes are best for toddlers, it’s important to choose podiatrist recommended shoes to ensure the continued development is not affected. The shoes for your toddler should not be the same as the shoes you buy your school-age child.
Bones are still forming, and your child is beginning to develop their walk, so when selecting a shoe that will allow for natural growth and development:
- Your child’s foot should be properly measured, both in length and width;
- Avoid soft-soled shoes; choose shoes with a sturdy flat sole;
- The shoe should be lightweight – your toddler puts a lot of energy into their walk; and
- If your child requires orthotics, choosing a podiatrist endorsed shoe means the shoe will be designed to accommodate the addition of orthotics.
Quality is Best
The temptation to buy cheap shoes is strong; however, purchasing a quality shoe will save you money in the long run.
Whether it be sneaker or sandal, an adequately supported foot will be less likely to develop gait issues that require podiatrist intervention.
Little Treads is an Australian owned company committed to providing high quality, fun kids shoes designed with development in mind. Brands and shoes are carefully selected with foot health in mind. If a shoe isn’t good enough, we won’t stock it! We only stock the best shoe brands for toddlers.
Little Treads cares about little feet, which is why we provide a wide range of podiatrist recommended shoes for toddlers, babies and children that will see them through endless adventures and fun!