Timing It Right For Tiny Toes
As a parent, you cherish every milestone your child reaches, from their first words to their first wobbly steps. But every new stage, leaves us with a list of new questions and the one we hear most often here at My First Steps is, when is the right time to get them their first pair of shoes?
To tackle the first big question of ‘when?’, it firstly goes without saying timing for your child's first pair of shoes isn't set in stone and can vary vastly from one child to another. However, if they are up on their feet, cruising around and keen to explore different surfaces, especially outdoors, we want to protect those little toes, either with a professionally fitted prewalker or a first walking shoe. Which brings up the next question of what’s the difference, and as a mum myself I know it’s a mind field out there! In the simplest of terms a prewalker is best as we want them to build up their muscles, gain confidence and fully engage their balance and coordination. A first walking shoe, gives extra support and stability to the foot to ensure the right step every time, promoting great foot health, joint support and comfort. A first walking shoe is recommended once walking is established at least 4-6 weeks.
The next key question we are asked daily is ‘what makes a shoe great?’, which is 100% understandable when there is so much information available, clever big brand marketing and endless options, its a minefield – so let me break it down with five key tips for choosing your child’s first shoes;
- Look for Paediatric and Podiatrist approved brands: these researched shoe designs will be incredibly considered and ensure an optimal shoe adapted to the true needs of a constantly growing foot. Top Recommendation: Biomecanics and Froddo are excellent first shoe brands.
- Get The Right Fit: Getting shoes professionally fitted is a must as no two children's feet are ever the same, heck often their own feet aren’t the same! An expert fitter will consider the length, width and depth of each foot, as well as toe spread, ankle width and gait of the child to choose the most ideal fit with a little growing room for your little one, we may make it look easy but it truly is an art.
- Choose For Lifestyle, Not Just For Style: Think about where your child will wear these new shoes, how active they may be and if it will be there only pair of shoes. Once in a store it can be easy to get distracted by a clean white trainer or a sparkly pink mary jane style shoe but is it really practical? Top Tip – Toe bumpers are designed to protect not only the toes but the front of the shoes that will certainly prolong that 'just bought’ look.
- Flexibility! Look for soles that are flexible, yet durable and supportive. They can be more rigid around the heel, but should bend at the ball of the foot, allowing for natural movement while providing stability, this will provide optimal foot health for their rapidly growing feet.
- Quality and Convenience: Leather shoes are always a top pick for your little one’s all day adventures, they will be easier to clean and more importantly allow the feet to breath while being naturally water resistant, keeping feet dry and comfortable. Top Convenience Tip – Select shoes with velcro fastenings for extra speed when wrangling wriggly toes
So there you have it, five tips to help ready you to find those adorable, perfect fitting shoes for your growing explorer, we hope you enjoy this milestone moment with your little adventurer.
Our aim at My First Steps is to provide friendly, informative guidance to parents and caregivers about children’s footwear and we are always happy to help, you can reach out to us at any of our stores or online at www.myfirststeps.ie or on our social channels @myfirststepsireland