Choosing Shoes For Your Child With Down Syndrome

At My First Steps we know selecting the right shoes for your child with Down syndrome is an important aspect of ensuring their comfort, mobility, and overall well-being. Children with Down syndrome often have unique physical characteristics and sensory needs that require special consideration when it comes to footwear. As a parent or caregiver, understanding the features to look for in shoes for children with Down syndrome can help you make informed decisions and provide your child with the support they need.


Here are our 7 key features for selecting shoes for your child with Down Syndrome; 

Comfort is Paramount

Comfort should be the top priority when choosing shoes for your child with Down syndrome. Look for shoes made from soft, breathable materials that provide gentle support without causing irritation or discomfort. Avoid shoes with rough seams or stiff materials that can rub against your child's skin and lead to discomfort or blisters. Prioritize shoes that offer ample cushioning and padding to cushion your child's feet and provide a comfortable walking experience.

Wide Width and Roomy Toe Box

Many children with Down syndrome have wider feet and a unique foot shape that requires shoes with a wide width and roomy toe box. Look for shoes specifically designed to accommodate wider feet, with spacious toe boxes that allow for natural toe splay and prevent discomfort or constriction. Shoes with wide widths provide ample room for your child's feet to move and grow comfortably, promoting proper foot development and reducing the risk of discomfort or injury.

Adjustable Straps or Velcro Closures

Fine motor difficulties are common among children with Down syndrome, making it challenging for them to tie shoelaces independently. Opt for shoes with adjustable straps or Velcro closures that allow for easy on-and-off access without the need for tying shoelaces. Adjustable straps also enable you to customise the fit of the shoes to accommodate your child's unique foot shape and size, ensuring a snug and comfortable fit throughout the day.

Supportive Construction

Children with Down syndrome may have lower muscle tone and joint instability, requiring shoes with supportive construction to provide stability and prevent falls or injuries. Look for shoes with sturdy heel counters and supportive arches that promote proper foot alignment and provide stability during walking and physical activities. Supportive shoes help improve balance and coordination, allowing your child to navigate their environment with confidence and ease.

Flexible Soles

Flexible soles are essential for allowing natural foot movement and providing sensory feedback, especially for children with Down syndrome who may have sensory processing differences. Choose shoes with flexible soles that bend and move with your child's feet, promoting a more natural gait and enhancing sensory awareness. Flexible shoes encourage proper foot mechanics and help improve proprioception, allowing your child to develop their motor skills and coordination effectively.

Breathable Materials

Proper airflow is crucial for maintaining foot health and preventing moisture buildup and odor. Look for shoes made from breathable materials that allow air to circulate freely and keep your child's feet dry and comfortable throughout the day. Breathable shoes help prevent skin irritation and fungal infections, promoting overall foot health and hygiene for children with Down syndrome who may have sensory sensitivities.

Lightweight Design

Heavy shoes can weigh down your child's feet and impede mobility, leading to fatigue and discomfort. Choose lightweight shoes that provide adequate support without adding unnecessary bulk or weight. Lightweight shoes allow for greater freedom of movement and reduce fatigue during physical activities, helping your child stay active and engaged in their daily routines.


Here are our 3 key brands for your child with Down Syndrome;

Biomecanics - Seam free design with maximum support

Geox - Ultimate breathability with a huge range of styles

Froddo - Wide fitting, flexible and great support


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In conclusion, choosing the correct shoes for your child with Down syndrome involves considering factors such as comfort, wide width, adjustable closures, supportive construction, flexible soles, breathable materials, and lightweight design. By prioritising your child's unique physical and sensory needs, you can select shoes that provide optimal comfort, support, and mobility, allowing your child to explore the world with confidence and independence.