Choosing the Right Baby Shoes

Feb 8 13:02 2009 Dr. Andrew Schneider Print This Article

Parents always want what's best for their children. They end up, however, putting improper shoes on their babies because they match their outfit. This article discusses when and what type of footwear is appropriate for your children. It also discusses the criteria to look for when shopping for shoes.

Infants and toddlers have unique issues when it comes to their feet and the right shoes to put on them. An infant's feet are essentially developmental in nature. The baby likes to dangle those crazy toes in front of his face,Guest Posting explore them, and wonder what they may do. He moves them around and wonders who is making then do that.

As the baby progresses to crawling, they become more functional, to propel him across the floor. He then pulls himself up and bears weight on them for the first time. Then come those wonderful first steps. It's unbelievable that this all occurs during the first year of life!

In order for a child to feel comfortable while weight bearing, it is important for him to have full sensation to their feet. A baby needs to feel the pressures in his feet, known as proprioception, to learn how to balance. Shoes with a real, firm sole do not allow the baby to properly feel his feet. I'm not talking about booties or socks, but those really cute, tiny, Converse All-Stars.

You can take the smartest person...let's say a pediatrician (who really knows better)...tell them that their infant should not be wearing shoes yet and their response would invariably be "I know...but they're so cute!" or "I know...but they match his outfit!" I'm all for cute babies, but let's not effect the kid's development!

Also, infants grow incredibly fast. A sock or soft bootie allows the foot to expand and grow as it should while allowing the baby to feel the ground. Too often, shoes are kept on a child even though they're too small. When you're dealing with an infant or toddler, they won't be able to tell you the shoes hurt like an older child will. Keep those patent leather black Mary-Janes off of the girls! Keep those baby Nike's off of the boys!

It's fine to put a shoe on the baby once he starts to take some steps. When you do, make sure that you put on one with a flexible sole. Rigid soles are not appropriate for a new developing foot! Grab the shoe by the heel and push up under the toe. You should find the shoe flexing with little resistance.

Once your child begins to walk, if you find that he sits down often, complains that his feet hurt, or would rather crawl then walk, he might be experiencing pain, indicating a true problem with the feet or ankles. If this is the case, be sure to visit your podiatrist to check everything out!

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Dr. Andrew Schneider
Dr. Andrew Schneider

Dr. Andrew Schneider of Houston, TX is a physician and surgeon specializing in the foot and ankle. He is the medical director of Tanglewood Foot Specialists and treats all injuries and conditions of the foot and ankle. For more information and many informative videos, visit and his blog at

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