Hey Parents! So there has been a huge amount of research that suggests that children should be in soft soled shoes. I often hear parents mocking moccasin type shoes and criticizing the “fact?” that they dont offer enough support. They put their kids in narrow hard soled shoes, then later, they wonder why their kids keep taking their shoes and complain of foot pain. Hmmm. It’s amusing to hear, “Our pediatrician told us to let them run barefoot in the house and buy soft soled shoes for him, but they don’t offer any support! So these are the shoes we bought (insert image of a hard soled, narrow shoes circa 1920).” I’m not a doctor, the people I hear these things from aren’t doctors, so… shouldn’t we listen to good advice supported by thorough research and science given by an actual doctor? Let me just be a little bold here and say that most pediatricians will tell you soft soled shoes are a must! For thousands of years children have not been put into shoes until they were elementary school age or older. We need to protect their sensitive little feet from the disgusting and dangerous ground, but not at the cost of major podiatric problem that will cause them unfathomable pain by the time they are a teenager.
I feel pretty strongly about this seemingly tiny issue because my husband and his twin suffered from congenital hammer and curly toes. They needed surgery and then suffered at the hand of a very Sadistic (literally) doctor who cut their tendons while they were fully conscious. They were in tremendous pain. Both of my sons suffers from curly toes and I want to make sure they are comfortable. If my kids don’t suffer now, they may later due to improper foot wear.
Here’s a great website for information on living barefoot… This might be pretty radical, but there are some principles that are not only practical and sensible, but also supported by leading pediatricians. Parents For Barefoot Children – medical research
My children have begun to correct certain toe alignment problems, just by being barefoot. Being barefoot stretches their ligaments, tendons and keeps their toes flexible. If they are placed in hard soled shoes, they will most likely experience their ligaments and tendons hardening. This means a gauranteed surgery if the toes begin to curl! Yikes! I’ve had friends go through foot surgery and they said it’s the worse pain in the world (over unmedicated natural childbirth). Think of how There are a lot of great options out there that encourage excellent foot health for children. here’s one…
See Kai Run Kai Shoes! – offers sizes 3-11! Great for when they get past the moccasin phase 😀
Check out this lady’s blog to see these shoes on her daughter. Also if your kids have ‘curly toes’ (a medical condition that is congenital) she has some great advice for taping toes and for comfy shoes. She also has a super cute ETSY shop. Nestled Under Rainbows
“See Kai Run Kai – The softest most flexible rubber-soled shoes on the market”
Our kids obviously don’t go barefoot when we’re out and about… stupid Arizona ;)… but I have found some great shoes for them. OH! Side note… Soft soled shoes are almost necessary for early walkers 😀 and are recommended until the child turns 3. Here’s some I found at Target!
Ministar Shoes $14.99
They have sizes available 0-24 months or Small – XLarge. They are very soft on the inside (super super soft suede). The stitching is almost invisible so no irritation. These are amazingly comfortable and reasonably priced.
Here’s to HAPPY FEET! Now if they only made these in my size…. 😉
If you are interested in this movement to shod little feet with healthy and comfortable shoes, there is an organization that provides one pair of shoes for a child in a impovrished community for every pair of shoes sold on their website! That’s TWO shoes for the price of one and a child gets a beautiful new pair of shoes! By 2010, TOMS has given over 1,000,000 pairs of shoes… AMAZING! TOMS Shoes
TOMS for Women (these are just my favorite styles , they have others :D)
TOMS for Men (again, just a few styles)
The TOMS shoe that gets donated!