Choosing the Best Baby Shoe
“I have an eleven month old son who is healthy and growing in the 90th percentile. He is almost walking and we would like to introduce him to shoes. However, we have no idea how to begin. Could you guide us as to what to look for in infant shoes or what is considered good, supportive, and healthy for growing feet?”
The sole of a baby shoe
As a general guide when choosing the best baby shoe, the earlier the stage of walking, the thinner and more flexible the sole should be. Before buying a baby shoe, bend it in your hand to test its flexibility. Then watch your baby walk. The shoe should bend at the ball of the foot as your baby takes each step. Whether to get rubber soles or leather soles in a baby shoe is a mater of which is most flexible. The rubber soles on some baby shoes are thicker and stiffer than leather soles. Also, rubber soles tend to be more rounded, whereas the flatter leather soles tend to provide more stability. Remember: avoid stiff soles for young feet.
Construction of a baby shoe
Stick with natural materials – leather or canvas – that breathe, letting air get to baby’s perspiring feet. Avoid synthetics like vinyl, which don’t breathe.
Fit of a baby shoe
This is the most important part of choosing the best baby shoe. A qualified baby shoe fitter will measure both feet while the baby is standing, looking for flexibility at the ball of the foot while the baby walks, while checking for toe room and heel slippage. Don’t forget to your let baby take a “test-walk” before purchasing any baby shoe.
Dr. Sears, or Dr. Bill as his “little patients” call him, has been advising busy parents on how to raise healthier families for over 40 years. He received his medical training at Harvard Medical School’s Children’s Hospital in Boston and The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, the world’s largest children’s hospital, where he was associate ward chief of the newborn intensive care unit before serving as the chief of pediatrics at Toronto Western Hospital, a teaching hospital of the University of Toronto. He has served as a professor of pediatrics at the University of Toronto, University of South Carolina, University of Southern California School of Medicine, and University of California: Irvine. As a father of 8 children, he coached Little League sports for 20 years, and together with his wife Martha has written more than 40 best-selling books and countless articles on nutrition, parenting, and healthy aging. He serves as a health consultant for magazines, TV, radio and other media, and his AskDrSears.com website is one of the most popular health and parenting sites. Dr. Sears has appeared on over 100 television programs, including 20/20, Good Morning America, Oprah, Today, The View, and Dr. Phil, and was featured on the cover of TIME Magazine in May 2012. He is noted for his science-made-simple-and-fun approach to family health.