1. Children's feet are shaped and mold by the type of shoes they have, therefore it is important to buy only quality shoes for your children. Orthopedic shoes will properly develop your child's feet, support knee and feet joints, develop arch support and assist in straight gait and posture. Furthermore, your child will be very comfortable while wearing supportive shoes since they are perfect for walking and running. European children's shoes are made out of best leathers, offer orthopedic support (arch) have breathable innersoles and flexible soles. They are the best choice for small growing feet. Below is a shoe recommendation prototype that has been used by every European pediatrician to educate parents about footwear needs for their children.
a) The best choice for children that are learning to walk are soft, orthopedic shoes/slippers from Europe. Those shoes are made out breathable canvas material, orthopedic innersole, excellent arch and joint support and flexible rubber soles. Furthermore, they stay on little feet due to designer clip that secures the shoe on little foot and at the same time stabilizes the foot. Every baby in Europe learns how to walk in them and wears them throughout their young years (up to 5 years of age). Those canvas shoes/slippers can be worn indoor/outdoor and they offer proper support for everyday wear. You can find them in our stores because we are always have them in stock.
b) Once your child begins to take first steps (10-11 months of age) it is time to start your baby with orthopedic, supportive shoes. High, supportive shoes (high tops) are required for children who are learning to walk. The footwear have to be high, laced, buckled or velcro top with rigid heel that does not get deformed during walk. Those shoes offer excellent ankle and joint support, prevent lopsided heel, help with a balance and provide total assurance that little feet will develop correctly. High shoes are recommended up to 3 years of age (size 26/US 9)
2. Quality shoes are always made out of 100% leather (inside and out) or breathable canvas. Leather is a soft, pliable material that creates the most comfortable environment for growing feet. The best way to recognize leather is to look inside the shoes for international leather mark. Leather innersoles with orthopedic arches are always present in quality shoes. The innersoles conform to child's feet for natural, supportive yet non-restrictive "landing pad" which is ideal for those first steps. Children's feet perspire more then adult feet, therefore only European shoes offer breathable innersoles that filtrate and air children's feet while wearing the shoes. (Notice: in the Summer your child has always dry, comfortable feet in any European closed shoes or high top sandals).
3. Children shoes have to be flexible to conform to any movement of the feet while stretching, bending and turning. Especially for those taking first steps.
a) Properly fitted shoes cannot be too big neither too small. There have to be a 1/2 inch of growing room left.The best way to determine growing room is to touch your child's feet while wearing the shoes. Also, observe the back of the shoes while your child is walking because the foot has to fit comfortably inside the shoe with a little movement. The heel cannot "fly out" of the shoe making it difficult to walk.
b) Children's shoes have to be fitted meaning appropriate style with flexible sole have to be chosen in order for your child to walk comfortably. If your child has:
narrow feet - narrow soled
regular to wide feet - medium to wide soled
4. Babies are usually born with fat, pudgy feet with no arch support. Arch support develops with age (usually at two years of age) therefore, it is important to wear correctly chosen footwear. Posture (gait) is also developed as your child grows therefore, quality shoes play a big role in healthy development.
5. Children's foot growth is all dependent on individual body mass and age. Meaning, chubby infant babies that are beginning to walk, need new shoes every 4 months versus slimmer, petite babies (or preemies) often outgrow their shoes in 8-10 months. In other words, the chubbier the baby than feet grow faster. Once the child passes age of three years, they loose "baby fat" and their feet usually slim down. New shoes are needed every 6 months on average. The growth process continues until they are fifteen years of age. Two pairs of quality shoes are required for rotation per season. It is important to remember that it is best to buy two pairs of quality shoes vs poorly made ones.
6. It is important NOT to rotate between quality, orthopedic shoes and poorly made ones, simply because quality shoes shape and mold kids feet and cheap shoes cause foot deformation. European shoes are always hand made and measured to average child's foot. The width and length is perfectly proportioned to create fitted shoes for each size. It is a time consuming process that every European factory is required to follow to guarantee the perfect shoes for your child! This is why European shoes fit so well and often pristine quality!
SHOES TO AVOID
1. Low quality shoes are made out of cheap materials and they are stiff, not breathable and often lined with synthetic leather or plastic materials.
2. Low quality shoes cause little feet to excessively perspire making child's feet smelly, wet and totally uncomfortable. Children often develop blisters, sores and never want to wear them. Although, low quality shoes cost less over time parents notice that their children does not walk straight (in-toeing), frequently trip and often develop flat feet. Orthopedic doctors visits are required and special innersoles (orthodics) are made to correct the problem. High top, quality footwear is also needed to line-up the feet and improve arch support.
3. Low quality shoes totally deform kids feet and exposing child to further potential health problems such as: pediatrics (feet), orthopedic (lower extremities), chiropractic (spine defects). Remember, buying low quality shoes is like investing in your child's development and well being!
4. Once little feet are deformed and left untreated the condition becomes permanent in adulthood. As body ages the condition deteriorates in joint, feet and back pain. The posture and spine becomes deformed causing posture damage.