The Worst Kids Shoe Advice We've Heard
Some of the kids shoe advice makes me want to face palm. It amazes me sometimes how some of these common kids shoe myths prevail, even as we learn increasingly more about children’s foot development.
I’m exposing the following pieces of “advice” as the frauds they are. Have you ever been conned into thinking these suggestions are gospel truth? You wouldn’t be the first. Read on to finally separate fact from fiction and get better shoes for your kids today.
Get a size bigger so your child grows into them
My own mother fell prey to this shoe advice when I was growing up. The result was that I looked clownish in my oversized sneakers. It seems like common sense, the way you buy larger school clothes so they’ll last longer.
But here’s the thing – a few things, actually…For a start, shoes that don’t fit well won’t wear well. For a child new to walking, going ‘up a size’ can be extremely detrimental to their development.
They leave your child prone to tripping and falling. Your child may need to toe-grip the soles of their shoes to stop them from slipping around as they walk. Hardly conducive to child’s play.
For another thing, oversized shoes can actually affect the way your child develops their gait. Or they could aggravate (perhaps even cause) underlying foot problems.
Children need sturdy footwear with lots of support
And what did our children do before shoe support was a thing?
That’s what muscles are for! Stiff or rigid shoes can actually weaken your child’s foot muscle development, reducing their endurance for long walks (like they’re not difficult about it already).
You need shoes with a flexible sole that will mould to the foot. Soft, supple materials like leather, suede and canvas are perfect. Flexible shoes help your children strengthen their feet muscles by using them as nature intended.
Just give them second-hand shoes
It’s so tempting to give your child their big sibling’s hand-me-downs when they’re growing a mile a minute.
But kids shoes mould to their feet, making them one-of-a-kind for the wearer.
Give your child used shoes and you’re putting them into shoes with soles already shaped to someone else’s fit. These wear patterns are unlikely to support your own child’s unique foot shape and movements.
So if there’s one thing you’re going to buy new for your child, make
it their shoes.
If they’re not complaining, the shoes still fit
If all parents got a penny every time their child complained, parenting would be the highest paid job on the planet (about time!).
But kids are just as susceptible to foregoing comfort if they’re immersed in a fun activity. Don’t just assume that because they haven’t mentioned it, they’re comfortable in their shoes.
Many kids don’t speak up when their shoes have become too tight for them. It’s best to measure their feet every two months in case it’s time for an upgrade.
You must get them the *insert latest trend here*
Sure it’s a photo opportunity when your kid tries on Dad’s gumboots or Mum’s high heels. It’s a whole other story when you’re putting them in their own pint-sized replicas of adult shoes for longer periods of time.
Slip ons, heels, and gumboots… All these shoes should be banned until your child’s foot has sufficiently developed.
If shoes are uncomfortable for your child or inhibit their play in any way, they can have a detrimental effect on your child’s gait and foot development, potentially even resulting in foot problems later in life.
The best shoes you can buy are kids shoes designed for small feet and kids play. That means softer, more flexible soles and flat-to-the-ground profiles. It means shoes that properly ensconce the foot and allow for running, jumping, cartwheeling – what have you – with ease.
Your child should always wear shoes
… But it’s crazy how often I hear people say this. If we don’t say it enough at Bobux, here it goes again: barefoot is best.
Give your child all the help they need by letting them explore their little universe on their own two feet – and their own two feet alone. No socks. No shoes.
Of course, that isn’t always possible. So if your toddler does need to wear shoes to protect their soft skin on the playground, say, go for soft soles that allow proper proprioception.
What’s the worst kids shoe advice you’ve ever received? We’d love to hear from you! Meanwhile, explore our range of the best kids shoes for your child’s foot development today.