Two words most of us love to hear? Shoe shopping! But it's quite a different story when you're buying footwear for your antsy 1-year-old. Most of the time you'll be hard-pressed to get her to try on a pair without wiggling out of your lap or having a kicking-and-screaming tantrum.
The hard part in picking shoes for toddlers is that they can't verbalize which shoes makes them uncomfortable or not. Another factor is that, the first shoes of toddlers are very important because it may assist or prolong the process in which toddlers learn the skill of walking.
1. Shop Smart
1. Put off shopping for shoes until your child actually starts to walk (between 10 and 18 months).
2. It is better for toddlers to start leaning to walk barefoot, this gives more grip and promotes more balance.
3. It is always best to shop from stores with trained staffs that know how to measure the length and width of child's foot.
4. Wait until afternoon to make any purchase, kids' feet like in adults tend to swell more compared to mornings due to gravity pulling all fluids down to their feet.
2. Find a Good Fit
1. Picking brands that are specifically made for toddlers is a good idea.
2. Pick flexible shoes made of lightweight materials, such as leather or high-quality mesh.
3. For a perfect fit, insert your pinkie into the heel (your finger should fit snugly) and into the point where the shoe meets the ankle (to rule out stitching that could cause blisters). Then, feel the shoe's tip while your child's standing to make sure there's about half an inch of space between the big toe and the tip.
3. Skip Special Support
Two features you don't have to worry about are arch and ankle support. Flat feet are normal for toddlers whose arches are still developing. Plus, your kid's ankles need to be free to build muscle and prevent injuries.
High-top shoes are found out to cause for more ankle injuries when toddlers fall in these type of shoes.
4. Test Them Out
Once you find a shoe that you think fits well, have your kid toddle around in the store. Watch for a loose, slipping heel when he walks and any red marks on his feet after you take the shoes off.
5. Monitor The Fit
Toddlers' feet grow rapidly, often sizing up every two to three months. "If your kid has been happily wearing the shoes for months and suddenly starts taking them off, hobbling around, or rubbing her feet, those are late signs that she's ready for a new pair," says Tanya Remer Altmann, M.D., author of Mommy Calls.
6. Avoid Used Shoes
Kids' shoes can be pricey, especially since you have to replace them every couple of months. But resist the urge to give your child hand-me-down shoes while she's still trying to master motor skills (walking, running, and jumping). A new shoe will better adapt to your toddler's growing and developing foot," says Tanya Remer Altmann, M.D., author of Mommy Calls.
No two feet are the same, and buying something new ensures that the inside isn't molded to someone else's foot.
7. Buck The Trends
Pointy boots, clogs, and other high-fashion footwear may be adorable, but they aren't the best shoes for toddlers who are still learning to walk — they won’t provide the support and stability a newbie needs.