Top tips for finding the right shoes from our professional team.

It can be really hard to find the right shoes for your child in stores right now. Between designs aimed at aesthetics rather than support and clever marketing, it can be easy to think you are choosing the right option for your child’s feet, especially if you aren’t sure what to look out for.

Here are our podiatrist-approved tips for buying the right pair of shoes for your child.

Tips for finding the right shoes for your child.

Babies (Age 12 – 18 months)

For your little one who may have just begun walking, they will only need to start wearing shoes after they have been walking independently for approximately six weeks. At this early stage, their shoes revolve around protection. We want to protect these little feet from the outside world where possible, so their shoes should be:

  • Soft-soled.
  • Non-slip lining on the sole.
  • Allow for some growth.

Also remember to allow bub to walk barefoot when safe to encourage sensory development.

Toddlers & Young Kids (Age 2+)

Once your child has begun walking confidently and starts to run, play and attend activities, their shoes need to adapt to provide support for these activities. Keep in mind the following factors when buying shoes for this age:

  • Shoes that fasten in the middle (i.e. velcro, buckles or laces)
  • Firm cup around the heel – ideally this should not be able to be bent out of shape when squeezed.
  • The sole of the shoe should only twist/bend underneath the ball of the foot.
  • The toe section should be wider than the heel to mimic an actual foot.

Shoes were fundamentally created to protect and support the feet – so whilst they are now seen as merely another accessory to an outfit, be sure to remember their importance in your child’s healthy development.

Top tip for Kids with Orthotics!

Always buy your child’s normal shoe size, even if they wear orthotics. It is the depth of the shoe, rather than the size that will determine whether they are suitable for orthotics – so keep an eye out for shoes with removable insoles, as these are normally ideal.

To help you remember all the key characteristics when buying shoes for your child, download this helpful fact sheet from the Victorian Paediatric Orthopaedic Network.