Arguments For and Against Baby and Toddler Shoes

There are many kinds of Baby and Toddler Shoes but the best kids are the ones that have soft soles. Soft soled shoes remain the kinds of Baby and Toddler Shoes that are recommended by doctors and pediatricians. Below are listed the advantages of Soft Soled Baby and Toddler Shoes

Arguments For Baby and Toddler Shoes

Baby and Toddler Shoes are Easy to Walk in

When shoes have hard soles, they can be quite difficult for toddlers to walk in them. Soft soled shoes, on the other hand, are easier to walk in for babies and toddlers. Soft soled shoes are lightweight and as such babies and toddlers can easily lift them along with their fit as they attempt to walk or run. This also helps with their coordination and ability to stand steady. Soft soled shoes also allow babies and toddlers to move their toes in their shoes as they walk which helps them with grip.

Baby and Toddler Shoes are Comfortable

As can already be deduced from the above point, soft-soled shoes provide more comfort to babies and toddlers. Because they are soft, they are able to grip the feet with a softness that cannot be achieved while wearing hard soled shoes. Some soft soled shoes even have the same feel as when a baby is wearing a sock. And we all know socks are very comfortable. This comfort means the baby or toddler can stretch and move their feet and toes with easy and it also means the shoe is not hindering growth. Soft-sole shoes might also help babies and toddlers develop a stronger sense of balance and coordination.

Baby and Toddler Shoes Protect the Feet

This is one of the main points that the proponents of baby shoes hold on to. Many people stipulate that babies and toddler should be left to go barefoot as often as possible and for as long as possible (more on this later). But proponents of baby and toddler shoes say that shoes will protect the baby’s feet from external harm when they start to walk. This could include anything from a sharp object to germs on the floor. Shoes prevent injury and in the likelihood of a kid stepping on a harmful object, the shoes can protect against harm or at least minimize the harm.

In order to provide the best protection, it is better to pick the right sized shoes and shoes that are breathable and not a source of discomfort or pain to the baby’s feet. There are potentially dangerous surfaces that could pose serious harm to a kid’s fit. Like walking on the grass in the park might seem like a harmless activity but sharp objects might be lurking in the grass and could cause serious injury. Even if you are a proponent of babies walking bare feet, precaution should be taken when the baby is outside.The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a pair of shoes with nonskid, flexible soles for babies when they walk outside.

Baby and Toddler Shoes Provide Room to Grow and Develop

Soft soled shoes provide room for a baby or toddler’s feet to grow. Because soft-soled shoes are breathable and roomy, the feet of a baby or toddler, which is still in its growing stage, is able to grow freely and without restrictions. Hard soled shoes might present as a barrier to grow because they are not flexible, are restrictive, and do not have enough room for the baby’s feet to breath.

Thus they could hinder the natural growth process and timeline for a baby or toddler’s feet. This could lead to foot problems, pain, discomfort, and even deformities of the feet. Now there are some people who believe that hard soled shoes provide good ankle support and ankle strength to a kid. But experts have debunked this theory.  All tight, firm, and hard-soled shoes do is limit the amount of movement in your child’s feet as they go about their day.

On the other hand, soft-soled shoes provide toddlers’ feet with plenty of space to move, grow, and develop. When buying soft-soled shoes, ensure to buy one that has plenty of room in them.

Arguments Against Baby and Toddler Shoes

Now, there is lots of research that indicate and specify that shoes can cause hindrance to the natural course of growth and development for a baby and toddler’s feet. Shoes when not properly used can cause pain and discomfort to a baby or toddler’s feet and can even trigger long-term negative effects such as feet deformities, posture issues, and back pain. There has been research that shows that shoes can affect and interfere with the development and growth of a baby or toddler’s feet.

A 2002 paper published in Podiatry Management details the many ways in which typical shoes interfere with children’s gait and development. For these reasons and more, many parents prefer to delay purchasing baby and toddler shoes for as long as possible. This is a reasonable approach. Both schools of thought –— those for baby and toddler shoes and those against baby and toddler shoes — have strong points that should not be ignored. It’s best for parents to do their own research and to use their discretion.

So if a parent prefers to leave their toddler or baby to go barefoot, they should be able to understand that if the child is outside and playing in the park, some kind of protection is necessary. And if a parent prefers to use baby and toddler shoes, they should understand that sometimes you need to let the babies feet breath and be free especially when they are indoors and in a safe and clean environment.