What kind of shoes are most suitable for a baby and child?

By Floor Tuinstra

What kind of shoes are most suitable for a baby and child?

Almost all people are born with perfect feet. The fact that many adults have foot problems is because their feet are usually put in a harness during life.
This often starts in childhood. How can you prevent poor posture and stiff, painful feet? By giving feet freedom at the earliest possible stage so that development in mobility, walking and posture flourishes and feet are given space.

I will tell you in this blog article what you should pay attention to in terms of footwear for babies and children.

What does a healthy child's foot look like?

A healthy child's foot stands straight ahead, can develop well and is flexible, which creates good mobility. The toes have been given space to develop so that they are not touching each other.

Photo source: vivobarefoot.com

The toes and ball of the foot are often wider than the area around the heel.

Why does my baby take off his shoes?

The first shoes for babies are cute but not really necessary yet. Because the first thing a baby does when he gets shoes on is take them off and throw them away. And that doesn't end in toddlerhood.
The brain of a baby and child needs stimuli for the senses to explore their environment.
It takes years for your child's foot to develop into the biomechanical and neurological masterpiece it was designed for.
Only around the age of 8 do the fat pads disappear, the arches of the feet are developed and most of the cartilage is ossified.

When can you put shoes on a baby?

In this photo from Sunday, May 12, 2019 by @SussexRoyal, Meghan the Duchess of Sussex holds the feet of her son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor in her hands. @SussexRoyal via AP

Only when a child walks well can shoes be put on.

What shoes does your child wear?

Why put your child's feet in a harness with shoes that are too stiff at a critical time in their development:

  • in which the foot cannot roll off
  • the development of the arch of the foot is inhibited
  • movement is limited
  • the heels or toes are not at the same level
  • in which the sensory stimuli are dampened
  • in which the soft tissues of the foot weaken

Playing sports children's feet

By starting a specific sport at a young age, feet are put in a kind of prison from childhood.
In many sports, feet are constricted in shoes, which does not give them the necessary space.

What should you pay attention to when purchasing baby and children's shoes?


Make sure that the shoes are not too heavy and that your child steps into them naturally.

Flexible sole and flat heel

See if the sole is flexible. You could observe this with your hand by bending the shoe in your fingers. In addition, make sure that there is no elevation in the heel of the shoe.

Can you bend the shoe between your fingers?

What is the right shoe size for your child?

Buy the shoes according to the right size.
Draw the foot on a sheet and cut it out.
Insert this into the shoe to check.
In principle, the blade should not be folded in the shoe.

Wide forefoot

No human being is born with a foot shape that ends in a point.
Therefore, make sure that the forefoot (the upper pole as we also call it in foot reflexology) of the shoe is wide enough. If you do the point above, you could also immediately notice that on a shoe. But in the image below you can understand this principle at a glance.

Photo source: vivobarefoot.com

Barefoot shoes

Preferably buy a barefoot shoe. These always have a strap around the heel. This is better for your posture. There are different brands of these. Take a look at 11 barefoot winter shoes for kids . A barefoot shoe ensures that the foot has room to develop properly and ensures a straighter posture because no heel is incorporated into the shoe and there is always support around the heel. For example, slippers are not suitable for both children and adults if there is no strap around the heel. If you want to know more about this, see the article below for more information.

6 risks of wearing slippers

normal shoe foot vs barefoot shoe foot
Photo source:


Freedom for the toes, a flat and flexible sole is very important
It is ideal to let your baby and child walk barefoot a lot. This allows the toes, muscles and structures of the feet to be used as nature intended.
This is usually not practical in winter, but on warm days you can easily let your child walk barefoot through the sand on the beach and possibly also through the grass.
When we go to a playground with our son, he usually wants to take off his shoes himself. If you consider it safe, feel free to allow this with your child.

In addition to good footwear, do you also want to improve your child's blood circulation, relaxation, defecation pattern, resistance and sleeping pattern? Then try ' Reflexology for babies '. The techniques are also suitable for young children and will last a lifetime.