Starfish Therapies

October 25, 2012

What type of Shoe may be best for your child?

Filed under: Developmental Milestones — Starfish Therapies @ 12:00 pm
Tags: , , ,
As therapists, we believe that shoes can play an important role in your child’s gross motor development.  This article is meant to give you a brief idea of what type of shoe may be most appropriate for your child depending on their stage of development. You  may have read about this topic in one of our prior blogs.  If not, check it out!
robeezWhen your baby is still spending most of their time down on the floor doing things like rolling, sitting, crawling no shoes are really necessary.  However, if you are looking for something to provide protection or warmth for outdoors, robeez, such as the pair to the left will do the trick.  During this time, a stiffer, more structured shoe may actually get in the way of your child’s abiliy to perform transitional movements or crawl.
pre walkerNext your baby will most likely begin to pull to stand at furniture and learn to cruise. Again, shoes are not required for this in a protected environment.  In fact, it is often beneficial for your child’s foot musculature to be barefoot when beginning to engage in prewalking activities.  However, if your notice that your baby is hesitant to get up on their feet or appears unstable when standing at furniture, then you may try a slightly more structured pre-walker shoe such as the one to the left.  This type of shoe still has a very flexible sole so that it will bend and move with your chid’s foot but it gives just a bit more stability than the robeez.  If you opt for a shoe like this, it doesn’t mean you can’t also give your baby barefoot time as well.  The shoe may just help them initially to feel secure and then you can alternate netween shoes and bare feet.
walkerAnywhere from 10-18 months, a typically developing child will most likely take off walking.  This is where shoes become even more important.  Now that they are really pounding the pavement, it is important to have a supportive shoe that promotes good alignment to avoid unnecessary stresses to the still developing joints of a toddler. During this stage it is important that function wins over fashion.  But don’t worry, most if not all children’s shoes are very cute regardless of the style! Generally, a sneaker type shoe offers the best arch support at this stage but there are many styles that will do the job.  For example, many brands make mary jane style sneakers or shoes for girls that offer good arch support as well.
If your child has an identified motor impairment or delay, it is important to discuss footwear with the appropriate service provider as they may require more than just the right shoe. Below, we have provided a list of our favorite shoe brands:
  • Stride rite: great shoes for children of all ages; knowledgeable staff; most shoes accomodate for orthotics inserts nicely.
  • Tsukihoshi: can be found in most bay area children’s shoe stores; very light weight; accomodate for orthotic inserts nicely.
  • Ecco: light weight; accomodate for orthotic inserts nicely.
  • Merell: great arch support; very durable for outdoor activity.

The brands mentioned above do tend to run a little on the expensive side.  However, if you find what you are looking for and the price is out of your range, take a picture of what you want to a less exepnsive store such as target or payless and you’ll be surprised that you can actually find a very comparable shoe.

 Good luck in your quest for the perfect shoe!
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