How to choose my baby's first shoes

Choosing a pair of shoes is not as trivial as it seems.

The first important point to note is that the more barefoot the child, the better.

Learning to stand and walk goes through a good proprioception, that is to say the perception, conscious or not, of the position of the different parts of the body, here, the feet. Walking barefoot helps develop sensitive receptors in the foot. Just make sure the place you are in is secure and let them have fun.

If you feel the need to protect his feet, you can put soft leather slippers on him. They protect baby's feet while giving them freedom of movement.

When your little one starts to walk, the question of the first pair arises.

Up to 3 years the bones of the feet will solidify. They should not be compressed in a rigid shoe. The sole should be strong but flexible. A flexible sole must bend without forcing in length AND in width. The shoe must also leave the malleoli free or in any case not compress them.

Finally and imperatively: avoid any artificial arch of the foot. Children visually have flat feet up to about 4 years of age. In reality, the natural arch of the foot is filled with a fatty pad. Adding an artificial arch could crush the bony arch and cause foot and posture problems.

The shoes have a role of protection and not of guardian of the foot. A good shoe should not restrict the development of the foot.


Site of the UFSP, French Union for Foot Health: