Shoes for first steps and beyond

Baby's foot

A foot is a complex structure of 26 bones and 35 joints, which are held together by ligaments. A baby’s foot is padded with fat and is highly flexible. Parents sometimes mistake this fat with flatfoot. The muscle strength and ligaments need to catch up to other development. The baby ‘flat-footedness’ nearly always improves as the bones develop and as the feet strengthen. If you are concerned always see your pediatrician, an orthopedist, or a podiatrist.

First steps

Most children begin to walk anywhere between 8 and 18 months of age. When the baby just starts standing on the toes and getting upright, they should walk barefoot first. It actually helps them to walk better as they will grip the floor with their tiny feet. Walking barefoot also helps with balance and coordination, and encourages the development of their foot muscles. If you worry their feet would get cold around the house, put them in socks with non-slip soles. 

When toddlers have started walking on their own confidently, they can progress to firmer soled shoes.

Which characteristics should proper kids shoes have?

  • The sole should be sufficiently flexible, however, not under the arch, but at the front under the toes. Shoes should protect the heels from undesired sideways deflection ("X" heel, or "O" heel).
  • Solid heel counter is a part of the shoe surrounding the heel.
  • Softly padded upper edge of the shoe, called collar, should protect the Achilles heel
  • We must take care of the right clamping of the shoes to the ankle, ideally with laces or buckles, and with a
  • soft-cushioned tongue.
  • Cushioned insole increases the child’s comfort.
  • A non-slip tread pattern of the outsole is also important.
  • The materials children's footwear is made of should have appropriate hygienic parameters, sufficient breathability and low weight.

It is essential to choose the right size of the shoe and shape of the toe box to provide enough space for the toes.

An anatomy of a toddler's shoe

Problems with unsuitable footwear

Ill-fitting footwear can markedly impede movement development, leading to reluctance to walk, premature fatigue, and muscle and tendon pain in the legs and shins. It may even result in calluses, toe deformities, or undesired heel deflection. When we mention inappropriate shoes, we refer to those that are too small, overly snug (causing big toe deformity), heavy, crafted from non-breathable materials, or featuring an uneven inside structure with knots, seams, or excessive glue. Additionally, sharp ornaments pose a potential danger, and children may resist wearing such shoes.

Parents should be aware that children outgrow their shoes very quickly. Protetika brand shoes offer all the features mentioned above and the price in our eshop is very competitive.

Back to blog