Wearing the correct kind of shoes is essential for all of us, but more so for babies and toddlers whose tiny feet are still growing. The wrong type of footwear can stunt the proper formation of their feet and/or cause problems with walking/ posture.
Baby footwear brand Dotty Fish has tied up with The London Podiatry Centre – one of the most advanced podiatric clinics in the world – to help educate parents about this. For years there has been a perception that a baby's first shoe should be a structured shoe that will help keep them steady on their feet, but this is a misconception. After intense research and analysis of babies taking those crucial first steps, The London Podiatry Centre concludes that the answer lies in soft sole shoes for babies/ toddlers.
"We use very advanced technology to help us determine if something helps biomechanically"
– Ron McCulloch, Consultant Podiatric Surgeon and Director at The London Podiatry Centre.
Considering the fact that bare feet is the best thing for a baby who is learning to walk*, (however, this isn't practical when outdoors), the next best option is to have an extremely lightweight flexible shoe with a thin, non-slip sole that both protects a baby's delicate foot and prevents slipping. And this is what Dotty Fish specialise in.
Now regular readers of my blog will know that Little Man is not a baby nor a toddler – in fact, he will be starting school this September. But the good news is Dotty Fish make their special soft-sole shoes for children up to the age of 5 (kids feet are still developing), so I happily reviewed a pair. And I am sold…
The shoes tick all the important boxes:
- The soft thin soles give the benefit of walking barefoot and allow little ones to feel the floor beneath them
- The shoes are extremely lightweight and flexible allowing for natural ankle and foot movement, crucial even for older children
- Made from a breathable material as babies' feet sweat 2-3 times more than adults'
The soft flexible soles allow for natural movement
I'll admit I was a tad apprehensive as to whether they will be suitable for an almost 5-year-old whose movement is much quicker than a toddler, but there's no room for doubt. The shoes have a snug fit and don't come off even when running but are also wide around the toes to allow for movement and growth (and every mum knows kid's feet grow at an alarmingly fast rate!)
There were lovely designs to choose from (my car-loving son obviously chose the ones with the car on them) and I also took a sneak peak of the girls' designs which were super cute too. They even do sandals for summer and party shoes for more formal occasions – bonus!!!
The other lovely designs include:
The science behind it all…
And if you're interested, here's a little extra information I have for you…
*The scientific reason bare feet/ soft soled shoes are best for babies/ toddlers is this:
When learning to walk, babies become more aware of their feet. The more conscious they are of the contact points around the feet, the better and quicker they grasp the concept of balance and walking. This feedback to the baby's brain is very important for their development. So the softer the sole of the shoe, the more they can 'feel' the ground beneath them and the more natural their gait and walk will be.
The soft soles let babies learning to walk 'feel' the ground beneath them
Disclosure: I was sent a pair of Dotty Fish soft sole shoes to review; but as always, all opinions are entirely my own.
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