Why I think soft soled baby shoes are best for learning to walk
When my children were little, I tried all sorts of different shoes for them before I realised that soft soled baby shoes were what they should (and would) wear. Having been through all of that, I thought that I would share my personal experiences.
Soft-soled baby shoes offer a comfortable footwear option for babies because they are not hard and rigid like traditional shoes. In addition to the soft soles, the upper portion of the shoes should be made from soft, breathable natural leather. The shoes are wide and spacious in the toe area, unlike some hard-soled shoes that have narrow designs and tight toe areas. Baby moccasins used to be the only style of shoes that were suitable, however, these days, we have baby oxfords, baby boots, baby mary-janes and of course baby t-bars.
It is true, barefoot walking is best as it allows a baby's feet to grip the floor and helps with balance. However, bare feet are also exposed feet, which can be easily hurt, especially on hard and rough surfaces. Soft, thin leather soles, will help protect your baby's feet be it from rough surfaces or cold temperatures. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a pair of shoes with nonskid, flexible soles once your baby starts walking outside where more potential dangers such as sharp objects exist. Do not forget that it also keeps those nasty bugs away.
Babies feet are always growing. Hard, restrictive shoes could affect foot development in babies.There is a belief among some parents thathard, supportive shoes increase a baby's ankle strength, but according to Dr. Elizabeth Berger in "Parents" magazine, no evidence exists to substantiate this. Wide, soft-soled shoes with plenty of space in them allow your baby to move his or her feet freely to avoid interruptions in development.
Traditional shoes with hard soles tend to be heavy and could make it more difficult for your baby to lift them and walk (or worse, make them fall over) Soft-soled baby shoes are lightweight for less affect on their ability to walk. The thin soles allow your baby's toes to grip the floor almost (but not quite) like being barefoot. There is anecdotal evidence that soft soled shoes help improve balance (compared to hard soles).