Why our soft sole shoes are best for babies & toddlers learning to walk
So very many of you love our quality soft sole leather baby and toddler shoes for their beautiful designs, comfort and quality. However, have you thought about why wearing soft soles is best for your first walker? As a new mother in Australia, you may be overwhelmed with the thought of buying baby shoes. There is so much to consider when it comes to choosing the right pair for your little one: when to get them, what designs and materials are best suited for Australian weather conditions, etc.
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After doing some research, we would go so far as to say that soft soles are one of the most important things to consider when choosing shoes for your children. We thought that would highlight some of the importance, advantages and benefits of soft soles for children who are learning how to take their first steps.
First off, let's talk about timing; when should you purchase baby shoes? Generally speaking, it’s recommended that babies begin wearing soft-soled or pre-walker footwear once they start walking around confidently (usually between 8 and 12 months). It is important not only as protection from slipping but also as support while learning how to walk properly. As such, early intervention with appropriate footwear can help prevent future problems related to incorrect gait development down the line!
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Understanding baby and toddler feet
Did you know the your child’s foot contains 26 tiny bones,35 little joints, and over 100 delicate ligaments, tendons and muscles? Also, babies’ feet are padded with fat and are very flexible (one of the reasons their feet are so cute and adorable). As a result, it is really important that’s we choose the right footwear for them.
Most children will begin to walk and take their first steps between the ages of 8 and 18 months. Did you also know that most toddlers are flat footed when they first start walking? Some also turn their feet inwards as they are still developing muscles strength and that all important ligament stiffness. Not to worry though as the flat footedness goes away as their bones develop and their muscles strengthen.
Now we will be the first to admit that bare foot is actually best for learning to walk at this age (6 months to 2.5 years). This is because children who are learning to walk or take those important first steps (or stumbles) gain important sensory feedback from the soles of their feet touching the ground. However, we have to be conscious of the fact that their feet are also really soft, chubby, flexible and delicate at this age and therefore need some protection from injury as well as heat or cold. As a result, they really do need some for of shoes to protect their tiny feet particularly when walking around outside which is where soft soled shoes come in
Soft Sole shoes are best for learning to walk and super comfortable
Hard soled shoes actually make it more difficult for your child to learn how to walk properly, not just from the stiffness but also the weight of those hard, heavy soles. Remember the relief that we feel when we get to kick off those hard, uncomfortable dress shoes after a long day at work? Well, it’s the same for little kids, just much more so as their feet are a lot more sensitive. Soft soles on the other hand allow you child to extend, flex and use their toes to grip the floor as if they were walking barefoot, but with a much reduced chance of slipping or hurting their feet on rough surfaces. As a result, they do a much better job of helping children improve their balance and coordination than hard soled shoes. One thing to keep in mind though is making sure that you choose the right baby or toddler shoe size for your little one. Don’t be tempted to go too many sizes up to save on shoes as wobbly or loose shoes can result in some awkward trips and falls. There are many handy sizing guides online such as our baby and toddler shoe sizing guide which show you how to measure your child’s foot to get the perfect fit.
Shoes for the safety and protection for your child
While barefoot is best, babies and toddlers’ sensitive feet still need some sort of protection from rough, hard, hot and cold surfaces and unforgiving objects on the floor. While thin, our leather soles still offer important protection, taking the edge our of many potential incidents. This is especially important when outdoors or playing outside across different surfaces. Also do make sure that the shoes have a secure fit. Laces, Velcro straps or zippers are a good idea as they help provide a secure fit, while allowing the shoes to be removed and put on relatively easily.
Shoes correctly shaped to fit baby and toddler feet
Children’s feet are shaped differently from adults’ ones. They are wider and chubbier. To account for this, designers who design shoes specifically for babies and toddlers employ special lasts which are quite different in shape from the ones used to make adult shoes. As a result, our soft soled shoes are designed to be wider and roomier with some designs providing extra “give” to allow them to mould around your child’s foot and provide the right sort of support to help them learn to walk, just and run as well as possible. In Australia, baby and toddler shoes typically range from size 3 to 6 which corresponds to 6 - 12 months (1 year) and up to 2 years old.
Not sure what size to get? Check out our handy baby and toddler shoe sizing guide complete with an AU/US/NZ/EU sizing chart / conversion table.
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The right materials for baby shoes
When selecting a design and material for your baby's first shoe purchase in Australia there are several things worth considering - breathability being at the top of this list! Natural fabrics like cotton or leather offer optimal air circulation which helps keep their feet cool during those hot summer days Down Under.
How Kit & Kate's soft soled baby shoes are best for your child
Our soft soled shoes are designed specifically for babies and toddlers who are learning how to take their first steps. Referencing podiatrist and healthcare recommended practices, they are designed to be wider and roomier than hard sole ones for older children and adults so that they offer minimal restriction and help support healthy foot development.
This is because baby and toddler are wider and chubbier than adult or older childrens’. In other words, also provide your child with far more comfort without significantly impacting that essential support. Made from natural materials such as leather and suede, they allow their feet to breathe, flex and move naturally while providing protection and grip to reduce the chance of the little darlings hurting themselves. They are also handy for keeping those adorable little toes warm
Our children are precious to us and we all want the very best for them. To be safe, comfortable but also look fabulous. And so, this why we put so much effort into our designs which combine inspiration from timeless classics and the latest trends while still being super comfortable and perfect for learning how to walk because what would be the point of gorgeous shoes if children don’t want to wear them! We hope that you agree.