Baby shoes are big business, but research shows there are little to no benefits in keeping their tootsies tied up in the latest trends. In fact, baby shoes can affect how they use their feet by restricting their movements and can lead to long-term complications.
The truth is, babies being barefoot is best, and science backs it up. It’s time to ditch the ill-fitting cute baby shoes in favour of bare feet to allow for optimal foot development until your baby is at walking unaided, and here’s why:
It aids natural growth
Babies being barefoot aids natural development rather than being shaped into a shoe with little room to breath. Squishing your baby’s delicate feet into a stiff, unsupported shoe before they have fully formed can have long term consequences. Their feet are made up of cartilage and take time to form and fuse fully over time. By restricting their movements with shoes, their feet will conform to the shape of a shoe.
It promotes awareness
There are over 200,000 nerve endings and pressure points that transmit information to our brain and body, which enable us to move better through the space we are in. Walking barefoot stimulates the system helping to promote spatial awareness, which in turn decreases the risk of hurting themselves with possible threats and dangers in their natural environment.
Makes them stronger
As mentioned above, the lack of footwear enhances natural development, but it also helps strengthen their feet. When the baby’s feet are unrestricted, they can move more and maintain full feet function. It allows their joints, ligaments, muscles and bones to grow and form better, making them less prone to injuries, something that is a given in the early years.
Ultimate sensory experience
For years, children have been encouraged to go against their instincts and to wear shoes that hinder the tasks our feet are very capable of doing. Stop smothering their feet and allow direct contact with nature. It is the ultimate sensory experience for growing babies. Let them spread their toes and feel the ground beneath them in different textures like grass, sand and gravel.
Prevents long-term problems
Ill-fitted shoes can wreak havoc long-term, that’s why it is essential to have baby’s feet measured by a professional when buying footwear. Wearing shoes that restrict movement can cause excessive pressure on bones, the heel and even the ligaments. You can help prevent problems such as corns, calluses and other foot pain and deformities by merely allowing their feet to breath and grow naturally. Invest in the right shoe for outdoor use when the time is right.