During a child's toddler years - between age 1 and 3 - they'll learn how to explore their surroundings on foot.
When to Buy Toddler Shoes
As soon as your child is able to walk freely both indoors and out, it's time to buy toddler shoes. Choose shoes that have a firm heel counter to improve stability while walking, protecting the ankles. Flexibility is also important to allow for different movements like pivots and turns. Non toxic breathable materials will keep your child's feet healthy and free of skin disease.
How Much Room Should Toddler Shoes Have
The ideal fit is snug enough to prevent your child's feet from sliding inside their shoes, upsetting balance which can lead to injury. Shoes that are too roomy can also bend dangerously, increasing the risk for trips and falls. If the shoes are too snug, they'll be uncomfortable, causing chafing and potentially deforming your child's feet as they grow. A general rule for best fit is that there should be an adult thumb’s width (about half an inch) between your child's longest toe and the tip of their shoe.
How Much Bigger Should I Buy Toddler Shoes
It may be tempting to buy shoes that are larger than your child's current size so your child can "grow into" their shoes. Unfortunately, a shoe that is too big is not safe for your child to wear, as mentioned earlier. Instead, buy shoes that are the correct fitfor your child's feet now. Remeasure their feet every 3 months to determine if a new size is needed.
How Can I Get My Toddler to Wear Shoes
If your toddler is reluctant to wear shoes, try the following:
1. Make sure that the shoes are the correct size for your child's feet - not too big or too small.
2. Show enthusiasm about your child's shoe wearing. Make positive statements both to your child, and to other people in front of your child.
3. Choose shoes that your toddler finds appealing. Most toddlers like bright colours and fun patterns.
4. Explain to your child that shoes protect their feet and body from getting hurt and make playing more fun.
5. Make a fun game out of it. Give your child small rewards for wearing their shoes for a set period of time.
Gradually increase the time period required to get the reward.