Choosing a pair of sandals for your children can be a difficult process. Without considering issues such as growing room or foot support, you could end up buying sandals that are bad for your child’s feet.
Make sure that there is a bit of room between the heel and the back of the sandal, and likewise between the little toe and the outside of the sandal. This will not only assure that your child’s sandals are safe, but there is a little growing room. Recheck the fit of the sandal after about two months, especially if you know that your child is going through a growth spurt.
Children’s Foot Myths
You’ve probably read somewhere that you need to make sure that your child is getting off to the right start with good arch support. If they are under seven years of age, they do not need arch support. If they are over seven, you may want to start looking for a sandal with a bit of arch support.
Sandals have gotten a bit of bad press with parents who are led to believe that they let the feet “spread”. This is simply not the case – they are in fact better for a child’s feet as they do not constrain the toes and feet, and therefore will not misshape the feet later in life.
As a parent, the first thing on your mind is safety. The first piece of insurance against falls and scrapes is to follow the advice above and purchase a sandal with a good fit. Sandals with closed backs and/or back straps are best to guarantee no missteps, and wide straps guarantee that the sandal will last as long as your child’s feet are that size.
You should also ensure that the sandal isn’t loose-fitting – this will make it difficult for your child to walk in them. Straps should be tight but not so much that your child’s foot bulges out of them.
Until your child reaches around seven, they will go through a great number of shoes. If you find a good deal online, buy the sandal in a few sizes to account for growth; they certainly won’t be getting any cheaper, and it will be brand new if it hasn’t been taken out of the box for a year. Make sure when you are pinching pennies that you are not sacrificing quality and fit – shopping online guarantees that you do not have to do this.
Go to a higher end shoe store for children, and take note of the brands that you like the fit of – then go online and buy them.
Breaking Them In
Have your child wear the sandals around the house with socks; this will keep them from getting blisters from the straps.
What To Stay Away From?
Synthetic soles are good for the beach, but that is it. Plastics will make your child’s feet sweat and make it unsafe for them to walk. Stick with a leather, cloth, or suede sole for the best results.