Saturday, August 23, 2008

How to Choose Children's Shoes

Kalen's feet have suddenly begun growing at an astonishing rate and I need to decide...more squeaky shoes (very flexible) or move on to something else. Now that Kalen's moving out of the toddler stage, I wanted to find out what kind of shoes she should be wearing. I knew that soft and flexible was best for infants and toddlers, but then what? The American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) recommends using the "1, 2, 3 Test" (see page 2 of this .pdf for illustrations of the following points).
1. Look for a stiff heal. The sides shouldn't squish together when you pinch the heal.
2. Check for toe flexibility. The toe box should bend, but not too much. I'm confused about this one, because their picture shoes a shoe that bends in half as incorrect. However, a shoe they recommend, Pediped Flex, shows a picture of their shoe bent in half--and it's an example of something good! The APMA also recommends Smaller by See Kai Run and See Kai Run composite-sole or stitched-sole shoes, Robeez and a few others.
3. Select a shoe with a rigid middle. Your shoe shouldn't twist in the middle.

What type of shoes do you buy for your children? Do they fit the "1, 2, 3 test"? Do you think this is even worthy of concern in this crazy world we live in?