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Dr. Brandon Macy
Podiatrist - Clark, NJ
1114 Raritan Road
Clark, NJ 07066

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By Clark Podiatry Center
February 17, 2016
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If you have a baby at home - or are about to welcome one into the family - you know how important it is to have just the right onesies, burp pads, blankets and sheets. But, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), hold off on baby shoes!

The AAP advises that babies need to wear shoes only when they begin to walk. Before that, cover infant feet just for warmth and protection.

Developing Feet Benefit from Walking Barefoot

Barefoot walking helps feet develop properly because the arch strengthens and the muscles and ligaments can grow. An infant's foot bones are flexible and made of soft cartilage that converts to bone as they grow. Keeping baby's feet toasty warm with just socks can help maintain flexibility. Choose natural materials like cotton or cotton with wool. Don't let tiny toes get cramped against socks that are too tight.

Babies love the feeling of connecting to the ground as they begin walking. As an extra benefit, walking barefoot can influence good posture.

Shop with Care for Baby's First Shoes

Hold firm when Grandma presents your baby with tiny metallic moccasins or backless sandals. As soon as your child begins walking, shop for that all-important first pair of shoes. Go for sturdy and protective rather than trendy!

Use these shopping pointers from Clark Podiatry Center as a guide:

  • Shop where a professional will measure both feet. Re-check measurements every 6 to 8 weeks: a toddler's feet grow on average 2 sizes every year until age 4.
  • Choose shoes that are flexible with skid-resistant soles and padding around the ankles for comfort.
  • Look for a roomy toe box. Try to fit your pinkie finger between the end of the toes and the tip of the shoe.
  • Opt for shoes that come in whole and half-sizes as well as different widths to get the best fit. The shoe should be wide enough to allow the toes to lay flat.
  • Select lightweight and flexible materials like soft leather. Make sure the fastenings are secure so that the heel stays in place and the foot doesn't slip.

Importantly, avoid hand-me-downs! Shoes won't fit your child if they have already molded to the foot of the prior owner.

Contact Us with Any Concerns about Your Baby's Foot Health

Dr. Brandon Macy, board certified podiatrist has extensive experience with pediatric podiatry. Please visit us for an examination of your child's feet and ankles and to discuss recommended footwear. You can reach us at our Clark office at 732-382-3470 or use the contact information at the website. Let us help your baby take her first steps to a lifetime of healthy feet!

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1114 Raritan Road
Clark, NJ 07066

Podiatrist - Clark, Dr. Brandon Macy, 1114 Raritan Road, Clark NJ, 07066 732-382-3470