Sunday, March 30, 2014

Q & A with Dr. William Knudson: Selecting Baby’s First Pair of Shoes

As an experienced foot specialist, Dr. William Knudson has given tremendous insight to parents with young children at his practice, Podiatric Care of Northern Virginia.

Q: How early is too early for me to buy my baby a new pair of shoes?

Dr. William Knudson: For newborn infants, barefoot is the way to go. Shoes for newborns have proven to be quite popular with parents, but socks or booties are truly the most comfortable protection for a child in his or her first few months.

Q: When my child is ready for a new pair of shoes, what should I keep in mind?

Dr. William Knudson: The most important aspect for a toddler’s shoes are soft soles. Children need flexibility when wiggling their toes and toddling across the carpet. At this stage, an infant is still learning how to walk properly.

Q: How can I ensure that the shoe size is appropriate for my baby?

Dr. William Knudson: Between the tip of the shoe and the end of the toe, there should be approximately one-half inch. This offers the appropriate space for the foot to move around freely without constricting movement.

Q: How often should I check my baby’s shoes for space issues?

Dr. William Knudson: Parents must regularly examine the space in front of a child’s toe. After all, a child’s foot grows at the speed of lightning. A Ritz Stick, which shoe stores have long used to measure size, can assist parents in verifying the correct size. Carefully examine the shoe to determine if it can provide the right amount of traction based on the bottom surface, as well as your home’s flooring. For the upper portion of the shoes, select breathable material that will be more forgiving on the foot. Cheaper materials often make a child’s feet sweat, and that can cause his or her first experience with shoes to be an unhappy one.