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What to look for while shoe shopping:


A flexible sole allows for the foot to reach full range of motion during walking, while also giving enough support for the foot. Having enough traction on the sole is also important to decrease the chance of slipping.


A wide toe box give room for the child to scrunch their toes inside their shoes. This is important for the child to be able to use their sensory system in their toes for balance. A wide toe box is roughly the same width starting at the ball of the foot all the way to the end of the toes – no pointed toes on shoe. 


Ankle straps are important for keeping the foot in place. This helps with a new walker’s balance and confidence in walking. An ankle strap prevents the foot from sliding out of a shoe which could lead to a child stumbling or developing blister. 


Breathable material allows for the feet to stay cooler and dry. Children’s feet sweat substantially more than adults. If the material of shoes is not breathable, their feet cannot cool off or dry off leading to increased risk of blisters, slipping, falling, and tripping. Rubber is not a breathable material for shoes.


Supportive heel cups also help keep feet in place. The back of a shoe should come up to the back of the ankle. This can include sandals with thick straps behind the ankle as well, but not slip-ons or flip flops. Keeping the foot in place reduces slipping and blisters and helps the child maintain their balance.


What not to buy:

  • Crocs or off brand crocs

  • Flip flops

  • Converse or off brand converse

  • Slip-ons (natives) or other equivalent

  • High fashion/high cost


Great options:

  • Natura line

  • Urban collection (Logan style)

  • New balance

  • Stride rite

  • Any generic/not name brand equivalent


Orthotic friendly shoes:

  • New Balance

  • Billy’s (available online at target)

  • Really any shoe wide enough to comfortably fit the child’s foot and orthotic

Brown Sneakers
Kids Shoes in Cupboard


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