Unlike a robust fully developed adult foot, babies’ feet are made up of soft, flexible cartilage that needs flexibility and room to grow and strengthen. Babies’ feet are generally quite round, soft and chubby with not much of a formed arch.
This means that a shoe that is perfect for an adult’s foot is not necessarily good for a baby’s foot.
So what’s the best footwear option for my baby?
The answer is threefold and simple. The best footwear option, for your newborn, crawler, pre-walker or newly standing baby/toddler, is:
- A soft shoe to allow for your baby’s foot to move freely and the muscles, joints, ligaments and bones to develop, grow and strengthen naturally without impediment.
- A shoe with a soft, flexible sole that is non-skid for climbers and walkers.
- A shoe made from a natural fibre, to allow the little one’s tiny toes to breathe.
Here are 5 reasons why soft-soled woollen baby shoes are the best footwear for your baby.
Foot development and growth
The most rapid period of growth for humans is within the first year of life. A baby’s foot is soft and malleable, ready to strengthen into the adult foot they will become. To strengthen the foot needs the full range of movement. A hard, restrictive shoe might affect this range of movement. In the past a hard supportive shoe may have been suggested to increase ankle strength. However, this theory has been debunked. Current research supports the use of soft-soled shoes that mimic the advantages of barefoot bending and flexing i.e. allow your baby to move their feet, while still giving protection to the sole of the foot from hazards and keeping the baby’s toes warm.
It will be no surprise that you wouldn’t dress your baby in a hard, restrictive romper they cannot move in, so why dress them in a hard, restrictive shoe?
Baby shoes need to be soft, like a second skin. They cannot have any hard edges or rigid structure.
Wool felted shoes are seamless. The whole shoe is made from the same wool in one piece. This means they are not only soft on the sole, but soft on the upper part of the shoe. They are flexible and contain no parts that would ‘dig in’. The toe area is spacious and the wool stretches a little for movement and growth.
Essentially felted wool shoes are a comfortable shoe option for your baby.
While barefoot walking is beneficial to the development of tiny feet, shoes are required in some circumstances. Shoes are required when babies are navigating potentially dangerous surfaces including rough or slippery floor or terrain, objects underfoot or cold temperatures. A soft soled shoe with a soft sole provides protection against such hazards.
Hard-soled baby shoes can be heavy and restrict foot movement. This may make it more difficult for your baby to lift their feet and walk. On the contrary, soft-soled baby shoes are lightweight and flexible and do not affect the ability of a baby to move their feet or walk.
Woolly Wombat shoes in the large 6 month + sizes have natural rubber painted on the sole. This allows your babies feet to grip the floor, making it easier to walk. Soft-sole shoes, as opposed to hard-soled shoes, may also help better develop a sense of balance and coordination.
Look and styling
Though not a scientific reason why soft-soled woollen baby shoes are the best footwear for your baby, but definitely a factor to consider is the look! Woolly Wombat woollen shoes come in several different styles – Sneaker, Clog and Mary-Jane – and look like mini versions of an adult pair of shoes. Advantages of the Woolly Wombat shoes, compared to their adult shoe counterparts, are that they are soft and healthy option for a growing foot.
They are also fully customisable! Woolly Wombat shoes come in a range of different wool, shoelace and eyelet colours. You can create a totally unique and custom keepsake shoe for your little one that will keep their toes toasty warm and look so cute!
Bonus reasons soft-soled woollen baby shoes are the best footwear for your baby:
Wool has the natural fibre qualities, that a synthetic shoe does not including:
- Wool is biodegradable at the end of its useful life
- Wool is temperature regulating, meaning it is warm and cosy in the cold and not hot in warmer temperatures
- Wool allows little toes to breathes
- Wool is naturally odour resistant
Babies could just wear socks?
Sure they can, and so could you….