21st November, 2010 - Posted by DrBoo - 1 Comment
A month ago we bought X his first pair of shoes. He had been walking well for a couple of weeks, so decided now was the time.
We bought them from Clarks. He was a size 4G. Proudly, he stepped out, shod.
Next came the rain, and the need for inclement weather footwear. I tried a pair of wellington boots, but it is clear that newly walking babies and wellies do not go well together. They are not supportive and are huge on little feet that are used to being naked, so he walked as if he were wearing flippers, and kept falling over – well more than usual.
Nowhere could I find boots for boys – just snow boot type things would have been ideal – but unless I wanted to spend my money online, the only boots seemed to be for girls (sexist!). I have a concern about buying shoes for X online – I feel he should be properly measured for any footwear we buy him, so off we trekked to the shops again.
There are very few independent shoe shops for kids in our area (I have since found that there are two) and amazingly we were stopped by a family while we searched looking for exactly the same thing. Eventually we found a store where X was measured again – only to discover that now, one month after buying his first shoes, he was now 1.5 sizes too big for them! His poor little toes, all squished in there.
Imagine if we had not got them measured and had bought him boots from the interweb? This, from Babycentre on the dangers of squishing babies’ toes : “Tight sleepsuits in particular can cause claw, retracted or hammer toes, so I recommend using ones without feet in and use socks instead, especially for nighttime”. Eeek.
So, off we went – with two shiny pairs of shoes (one an ankle length boot style, the best we could do) and almost £60 lighter in the wallet.
Why are children’s shoes so expensive?!
How can Clarks justify selling shoes for pre-walkers, crawlers, cruisers and walkers? Do children really need shoes before they can walk? Do they really need shoes once they can walk? Unless they are going outside and walking on uneven, wet or stony ground do babies need shoes at all?
Looking into these questions, basically it seems that babies wiggle their toes so much for a reason -don’t squish them in tight socks, shoes or tights. When walking starts, keep shoes for outside only, and make sure the sole is flexible and the shoe does not squash the baby’s toes.
Nobody can explain why girls need boots this year more than boys do, though.