Tips by Matteo Lambert, chief collection manager, Bata, India
There’s no doubt that it’s an absolute pleasure to observe your children attempting to explore their surroundings, and their first step is probably the best and most memorable of all. To protect your child’s delicate and rapidly growing feet, it’s supremely important to know the right shoes for them. From infancy, through toddlerhood, to when they begin schooling, you need to find the right shoe on their behalf until your children are old enough to make their own choices.
Zero to two years
Infants at this delicate age depend on parents for all their needs. At an age when they are rapidly growing and have the instincts to explore their surroundings, they need footwear that can keep up with their increasing physical movement. You need to choose shoes that encourage your child’s first steps and protect their delicate feet when they inevitably stumble while they learn how to walk.
- The ideal footwear choice for children between the ages of zero to two years, is one that is lightweight, has a soft insole and foot-bed, and an outsole that provides good friction. A light shoe ensures that no extra weight is put on your infant’s feet to slow down their progress and hinder their balance.
- A soft insole with cushioning is an absolute must to protect their gentle feet and ensure safety of toes and heels when they trip.
- A well-built outsole is another important feature that you must look out for while buying footwear for your infants. A good outsole is the one that provides necessary friction and supports your child’s movements during his first steps.
- One should opt for shoes that are made with natural fabrics since it’s healthier and allows breathability to the feet.
- Another important aspect when buying footwear is to lookout for pieces that are in sync with your infant’s stylish outfits. With apparel ranging in colours, patterns and interesting detailed designs, your child’s footwear should complement their clothes and ensure a smart overall appearance. Popular styles of footwear for infants are Velcro sneakers, slipons and ankle boots—common for both boys and girls and ballerinas for girls. Embroidered patterns and patch work in animal prints and glow patches are much favoured. Thread tassels and plastic trims are popular too.
Three to five years
This is the age when kids have learnt to walk and are eager to explore the world with their little steps. More self-reliant than ever, they look forward to your approval when they discover the little titbits around the house and outdoors. At this age, it’s necessary to select shoes that are sturdier and are built to withstand high wear and tear from running, jumping and exploring the world.
- In this phase, children should wear more structured shoes to help them maintain balance and safety in the activities they undertake. This is the age when children are buzzing with energy and are prone to stumbling and falling on their expeditions. This is the time to really know the shoes you buy.
- Non-slip inlays to help maintain balance, toeprotection and collar padding are some basic features that are a must for your child’s safety.
- A lightweight outsole with good friction is common to shoes ideal for kids of this age group.
- A sanitised insole is another important feature that prevents bad odour caused by bacteria, mould and mildew.
The age group of three to five years, brings more styles and detailing in children’s footwear. For boys, some popular styles include classic sneakers, smart driver shoes, fisherman sandals, slip-on shoes and ankle boots. Girls’ range includes styles like ballerinas, Mary Jane shoes, sandals, classic sneakers, slip-on shoes and boots.
The footwear comes in a wide range materials like thick canvas, denim and a wide ranging colour palette. There are options from hazy pastels to filtered bright colours and from tinted dark shades to metallic colours. A right fitting shoe and trustworthy shoemaker goes a long way to ensure the safety of your children’s feet. |MB