Tip Tuesday!! Baby’s First Steps

Posted on August 25th, 2015

Our last installment of Tip Tuesday’s brought to you by Lisa Barich, PT, C/NDT. This is a really important blog post as it addresses baby’s first steps and how to choose a shoe that will support and promote walking and healthy foot development.

Baby’s First Steps, Baby’s First Shoes- taken from Susan Shiflett Ducote, PT, PCS

NDTA Network July/Aug 2000

When a baby is beginning to walk, the formation of the foot has not ended and the ankle structure has not fully developed.  The acts of cruising, pulling to stand, and balancing on feet are what create the normal joint alignment and muscle strength for a lifetime of bipedal activities.  Baby’s first shoes should have several key elements:

  1. Soft leather and low cut ankle for easy ankle motion during the constant up and down movements as well as for times they need to crawl.
  2. Anti-slip flexible sole.
  3. Firm area surrounding the heel to guide the foot in upright.
  4. Lots of toe room for the toes to grasp when necessary.
  5.  Soft supportive inner arch.
  6. Worn Hand-me-down shoes are not recommended.

By the age of 2, a child’s inner arches and a small lateral arch at the outside of the heel should be nicely developed.  The early appearance of flat feet should be gone and the feet should point straight ahead.  By age 3, any appearance of “knock-knees” or “bow legs” is usually resolved.  If at any age you notice an excessive “toeing in or out”, an awkward or clumsy gait, or a habit of walking up on the toes there may be a need for further assessment.


Lisa Barich PT, C/NDT



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