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  • Writer's pictureDr. Savannah Wise, PT, DPT

Shoes for Babies and When?

We have all heard it before, don’t put your baby in shoes. Why though? The truth is shoes can be a hindrance to a child's physical development, if they are not used correctly. The rule of thumb is, no shoes until a toddler is walking 80% or more of the day! That’s basically the entire day on their feet. The reason for this is that when a toddler is learning to stand and walk, they are building up the strength in their feet, ankles and legs to do so. They need to learn how to effectively use these muscles BEFORE they are put in shoes. Why? Strengthening these areas, help children learn how to balance in standing, promote balance reactions and create stability in standing so that when they start walking, they aren’t falling all over the place!


That being said, there are times when a child should be standing and walking independently, and they just haven’t figured it out yet. While we still will work on promoting foot, ankle and hip strengthening, it also might mean providing additional support with a good shoe to help them to move more confidently, freely and safely.


At Wise Little Movers- Physical Therapy, we evaluate and observe your child in all positions. We provide expert advice on exercises to gain ankle and hip stability for more efficient walking. Our goal is to make sure that your child's feet are strong and healthy, and that they can easily move around with confidence.

Additionally, we provide information about proper shoe selection, including information on how to ensure the shoes fit properly and to ensure proper ankle and heel support.


We understand that standing, walking and running starts at the foot. Once we get that stability, we can get some mobility! Let us help your child take their first steps with confidence!



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