We work in exclusive partnership with French podiatrists, gathered within the French Union for Foot Health, in the development of our range of "first-steps" shoes. Our models recommended by foot health professionals have all the necessary technical features for the proper development of the child's foot.
Learning to walk
Walking is a fundamental step in a child's development. It occurs around one year old but this is only an average : each child is different, he will start when he has gained enough tonus and confidence.
In order to walk successfully, a baby first goes through a series of steps that allow him to stimulate and develop his muscles, improve his coordination and find his balance. Rolling over, sitting up, crawling on the floor, crawling on all fours are all possible processes. Each child develops his or her own mode of movement, sometimes one after the other, sometimes in combination.
Then comes the moment of the first steps, standing on two feet. This is an important step that should not be rushed. The foot is a very sensitive organ that collects and transmits a lot of informations necessary for the child to learn. This is why it is recommended to leave him barefoot inside the house. This will allow the child to better feel the ground, its roughness, to perfect his balance and develop his ability to move. When the child has acquired enough confidence, he can begin to discover the outside world. This is when it is important to choose a good first-steps shoe.
What is a good first-steps shoe?
Materials and linings, height of the upper, buttress, toe-cap, soles, assembly technique are all elements to be taken into consideration : a quality shoe is the result of a know-how. Our recommended models have been examined by a UFSP committee, following a precise list of over twenty specific technical characteristics.
First-steps shoes should be made of quality materials, be lightweight and have a flexible sole for the foot's smooth movement. They have a high upper with lacing, for optimal support of the ankle and instep. The presence of a pronounced asymmetrical reinforcement, placed at the back, protects against any lateral torsion of the shoe. The toe-cap will effectively protect the child's toes.
Contrary to popular belief, the first-steps should not offer support or arching. This could hinder the natural development of the arch support muscles. Gradually, the muscles and tendons will strengthen to reach a first level of stability around the age of 4.
Every three months or so, it's a good idea to check if your child's foot has grown. To do this, you can measure the distance between the heel and toe using a piece of paper, our printable pedometers or a professional pedometer. This measurement is ideally taken at the end of the day.