Hand-in-hand with podiatrists
We work in exclusive partnership with podiatrists, members of the French Union for Foot Health (UFSP), in the development of our range of "first-step" shoes. Our models recommended by foot health professionals have all the technical characteristics necessary for proper development of a child's foot.
Learning how to walk
Walking is a fundamental step in a child's development. It starts around the age of one year, but this is only an average: each child is different and will start walking when he or she has gained enough strength and confidence.
Before walking, babies first go through a series of stages that enable them to stimulate and develop their muscles, improve their coordination and find balance. Turning over, sitting up, crawling on their tummies, and crawling on all fours are all possible processes. Each child employs his or her own series of movements, sometimes one after the other, sometimes in combination.
Then it is time for the first steps, standing on his or her own two feet. This is an important stage that should not be rushed. The foot is a very sensitive body part that collects and transmits a lot of information necessary for the child to learn, so it is advisable to let him or her walk barefoot inside the house. This will allow the child to better feel the ground and its surface texture, to perfect balance and develop his or her capacity for movement. When the child has acquired enough confidence, he or she will be able to start discovering the outside world. This is when it is important to choose a good first-step shoe.
What is a good first-step shoe?
Materials and linings, height of the upper, counters, hard toes, soles, and lasting technique are all elements to take into consideration: a quality shoe is an ensemble, a product of expertise and savoir-faire. Our recommended shoes have been examined by a committee of the UFSP, according to a precise list of more than 20 specific technical characteristics.
“First-step" shoes must be made of quality materials, light and with a flexible sole for the foot to roll smoothly. They have a high upper with lacing for optimal support of the ankle and instep. A firm asymmetrical counter, a reinforcement at the back of the shoe, protects against any lateral twisting. The hard toe effectively protects the child's toes.
Contrary to popular belief, first-step shoes should not offer arch support. This could hinder the natural development of the arch supporting muscles. Gradually, the muscles and tendons will strengthen to reach a first level of stability around the age of 4 years.
Every three months or so, it is advisable to check whether the child's foot has grown. To do this, you can measure the distance between the heel and the toe using a sheet of paper, our printable pedometers or a professional pedometer. This measurement is ideally taken at the end of the day.
Our in-store teams are at your disposal to advise you and help you choose the shoe best suited to your child's needs.