When should I put shoes on my child?

In short, shoes should be used as soon as they start attempting to walk.  Besides protection, shoes offer a relatively corrective interface between your child's foot and the hard unyielding surfaces that he or she walks and plays upon every day.  In this country and most of the world, we in essence paved the surfaces on which we run, walk, play and live.  When was the last time you stepped off a hard, flat and unyielding surface for any amount of time?  The point being is that our bodies were designed for walking on the earth which has varied surfaces from hard to soft and from straight and to slanted, jagged and even crooked.  Walking on these varied surfaces allowed the muscles and bones of our feet to develop in a certain way.  Walking on exclusively flat, hard and unyielding surfaces likewise causes the muscles and bones of our feet to develop in a certain way.  We believe that shoes help prevent the adverse effects from walking exclusively on hard, flat and unyielding surfaces and that ultimately orthotics, in many cases are necessary in addition to shoes.  Ask your doctor if you have any questions or concerns about your child's feet or the way that they walk or run.

Dr. Craig H. Thomajan, DPM, FACFAS, FAENS
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Founder and Managing Partner of Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists