Choose your baby/toddler Winter footwear with these 8 tips
Finding the best pair of boots for your child might seem a daunting task.
Should I opt for a pair with flexible soles?
What size to pick?
Should I buy ankle footwear?
What about the material? Which is better leather, rubber or neoprene?
Are the wool coated boots comfortable enough?
…keep popping up and each answer leads to a new question.
Believe me when I tell you that the whole process becomes less complicated and pleasant if you take into consideration some rules of the thumb. You and your kid will enjoy the snow outside without being bothered by cold and wet feet.
Tip 1. Know the top three features of winter boots
A good winter footwear must be:
The inner coating and the insoles should have in their composition soft thermal fabrics. They capture foot heat, preventing the shoe from turning cold.
Before committing to anything, you must understand the difference between water-resistant and waterproof shoes. With water-resistant shoes a special layer is applied across the stitching which prevents small amounts of water from “flooding” the boot. They are ideal for short-distance strolls in light rain. However, waterproof shoes have a composition non-porous fabrics that keeps the inside dry even when your child stomps into a muddy puddle.
Tip 2. Flexible soles for free motion
Children’s shoes must have easy-to-bend soles which permit them to step the right way. Toddlers do not have enough strength to “tame” a rigid material.
How to check the material stiffness?
Press and squeeze the sole; if it regains its initial shape in no time, you have found the magic pair for the happy little feet you love.
The most suitable shoes for kids are the ones which bend effortlessly at the tip. They will not hinder the foot’s natural movement.
A soft sole allows the wearer to feel the ground bumps and to stretch his/her toes for a better adherence.
Keep in mind:
Orthopaedic insoles prevent the occurrence or the evolution of the splayfoot symptoms
*Splayfoot is a deformity characterised by broad, flat feet that sometimes turn outward like duck feet.
Anti-slip boots are a must to prevent accidents and painful falls. Their grip will not let your child skid on icy surfaces.
Tip 3. Pointed boots - a big no-no
Young toes need space to grow properly. This cannot be achieved if the footwear presses them from the sides. Cowboy boots may look nice and your little angel might want them. But they are not practical for them.
Ankle shoes are a good option for cold days but not for snowy ones. In this case, your child needs boots that cover the calves.
Tip 4. Find a pair which suits the foot’s length
Shoes which are too small or too tight cause pain, blisters, and toe twisting. On the other hand, oversized footwear generates instability and hardship while stepping.
Winter boots should be one size bigger than sandals or spring sneakers. In case you want to buy wool coated ones, remember the thick socks for freezing temperatures. They must fit in as well.
Shopping Trick: The shoes are the perfect size when the distance between the toes and the tip is covered by your thumb
How to measure your baby’s foot?
The traditional way: ask your little angel to put his/her sole on a sheet of paper or thin cardboard; trace the foot contour with a pencil and then use a measuring tape to identify the distance between the heel and the big toe
The modern way: use shoe measuring devices; the ones for babies and toddlers are available in lovely bright colours. Even though the child shows no sign of discomfort, it is better to buy shoes which are slightly larger. Babies grow up fast and in a few weeks, you will have to purchase another pair.
Shopping Trick: Take your baby to the store and put several pairs on its feet. After you have identified the right size, you can go home and order the boots online.
You needn’t repeat this action whenever you want to acquire a new item for your bundle of joy. In time, you will get accustomed to the size charts that most online stores have.
Tip 5. Zippers, laces, and Velcro have their ups and downs
Accessories are a matter of personal taste and preference. When it comes to children winter shoes there are few practical aspects to consider.
Laces may cause lots of troubles to both parents and kids. Toddlers rarely stand still while their shoe strings are tied. Older children make loose knots or do not have the patience to untie their boots. These aspects tilt the balance towards zippers or Velcro. The latter is easier to maneuver even by the very young.
Babies have an amazing ability to turn the dullest object into a toy. Lots of kids play with the Velcro when they are bored or because they like the sound it makes. Excessive use might lead to prematurely worn out shoes.
Popular among toddlers is the “throw your shoes” game, facile to put in practice with Velcro buckles. It is fun, adorable but also a bit tedious for parents. Zippers are less bothersome than laces, but they might get stuck or catch the clothes fabric.
If your child wants a pair of laced boots with a nice design, you should not deny him/her this pleasure. Make sure the strips are flexible and long enough. Thus, they will not untie the moment your kid starts walking.
Tip 6. Go for materials that let the skin breath
The little ones hop, jump, and run more than adults. It is no wonder they perspire more. This explains why they need footwear made of high-quality materials which enable the skin to breathe.
Top fabrics include:
Rubber and plastic boots have been designed for rainy weather. They do not provide a proper shoe ventilation. This type of footwear is an inspired choice for short playing sessions in the garden.
Tip 7. Favour quality over quantity
The physical development of babies happens fast. The American Orthopaedic Association claims that babies’ feet grow according to their age as follows:
under 16 months – ½ shoe size every two months
between 16 and 24 months – ½ shoe size every three months
between 24 and 36 months – ½ shoe size every four months
The rhythm slows down after the third birthday. Then, the feet grow with half a size every six months.
It is no use investing in ten different pairs of boots just for the sake of getting the perfect baby outfit. Your bundle of joy will put them on once or twice and will outgrow them. It is wiser for both your budget and the baby’s feet to purchase two or three top quality boots.
Tip 8. Hit the stores with a rested kid
Children do not like touring shops. Weary kids resent it even more.
Kids’ feet may also swallow towards the end of the day. Plan your shopping trip in the morning or after the child’s afternoon nap. Your little angel’s feet will not be tired and the right shoe size will not be too tight.
Do not make impulsive decisions when it comes to your child’s winter boots. Keep in mind that many adults suffer from various feet aches because of the inadequate shoes they wore in their childhood days. You can find the right pair of shoes for your infant, toddlers at www.mollycoddleme.com