Before I became a mom, I often wondered why so many parents let their toddlers and young children run around barefoot. I wondered if it was because the child was too young for shoes, or just an uncaring parent, but the lightbulb switched on when I had my little boy.
I wanted to do the best for him and to always have him dressed smartly with a nice trendy pair of shoes to match. I had to throw trendy out the window and replace it with practical. You see, my little bundle of joy was blessed with short wide feet and shopping for shoes was a nightmare; nothing seemed to fit right.
At one point I thought his feet were deformed because what would fit other children just didn’t work for my little one. I battled to get his feet into his shoes but I kept on looking, asking, and researching everything to do with toddler’s shoes. It is still difficult to find the best shoes for him but at least I have options to consider and I know what to look for.
What I discovered about toddlers and shoes is that barefoot is best but there is a time and place for shoes. Like adults are fussy about how a shoe fits, so too are toddlers, but they lack the ability to tell you what they think about the shoes you put on their feet.
It all depends on you as the parent to make sure that your toddler’s shoes fit perfectly, otherwise, your child may end up with abnormal foot development. For the first two years, a baby’s feet are very sensitive to what may hinder normal growth and development so the correct shoe to fit the structure of their feet is important.
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Things to consider when buying wide feet shoes for your toddler
Here are some things to consider when deciding what shoes will be right for your little wide foot:
- Toddler shoes must be flexible, and the sole should be soft as well. This allows your toddler’s feet to move in natural ways without restriction.
- The sole of the shoe must provide enough traction to avoid unnecessary falls in slippery conditions like wet floors.
- You must be able to open the shoes easily. It is difficult to get wide feet into shoes that have a limited opening so look out for shoes that you can easily fit. The tongue must be soft and you must be able to pull it back far enough to insert your toddler’s foot into the shoe.
- Comfort is very important. Shoes must have a soft sole or a foam insert and the correct size will ultimately affect how comfortable the shoe fits.
Remember that your baby’s feet grow rather fast so you should measure their feet every two months to get the correct size. If their shoes are too big or too small you will be compromising their ability to move around naturally.
They will resort to tugging at their shoes as a sign that they are not as comfortable as you would like to believe. Rather look at the practical side of shoes as opposed to trendy name brands that will last years. You only have a few months with every purchase so keep comfort as your number one priority.
Best shoes for Toddlers with wide & thick feet
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Okilol has a wide range of toddler shoes for all seasons. Their athletic sneakers are a new release and are available in three colors, black, grey, and blue. Although marketed for boys they also suit girls. Both boys and girls run the same size.
- Flexible non-slip rubber sole.
- Knit style uppers for great ventilation.
- Padded tongue, collar, and cushioned insole for added comfort.
- Hook and loop straps that remain secure.
- Rounded rubber outsoles to stabilize your toddler’s step.
- Thick shock-resistant rubber toe cap for added protection.
- Affordable price.
- Not recommended for wet weather as they are not waterproof.
What I noticed about the reviews on these sneakers is that most parents say their little ones love the shoes and seem comfortable in them.
If your toddler continuously tries to take his shoes off, it’s a strong indicator that he is not comfortable in them. The ventilation is a big plus with these sneakers and because they are so soft, they can be worn without socks.
For a toddler with wide feet, these sneakers are ideal because they provide the necessary support with added toe protection. The long flexible tongue can be pulled back far enough for an easy fit and the padded collar is comfortable around the ankles. They are easy to keep clean by wiping down with a cloth soaked in warm water or you can use some soap for those difficult to remove stains.
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These baby shoes come in a range of colors and sport different characters on the front of the shoes. When ordering a pair, you can make use of ikiki’s shoe size chart to get the exact size for your little one.
You may think the squeak will be annoying, and maybe it could be if you have to listen to it for long periods of time, but there are benefits to having the squeakers turned on.
The most important reason is that it promotes normal stepping from heel-to-toe. Many toddlers will walk on the ball of their feet, keeping their heels suspended. The squeak gets them to place their heel down first so they can hear the sound.
The second reason is that you can keep track of your little one, especially if they wander off.
- Breathable material.
- Soft and flexible.
- Non-slip soles.
- Single strap design that accommodates wide and narrow feet.
- The squeaker can be turned on and off.
- The shoe opens wide enough for an easy fit.
- The squeak encourages heel-to- toe walking.
- Affordable price.
If the squeaker gets damaged it’s not replaceable.
Ikiki is a well-known brand and has a wide range of shoes for children of all ages. They have specifically made an effort to design good quality shoes for their client base including toddlers with wide feet. Their pricing is fair and is in line with other manufactures. Their squeaky shoes promote healthy walking and this is a feather they should wear proudly in their cap.
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Here’s a truly functional flip flop that has the comfort of a conventional croc. They’re made from synthetic Croslite foam and super easy to wear. The heel strap is elastic and keeps the flip flop on the foot. A fun pair of shoes that will work well for most occasions.
- Made for boys and girls. The toddler range is from 1 to 4 years old.
- Water-friendly and dries very quickly.
- Wash with soap and water.
- Comfortable fit for all feet types with a supportive heel strap.
- Available in several different colours
- Comfortable cushion soles.
- You may have to take some time teaching your little one to walk and run in these flip flops without tripping.
Other shoe brands to consider
Here is a list of brands that cater for toddlers with wide feet:
As you can see, there are a number of companies that cater to toddlers with wide feet and the list keeps growing. You will not be starved for choice if you know where to look for the right pair of shoes for your little one.
Shoes for different seasons will differ and summer requires better ventilation whereas winter will require more warmth. Toddler shoes must not be too heavy or have too high a heel as this may cause development problems. Stick to the basics and be practical when considering your next purchase.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why does my toddler have flat feet?
When babies are born, they have padding, better known as baby fat or soft tissue and this padding protects their feet while the bones develop and harden. Toddlers do not have an arch in their foot because it is filled with soft tissue for protection. Only when they get a bit older will they develop an arch. If at any time you notice that your child does not have a normal walk then it’s best to seek the advice of a specialist.
How often should I replace my child’s shoes?
Changing shoes is mostly about fit. If the shoes still fit well and are not damaged in any way then there are still some miles to go before a new pair. From birth to one-year-old your baby’s feet will grow three sizes and a further two sizes until about the age of 5. All children do not grow at the same pace so in the toddler years it’s best to measure their feet every two to three months. You can also examine their shoes to see if there are areas that show pressure points, especially where the baby toe sits. When you bathe your little one after a day of wearing shoes look closely at their feet to see if there are no red areas on the top, sides and heel. If you do see something then it could mean that a new pair of shoes is a must.
Are my child’s feet going to stay wide?
Not necessarily. Most children with wide feet end up with narrow or normal feet over time. The wideness of feet comes mostly from soft tissue protecting the feet as they develop and from the natural spread of the toes. Shoes that are too tight or do not have enough toe room tend to compress the toes together that may result in deformities in later years. Some children, however, will start off with wide feet and have them throughout life. Wide feet as such are not a deformity. They will naturally shape themselves to the physic and walking posture of each person.
What are the risks of narrow shoes for wide feet?
Narrow shoes will cause your child’s toes to overlap and may result in permanent deformities. It is best to best to select shoes with a rounded toe box and that are made with extra depth to accommodate a high instep so the foot can comfortably fit into the shoes without any visible pressure points. If you buy shoes that are too narrow your child may develop blisters, calluses and corns. Don’t think that it’s because they are new shoes and must be worn in. If the shoes hurt your toddles feet then rather look for a better fitting shoe or where and when possible, allow your little one to go barefoot.
What should I consider when shopping for wide shoes for my toddler?
Every pair of shoes you buy for your child must fit correctly; not too big (oversized) and not too small (tight fit). The shape of the shoe must accommodate your child’s foot with a rounded toe area and enough depth to cover a high instep (top of the foot). The sole of the shoe must have a degree of shock absorption to reduce the impact of the foot meeting ground when walking or running. The heel of the shoe must have the same shock absorption quality to support and protect the ankle. Shoes must be lightweight and flexible so your child can do all the walking and running they want without restriction. Shoes must allow the feet to breathe so the material used to make the shoes is very important. Lastly, only buy good quality shoes that will last until your child outgrows the shoes. It may be expensive but it is worth knowing that your child has the right shoes that will protect their feet and allow them to function normally. Good quality shoes make for happy feet.
Toddlers with wide feet are more common than you think. There is a layer of baby fat that blankets your baby and as they grow older, strengthening their bones, all that lovely baby fat disappears. Your baby’s feet will also develop and become more streamlined in time.
To protect their feet, you must select the right size shoes for them, remembering that they can grow half a size or more in two months. Allow your little one the opportunity to walk barefoot and feel the many different textures around them. Encourage them to walk heel-to-toe as this will promote normal foot development.
Shoes are important as they protect your child’s feet yet the wrong type of shoes may end up causing more harm than good. Think about the practical reasons why you need to buy a specific type of shoe; for example, winter or summer.