Monday, October 31, 2005

Picking Good Sandals

Yes, it is fall. Winter seems to be just around the corner in some places. So why are we talking about sandals?

Well, in some areas, people can still wear sandals. Just ask the Floridians. Plus, moms and dads may find themselves tempted to buy clearance rack sandals this time of year. You really should avoid that urge because you need to plan to wear sandals when you are picking them out. Here are the important points to keep in mind when you are picking out your baby's sandals.

First, do not get your baby sandals without a back strap. Their feet really are not formed enough to hold up the sandals. Plus, it is not like you can tell them to flex their little toes. Your best bet is to select a sandal that has a back strap. Otherwise, you will spend all of your time trying picking up the sandals that your little one dropped off his or her feet. In addition, make sure that the straps do not move on the baby's feet. The should be snug but not so tight that they cut off circulation.

Also, you may want to avoid the cutsie stuff that is on so many children's sandals. It is not that those things are "bad," but they often mask pretty shoddy construction of the shoe. Sandals are very important to fit right because your feet could hurt if they do not. For this reason, you should avoid flip-flops for babies or toddlers because they are too flexible for their little feet.

When you are picking out sandals, make sure the soles of the shoe are not too hard. If you pick them up and cannot bend them at all, they are too hard and will not have any give. These types of shoes can increase the chance of stepping wrong and twisting an ankle. The danger is there even for adults, but we have more experience and can catch our footing a little easier.

The sandal should bend near the ball of the foot. Any sandals that bend in the middle of the foot are a problem. You really want sandals that will bend slightly so that they will give when your child steps on a hard surface. Just be sure that they do not give too much, or the sandals could break or cause your child to fall.

You should not allow your child to wear only sandals because their feet should be barefoot or have good shoes much of the time. Sandals really should be viewed as more of a cute little item for your baby instead of daily footwear.

That does not mean that you cannot buy cute little sandals for your baby. Just keep in mind that they are a fun shoe only. Keep in mind when you are buying sandals for babies that they may be learning to walk in these shoes. Just be sure that they will not hinder your child's foot movement in any way.

By Julia Mercer

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