First fittings – a guide to getting their first shoes
| Rajinder Bains
Here are Ogam Igam we fit shoes for all sorts of needs! Whether its sorting out a tricky fit for a new school shoe or advising on which sandal is best for your holiday trip we love sharing our insider knowledge get you the best shoes for the job. The most important pair of shoes to get right is your child’s first shoes. Choosing their first shoes is exciting but we understand that navigating different brands, sizes and widths can feel daunting too. So, to help you choose the best shoes for your little one we’ve compiled a list of our customers’ ‘frequently asked questions’ and included a few shoe recommendations to help direct your search.
When should I get my child’s first shoes?
This is our most frequently asked question! In the flurry of excitement that follows your child’s first steps it may seem like now is the time to buy their first shoes. Whilst there is no exact time-point for first shoes, a good guide is when they are confidently walking around outside. Whilst your child is developing their confidence learning to walk around the house it’s best if they are barefoot. This allows them to develop balance and strength naturally whilst feeling the ground beneath them. But when they are ready to explore the outside world, they’ll need the added protection that shoes provide.
How often should I get my child’s feet measured?
As feet continue to grow throughout childhood, it is important to get fitted regularly. Aside from being measured and fitted when buying new shoes, it’s recommended to check shoe fit frequently. Younger children require the most frequent checks, one every 6 to 8 weeks will ensure they are always in the right shoe for their developing feet.
My child doesn’t like having their feet measured, help!
Being fitted for a pair of shoes is a new experience for both you and your child. Whilst many children enjoy the process, some aren’t so sure! If your child starts to wriggle or cry, please don’t worry. We are experienced in fitting children’s shoes and find that most children settle down quickly if distracted with a toy or given a short break! Conversely you can always pop in another day when your child is feeling more themselves.
What should I look for in their first shoes?
Having shoes fitted by a qualified children’s shoe fitter is the best way to determine the correct size in terms of width and length for your child. During a fitting we will check the whole shoe from back to front to ensure there is the perfect amount of growing room, followed by a test walk to check for foot pattern and any unnecessary movement.
What materials are best for first shoes?
Natural materials such as leather and cotton are porous and absorb moisture, keeping the feet dry and comfortable. Leather also softens and conforms to the foot over time, creating the best possible fit for fast growing feet. Look for these materials when purchasing your children’s shoes to promote their foot health.
Is it okay for them to wear second hand shoes?
Shoes mould to the foot of the wearer over time, creating an imprint that is unique to each child. This imprint will be different to a new wearer’s foot and it may cause them to stand or walk differently. To make sure that these changes are not permanently affected, it is highly recommended that children always wear new shoes.
Shoe shop favourites to help you choose…
You can’t beat tradition! The supportive and stylish construction of some first shoes have helped them stand the test of time. British brand Start-rite makes some of the best first walkers with tradition styling. The brand’s Baby Bubble or Baby Jack first shoes feature a supportive T-Bar with buckle fastening. For a truly traditional shoe, look to the Jo III style. Perfect if you’re looking to emulate the classic look of Prince George or Prince Louis.
A pop of colour!
Summer is a great time to experiment with vibrant colours. The Clarks Roamer Star is a cute first walker made in a beautiful bright yellow leather. With a flexible rubber sole and premium leather lining, they make a comfortable and colourful first shoe for little feet.
The Froddo Blue Shoes from the brand’s ‘first steps’ line is a great starter sandal with a closed-in toe but with plenty of ventilation. It features double rip tape straps for adjustability on vibrant corn flower blue leather. The style has a removable leather cushioned foot bed that allows you to track the growth of your child’s foot, providing you with peace of mind on a great fit.