The foot is a complex structure consisting of 26 bones and 35 joints. All of these are held together by an army of ligaments for proper movement. Kids feet are padded with fat and are much more flexible than an adult’s and so kids sandals to need to mimic these properties. The sensory information that a child receives when they start walking from their soles is important but feet also need to be protected from injury as well as from the elements like heat and cold.
A toddler should be allowed to walk barefoot as much as possible.
The best sandals for kids have a soft-soled shoe that allows a degree of touch with the ground and allows the toddler to develop muscle strength. After a few months, they can then progress to more firmer soled footwear.
Soft leather or material that allow the feet to breathe is important to choose for making kids sandals especially in a hot and humid climate like in India. Sandals in synthetic material do not allow the feet to breathe and kids will not be comfortable. Some may even experience swelling of the foot.
We make closed sandals for smaller children as they need more support and stability that sit tightly on the ankle and instep. Both open and closed heels are available to provide the needed support. A closed-toe structure provides more protection to the child’s foot than an open toe structure.
We recommend open-toe sandals for bigger children who need better movement and the feet can become dry easily especially on hot days.
While buying open-toe sandals, do please ensure that the feet get enough support with the straps. A sandal that does not fit properly by being loose or too tight will be discarded at a moment’s notice and can lead to other dangers.
Kids sandals should be chosen keeping in mind that they will outgrow them soon, usually in a couple of months. We recommend around 1.5 cms of extra space for closed sandals and at least 1 cm space for open sandals for bigger kids. But this should not be followed for smaller children as their feet are yet too small and this much extra space will impair their movement.
The width of the sandal will ensure that the gait of the child is not hampered in any manner due to the sandal.
The width should fit perfectly with the feet of the child. The straps on the sandals allow them to be adjusted around the feet properly while also making them easy to put on and off at a moment’s notice and whim. Even the best sandals for kids need a bit of care to last at least for a season.
They are mostly used by children without worrying about their longevity and so others may have to clean the sandals with a damp cloth to remove dirt and debris after a long a fruitful day of enjoyment. Waxing or boot sprays can help maintain them and make them look nice and shiny again.