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At one time buying a pair of childrens shoes appeared to be a fairly simple process. However, times have changed and for parents, buying shoes can be a minefield. This is especially so as children grow older when shoe choice is often decided by what is fashionable rather than what makes a good pair of shoes. Early decisions made when the child first starts to wear shoes can also have a knock on effect as the child gets older, so early choices are important.

Recent research suggests that parents should not buy shoes for their child until they begin walking. Foot development is better when the child learns to walk barefoot. This helps to strengthen muscles, bones and tendons, ensuring that feet walk normally rather than having restrictions placed on them by the constraints of shoes, how ever well fitted. The suggestion is that children should keep their feet warm by using non slip socks, but that generally shoes should be avoided until the child walks regularly. Some manufacturers do make footwear which supports the development of a childs foot, but generally speaking, natural is best.

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