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Healthy Foot Development

pediped® is a children’s footwear line that cares about the health and well being of your child’s growing feet. We recognize that education is key to helping you make the right choices for your child’s footwear. Below are some foot health facts that will help guide you during footwear selection.

Did you know?

  • The critical development years happen from infancy and into the toddler years.
  • The bones in a baby’s foot are made of cartilage, the same flexible substance you find in your ears and nose.
  • A shoe that is too rigid or too tight can change the shape of your child’s foot.
  • Around 70% of foot problems come from wearing the wrong footwear or ill-fitting shoes.
  • A child’s feet develop until he or she is about 18 years old.
  • A child’s feet grow in spurts and often require new shoes every 3 to 4 months.
Around 70% of foot problems come from wearing the wrong footwear or ill-fitting shoes.

Barefoot Walking

When your child first begins to walk, providing proper foot protection while enabling maximum movement is important for his or her foot development. Allowing your youngster to go barefoot or wear soft sole shoes while inside helps the feet to grow normally and to develop musculature, strength, and the grasping action of the toes.

When walking outside or on rough surfaces, an infant’s feet should always be protected in lightweight, flexible footwear made of natural materials. pediped® footwear’s Originals® line of soft sole footwear is the next best thing to bare feet and provides the protection and flexibility for both indoor and outdoor walking.

Choosing the right shoes for infants

The ideal shoe is soft and flexible, with breathable leather uppers and a fully adjustable fastening for a snug fit. Shoes should have a smooth bottom, causing less friction so that the shoe will not grab the floor and possibly cause your child to fall. Shoes that are too sticky tend to change children’s stride or gait, as they have to lift their feet to move about.

Children’s feet sweat quite a bit, so avoid buying synthetic shoes, as they will not allow your child’s feet to breathe. Synthetic materials also tend not to stretch, and the resulting pressure could damage a child’s growing foot.

Choosing the right shoes for toddlers and children

Select shoes with a rounded toe box that give plenty of room for toes to move. Shoes should be made of a breathable material, like leather or canvas. Avoid materials, such as plastic, because they can cause odor or even bacteria growth. Soft leather or rubber soles are recommended because they allow a child’s gait and stride to develop naturally. Learn more about pediped® footwear's leather safety.

New shoes should never need to be “broken in.” It means either they were not properly designed or not properly fitted for your child’s foot.


It is not recommended for children to wear hand-me-down shoes. Most shoes form to the foot, so wearing hand-me-downs that have already been "formed" can affect the shape of your child’s foot.

How does pediped® meet all the criteria for healthy foot development?

pediped® Originals® are designed for infants and toddlers as the "next best thing to bare feet". Their soft soles, made with the highest quality leather, provide protection and flexibility, while the patented hand stitching allows ample ventilation. The roomy toe box provides a safe environment with plenty of wiggle room for tiny toes while allowing for foot growth and muscle development. Learn more about Originals®.

pediped® Grip 'n' Go™ and Flex® incorporate all the benefits of Originals® into a flexible, soft rubber sole. Using high-quality materials and the latest in children's footwear technology, Grip 'n' Go™ and Flex® provide maximum flexibility and comfort. pediped® recommends Grip 'n' Go™ for active toddlers who are transitioning from early walking to a more confident stride. pediped Flex® are perfect for walkers with a confident stride. Learn more about Grip 'n' Go™ and Flex®.

For more information on foot health, watch our Foot Health Videos or visit our section on APMA and AOFAS.