According to the Institute of Chiropodists and Podiatrists, there are a number of misconceptions when it comes to footwear and very young children.
Many parents do not realise that their child’s feet are very, very different from their own. Baby feet are a different shape, often have curly toes (this is usually a sign of good health), and have undeveloped bones (with the foot consisting mostly of cartilage), making them soft and pliable. The 26 bones in each foot gradually develop in the early years, becoming fully bony by 7-8 years old, at which point the toes have usually straightened. However, our feet are not fully developed until the late teens.
The Institute recommends that as soon babies begin to want to move, parents allow them to do so, as much as possible. They also further recommend that, in the early stages of walking, very young children should be encouraged to walk barefoot as much as possible.
Taking all this into account, it’s not hard to imagine how much damage can be done by inappropriate, stiff footwear at this crucial developmental stage. In an ideal world, there would be no need for baby shoes at all. But as the world is sometimes chilly, gritty and grubby, it makes sense to put some kind of footwear on your toddling child.
The Bimble philosophy is simple: the closer we can get to a barefoot experience, the better. And our shoes are designed with this simple thought in mind.