I dislike the high cost of baby and child products that we are told we must have either because it's an 'essential' or for fashion, or worse, because their peers have the item. Shoes are horrendously expensive. My little wildflower is still being carried, but I was unsure how I was going to deal with the shoe stage. So the following article made my day.
painting by Jim Daly
"Parents beleaguered by the high cost of children's footwear may be relieved to hear that, in the opinion of many orthopedists, the best thing for growing feet is not that pair of adorable, miniaturized glow-in-the-dark running shoes, or the sensible, if aesthetically objectionable, Oxfords. or even the K Mart flip-flops, but rather no shoes at all.
In a new review that confirms and expands on what many pediatricians have been saying of late, Dr. Lynn T. Staheli, director of orthopedics at Children's Hospital and Medical Center in Seattle, has concluded that the children with he healthiest and most supple feet are those who habitually go barefoot.
The myth of the good, solid shoe is like the fallacy of communism, said Dr. Staheli. "People do better when they're free, and the foot does better when it's free."
Dr. Staheli was led to make his conclusion by anthropological studies around the world of people who do not wear shoes.
"If you look at a place like China and you compare the feet of those who don't wear shoes with the feet of those who do, you find that the non-shoe-wearers have better flexibility and mobility," he said. "Their feet are stronger, they have fewer deformities and less complaints than the shoe-wearing population."
Dr. Staheli said that in Western nations, children must often wear shoes to protect against snow, broken glass or the occasional stray hypodermic syringe on the sidewalk, among other things. But he said he believes that the more closely a child's shoe resembles the barefoot state, the better.
A child's shoe should be lightweight, flexible and shaped more or less quandrangularly, like the foot, he said. Above all, the shoe should not have the arch inserts or stiff sides once deemed necessary to lend the foot support. And whenever the ground is safe enough to do so, he said, parents should allow their children to go roam around unshod."
Read the full article over here.
I thought it was an apt topic just after pioneer week. Going back to how things were done. Including how we didn't worry over every little thing about our children.