The “Buzz” about Barefoot Shoes.

Barefoot shoes are having a “moment” driven predominantly by a TikTok trend and copious paid adverts on Social Media, but do you know what Barefoot shoes mean? There is so much conflicting advice available and so much has been written about what children should or shouldn’t wear on their feet it is difficult to decide what’s right! So lets dive in and understand what “barefoot” actually means!

Put simply, barefoot shoes allow the foot and ankle to move and function as naturally as possible, mimicking barefoot walking. They are flexible and lightweight, have a heel to toe zero drop and a wide toe box to allow the toes to flex spread providing a more stable base.

Froddo barefoot Range

So far this sounds amazing (and it is!) BUT this is nothing new…

We think it is great that there is all this hype and movement towards “barefoot” footwear, but here’s the thing, Street Stompers have been selling footwear that tick all of the above for YEARS! Barefoot shoes are not NEW (despite what Social Media will have you believe) and if you speak to any qualified and experienced Shoe Fitter they will explain that it is the FIT of the shoe that is important and not to focus on a “buzz word.” As a retailer I am seeing brands label styles that have not been altered in any way as “barefoot” to tap into this trend, and while many shoes do not promote themselves as barefoot they are designed specifically for young, growing feet and have barefoot characteristics, so my advice is not to get too hung up on a label.

It is VITAL that shoes fit the feet well, if they are too big or too loose, the feet will spend their time working to keep shoes on, instead of moving naturally. Ill-fitting, rigid or inappropriate shoes can significantly affect how the foot develops. The bones in children’s feet begin as soft cartilage, which gradually develops into bone over a number of years. The process of these bones forming, fusing and fully hardening is not complete until late teens/early twenties. If shoes exert pressure or restricts a particular area of the foot, it will influence how the bone and muscle structure develops. It is very important to understand that “barefoot” styles do not fit and are not suitable for everyone, which brings me back to the importance of the “FIT” of the shoe.

When buying children’s shoes the focus should ALWAYS be about the FIT of the shoe. Here at Street Stompers we are a team of experts who are passionate about children’s foot health, and having been in business for 20 years we know children’s FEET! Children’s feet are unique to them, each pair has a unique shape and will move and function differently. Remember children’s feet will change shape as they grow and there are reasons some children might require more support from their shoes.

A qualified shoe fitter will take all of these factors into consideration. They will take time to select the shoes most suited to your child’s foot shape and stage of development. They will watch your child move around and do several checks to ensure the will support the healthy development of their feet, as well as room for growth and wiggle room at the toe box.

SUMMARY

  1. When at home walk barefoot to allow the feet spread and move freely. It is important to allow your little one’s gorgeous feet to grow and develop natural muscle strength and bone structure, and develop good body posture.
  2. Always buy your Children’s shoes from a Children’s Shoe fitting Specialist with staff who are trained in Children’s foot health.
  3. Remember FIT is the only “buzz” word that is important!

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