Children's feet are very different from adults, they're wider across the toes, narrower at the heel and the inner arch is lined with fatty tissue. There are also large gaps between the bones, which are soft like jelly.
Growing feet need plenty of freedom for muscles to strengthen, toes to learn to grip and spread and for bones to form in a natural position. An actual fact is that 70% of our brain’s information on how to walk, run, and jump comes from the nerves on the soles of our babies feet; so the more they can feel the ground, the greater the baby’s understanding of their surrounding environment. Along the way, natural movement will happen.
Allowing them to go barefoot as often as possible is ideal but not always practical. When choosing a pair of shoes, look for a shoe that mimicks the benefits the child would experience barefoot. This means choosing a shoe that allows natural movement and flexibility to move with the child freely. The quality of shoe is also important, not only flexible and correct fitting but breathable as well as safe.
'Barefoot' shoes are designed with ultra-flexible soles and wider rounded toes to reflect the natural shape of a childs foot, giving little feet the freedom to grow and move naturally.