Flexible Footwear Preferable for Toddlers' First Steps

NY1.com—December 5, 2011

The old line of thinking used to be "the sturdier the shoe the better" when it came to shoes for children learning how to walk, but now the best shoes are more flexible in more ways than one. NY1's Health reporter Kafi Drexel filed the following report.

A baby's first steps is an unforgettable event, but finding that first pair of shoes to make sure kids develop all the right moves can be a different kind of experience altogether.

In the long run, most of the parents who spoke with NY1 chose more flexible shoes. That is echoed by recommendations from a study by the Leon Root Motion Analysis Lab at the Hospital for Special Surgery and shoemaker Stride Rite.

As part of the study, babies from nine to 24 months were analyzed over a two-year period to see how they navigated terrain and obstacle courses in the most flexible to stiffest shoes.

"We found that they stumbled and fell less, walked with a more appropriate and symmetrical pattern and at a quicker speed and had loads more similar to barefoot when they wore flexible shoe technology," says Dr. Howard Hillstrom of the Hospital for Special Surgery.

Stride Rite and other shoemakers are using the studies' findings for their latest designs.

That way, the littlest toddlers can put their best foot forward.

View the full story at NY1.com.

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