And yet, why do children prefer
to walk barefoot?
Worldwide, specialist doctors recommend barefoot walking as the best way
to ensure a normal healthy development of growing feet. Why is it so important
for kids to walk bare foot, especially at their first steps?
The baby's foot is not a miniature version of an
adult foot. Actually it hardly contains bones, it rather consists of
cartilage that will ossify in a few years, resulting the 28 bones which
make up the adult foot.
At birth, the ankle is malleable. It
strenghtens over time and gets the right position especially when the baby is
standing. By walking free, unsupported, the ankle takes over every bump and
When walking barefoot, a child does not use only
muscles and feet, but also toes to grasp the ground for a better
balance. This is not possible in a rigid shoe.
Through direct contact with the ground, the
child receives information that prevents him from frequently stopping and
looking down - which would reduce the balance and would make him fall.
Walking barefoot helps forming the plantar arch (arch) and contributes to a good posture.
When the foot is shoed, the heel is the one
absorbing the soil impact energy, energy transmitted to the spine. This
does not happen with bare feet, because this energy is distributed all over the
Although it is assumed that different types of
defects (talus valgus, X standing, walking on toes, etc.) could be corrected by
wearing rigid shoes, many recent studies have removed these myths and show how
going barefoot is actually the one who corrects these small variations of
And last, but not least, walking barefoot is a great
reflexology therapy (by direct contact with various surfaces like rocks,
we live in a modern society where contact with natural areas is not possible
anymore: we are surrounded by asphalt, cement, ceramic, not only slippery
surfaces - but cold and unfriendly. Therefore we still need to protect
children's delicate feet by giving them footwear as close to natural !
More details about the proper footwear for the
first years of a child: