The first time I saw Alt.D1, when she was just born and being looked over by the medics, all I could see were her little feet, poking up from the rescusitaire. I love those little feet, they are so cute, they were unbelievably tiny and soft, never having taken a single step. I want to help keep them in as good condition as possible.
Foot health is something often overlooked by society. Here in the West we are prone to far more problems with our feet than other cultures where bare feet are the norm. It makes good sense then, to consider going barefoot. For those just starting to learn about walking and gaining their balance, bare feet give the greatest amount of information to the brain, enhancing that learning experience.
|Bare feet are best loved in the Ctrl.Alt. household!|
"Your feet need support when you're learning to walk..."
Um, well, actually, no they don't. They will be strong and well balanced without stiff soles, and there is evidence to suggest that there are fewer ankle breaks and injuries among those who do not wear shoes. Pro-barefoot research here
The problem we faced as parents was the lack of available soft soled shoes in the shops. To start with, we embraced the little leather slippers given by a family member when Alt.D1 was born. They were brilliant, and she took her first tentative steps wearing them. Easily available online, they were more than adequate for the first few months, both indoors and out. This type has been a firm favourite, and since they are available in sizes up to a UK9, they have been useful house shoes even until very recently.
The evolution of Alt.D1's shoes continued according to her development. We had her feet measured in the ubiquitous high street shoe shop, but instead of falling foul of the proffered array of glitter and pastels, we sought out online suppliers of soft soled footwear. Surprisingly, this came out far more gently on the pocket than the high street, and gave us so much more to choose from in the way of designs.
Ordering the shoes online was not as intimidating as you might think. The high street shoe retailers place a huge emphasis on the width fitting of their shoes, and in the stiffer soles they offer, this is of course important. However, with soft-soled flexible shoes and a large toe-box for developing feet, the width is less important. We are looking to let the feet grow, rather than to mould them into shape. I just order the right size, and off she goes.
|It does run in the family, apparently...|
So, how does Alt.D1 like her shoes? She seems to have developed something of an Imelda Marcos tendency, to the extent that I have to magic the old shoes away overnight, or we would have stacks of them round the house! However I think the best testament is the way she takes them off. Shoes are optional to her. If it's cold or wet, yes please, shoes are great, but if she's indoors or it's summer time, the shoes are whipped off as soon as she is given the nod (and often without). As you can probably guess from the photos, we wash feet more often than we wear out shoe leather round here!