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For Baby: If the Shoe Fits, It Must Be Soft-Soled!   Date: Wednesday 01 November, 2006
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For Baby: If the Shoe Fits, It Must Be Soft-Soled!

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Perhaps youíve seen them in the magazine pictures, you know, the paparazzi shots of celebrities with their babies, and you just had to have a pair like them for your little star. Or maybe you donít know who Apple Martin is; youíre just naturally-minded and choose apparel for your child from a developmental perspective. In either case, your search will undoubtedly lead you hereó to the wonderful world of soft-soled baby shoes. Adorable and off-beat; natural and foot-friendly, these darling shoes are the perfect choice for parents of all walks.

Soft-soled shoes come in many shapes and styles, from slippers to dress shoes. You can expect to find the perfect look for your unique taste, whether itís plain, ornate, casual, dressy, sporty, or urban.

Typically, the more mobile a child is, the harder that child will be on the sole of the shoe, and therefore, the more durable that sole must be. Soft-soled shoes use leather and other innovative materials that donít compromise flexibility for durability.

Contrary to what our mothers were taught decades ago, babies do not require ankle or arch support as they are learning to walk. Quite the opposite. The ideal for these toddlers is bare feet. This allows the muscles unrestricted range of motion as they learn to balance and move in new ways. It is also prevents warping of soft foot bones. Those who live in nations that go barefoot as a way of life typically have stronger, more flexible feet, and suffer from virtually none of the common problems that shoe-wearing cultures experience, like flat feet or pigeon toes.

Since tender feet do require protection from weather and injury, especially when outdoors, going barefoot is not always practical. According to pediatric orthopedists, the best shoe is the one that most closely simulates barefoot conditions.

Thatís what makes soft-soled shoes such a brilliant invention! Their...

Flat foundation,
Flexible sole,
Breathable construction,
Lightweight design, and
Gently conforming upper
...imitate bare feet and allow baby to safely explore with feet that are blissfully oblivious to the fact that they are sheltered in shoes.

In fact, thatís how you know youíve put a good pair of shoes on your baby: the baby acts no differently with the shoe on than off. If the shoe impairs babyís mobility in any way, take it off. There is no such thing as "breaking in" baby shoes. They should simulate bare feet. Period.

Because the making of soft shoes is a cottage industry the world over, sizing methods can vary greatly from brand to brand. Some brands label their shoes simply by the age intended. Others use European sizing, while some invent their own sizing system, unique to their brand. This can cause frustration if you arenít armed with the proper sizing information.

For your convenience, each brandís sizing information is included with its product description below. Nonetheless, the savvy eBay shopper will ask the seller for the interior measurement of the shoe, from toe to heel, and compare that to the exact measurement of the childís foot, allowing Ĺ inch of free space for proper fit.

In addition to using different sizing methods, available sizes also vary from brand to brand. Some companies focus only on the wee ones, up to two years old, as this represents the tender learning-to-walk stage of foot development. Others also see the importance of soft-soles during the learning-to-run-and-jump years, so make their line available to children through the preschool years. And some brands do not offer shoes in the smallest of sizes, reserving their product for when baby begins to cruise.

A word about converting European sizing to US sizing
Please take European to US size conversions in this guide as only an estimate for reference purposes. An exact one-to-one correspondence between the sizes doesn't exist.

European sizing uses a system called "Paris Points." Multiplying the child's foot (not shoe) measurement, in centimeters, by 1.5 yields her Paris Points, or Euro size. So, if your child's foot measures 12 cm, multiply that by 1.5, and she should be in a Euro size 18 shoe. Use a metric ruler to measure your childís foot, or take the math fun one step further and convert from inches: one inch equals 2.5 cm.

How to measure your childís foot
Have your child stand with his back against the wall; heel touching the wall
Place a piece of paper under the foot, flush to the wall
Make a mark at the end of your childís longest toe
Remove paper and measure from end of paper to mark
If you are figuring European sizes, there is no need to add free space, since the Euro size is based on the foot, not shoe, measurement. However, be sure to double check with the sellerís provided interior shoe measurement; in this case, remember to add that pediatrician-recommended Ĺ inch of free space.

Always ask the seller to measure interior of the shoe!

Extra Information:
For more information, please visit this related link:  testberichte.ebay.com.

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