Are Barefoot Shoes Good for Kids? 9 Reasons Why They Might Just Be!

 

With so many studies debating between barefoot walking and barefoot shoes, it gets really difficult to wrap your head around this topic!

However, we must face the facts: due to the lack of proper protection, walking barefoot can become a bit risky. And that being said, minimalist or barefoot shoes are still the best alternatives out there.

Not to mention that this is especially true for babies and toddlers whose little feet develop in time, and mostly according to their footwear! So, how are barefoot shoes good for kids?

 

Why Barefoot Shoes for Kids Are Good and Better Than Going Completely Barefoot

It’s been proven that wearing minimalist or barefoot shoes provides better gait performance and stability than walking completely barefoot. Less is definitely more.

Going completely barefoot can be detrimental to a kid’s health in the long run. And when it comes to letting our kids walk or run barefoot, some surfaces are safer than others. That’s exactly where padding comes into play.

The lack of minimal padding in walking barefoot can cause injuries from unsafe terrain like rough, slippery surfaces, or sharp objects on the ground (like lost Lego pieces around the living room!).

Another health risk is exposing their feet to harmful insects or parasites found in the grass or different types of fungi and bacteria from warm, moist environments.

So there you have it: in order to avoid any discomfort and promote healthy natural development for our kids at the same time, barefoot shoes tick all the necessary boxes.

But why go barefoot at all?

 

Reason 1: Going Barefoot Improves Sensory Development

 

Our feet are the ones that get us in contact with the Earth, keeping us grounded and well-balanced.

What’s truly amazing about them is that they’re packed with nerve endings that register vital information about the type of surface we’re on and create a vital sensory feedback loop that keeps our body and brain constantly connected to our feet.

And since mainstream shoes have a lot of padding, they deprive our kids of this amazing sensory experience every time they move.

 

Reason 2: Barefoot Shoes Improve Balance when Doing Kiddy Things

 

 

Let’s do an imagination exercise: picture a family walk in the forest when suddenly your kids spot a log and instantly want to climb on it. Your first reaction might be to be scared they’re going to fall and get hurt, right? But if they’re wearing the right pair of barefoot shoes you won’t worry as much. Trust us, we know our stuff.

But don’t take our word for it. Instead, trust our products: every pair of Tikki® shoes is made of flexible and lightweight material, including the soles which are super thin, between 2-6mm. This gives an amazing ground-feel while keeping the sensory loop in action all the time.

Along with the wide toe box that follows the anatomical shape of the foot, it helps kids’ tiny feet develop stronger toes and feet muscles, improving impact absorption and overall stability.

So you won’t have to worry anymore about your kids injuring themselves doing kiddy things! Keeping their balance will come naturally!

 

Reason 3: Barefoot Shoes Protect from Athlete’s Foot

 

Well now, if you’ve ever had Athlete’s foot, you know how much of a pain it can be! But if you don’t know what we’re talking about, it’s a contagious fungal infection that affects the feet and can spread to the toenails and hands.

Because the fungus that causes Athlete’s foot thrives on moist, damp surfaces, this infection is easily contracted if your child walks barefoot on locker room floors, pool decks, and shower areas. Another risk factor is wearing tight, closed-toe shoes, especially for kiddos with sweaty feet. 

So when it comes to preventing Athlete’s foot, we first need to give their feet the chance to breathe.

Barefoot shoes, and especially Tikki® Shoes, are the best choice since they’re made out of natural materials and have Chrome Free lining that protects their delicate skin from absorbing toxic substances.

 

Reason 4: Barefoot Shoes Increase the Strength of Muscles

 

Maybe you’re already familiar with this fact, but did you know that toddlers’ feet are mostly made of cartilage? Along with the arch, their bones are still developing in the first years of their life.

And in order to grow strong bones and muscles, they need to use their feet constantly. Traditional shoes have a lot of cushion and pointy-toe beds which create a tight environment for toddlers’ feet. In the long run, it will trigger an unnatural gait, bad posture, and it can even lead to muscle atrophy.

Instead, barefoot shoes are truly the best option because they have less padding and a wide toe box that provide much-needed wiggle room, better support, and healthy development of their foot arch, muscles, and ligaments.

 

Reason 5: Barefoot Shoes Lead to Better Foot Mechanics

 

 

We know that it’s very common in the mainstream shoe industry to use cardboard and plastic stiffeners to preserve the shape of shoes over time. But by doing that, it takes away the natural flexibility of our feet to stretch and bend as we’re walking or running.

And this is especially crucial for kids, who tend to move a lot, as the flexibility of their feet is significantly reduced.

To avoid any deformities and the loss of mobility, all Tikki® shoes are made of soft and feather-light materials, so the kids can have better control of foot position when stepping, allowing them to experience proper movement even if they’re wearing shoes.

 

Reason 6: Barefoot Shoes Establish a Good Posture

 

Another characteristic of barefoot shoes is the zero-drop sole: a perfectly flat sole, with the heel at the same height as the ball of the foot. This keeps the body and skeleton correctly aligned, with the body weight evenly distributed over the entire sole of the foot.

By comparison, regular shoes with high heel-to-toe drops place the feet into an unnatural position. In time, this will cause unnecessary stress on the back and neck, resulting in permanent postural changes.

Even the slightest change matters for our kids!

 

Reason 7: Barefoot Shoes Can Improve Proprioception

 

 

Proprioception is our body’s awareness of its own position and movement in space. It’s actually a coordinated neurologic response created by specialized sensory receptors found on the nerve endings of the inner ear, joints, muscles, and other tissues.

As the soles of our feet are overloaded with these receptors, they’re always sending direct signals to the brain, updating its position.

Because the barefoot shoes’ insoles are so thin and flexible, not only do they give additional grip, but they provide reliable sensory feedback for kids to be aware of different surfaces and textures.

 

Reason 8: Barefoot Shoes Protect from Jagged Surfaces

 

Kids love running around, climbing trees and rocks. From our own personal experience, we’d say they’re naturally attracted to everything that might seem dangerous but the fact is they simply have a genuine curiosity for the new! And who are we to blame them for it?

When involved in any outdoor activities, no matter the surface, barefoot shoes are designed to give a stable grip and steady movement. So kids can run around freely and enjoy their adventures with no risks of injuries.

The secret lies again in the super flexible rubber soles and the wide toe box, all working together to protect feet and offer better stability.

 

Reason 9: Barefoot Kids Have More Fun

 

 

It’s a fact! They love running with their bare feet and we can’t blame them for that. No socks, no worries, more freedom.

And barefoot shoes make that happen without us, the parents, getting worried that their feet come in direct contact with germs, unhygienic surfaces, or other aspects that might create discomfort.

Likewise, narrow shoes act similar to a cast, preventing the feet from anchoring the body and throwing them off-balance. Barefoot shoes are designed to mold the natural shape of the foot for our kiddos to happily run around, play, and explore the world.

 

In a nutshell

All in all, we can all agree that there’s no greater feeling than walking barefoot, with the soft grass under our feet, or on the beach, being worry-free and fully connected to the present moment. Being barefoot is as close as it can get to the true joie de vivre of childhood. And why not make this thrilling experience last forever?

Barefoot shoes help kids by ensuring a deep sensory connection to the world beneath their feet, making them fully aware of the surroundings, and providing a safe environment when going fully barefoot is not an option.

 

To sum up, it helps to imagine humans are just like trees. For us, our roots are our feet, which we constantly use to discover the world around us. When the roots don’t have enough room, the tree can’t grow strong and healthy. It’s the same for our kids. Cheers to happy and steady roots!

 

Want to give your little ones the freedom they long for? Try the Tikki® barefoot shoes!

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