How to Choose the Right Toddler Shoes

If you are blessed with a kid, you know that above all, you are charged with the responsibility of protecting the kid. One of the ways you can protect your kid from the harsh external environment is through providing the kid with the right shoes. Provision of shoes is okay but the right shoes matter a lot. You know how jovial kids become when they are out playing. They can do better when they wear the right kind of shoes. Therefore, you need to know how to choose the right toddler shoes.

shoes for Toddler

With a whole new world to explore, the toddler is at high risk of getting injured or infected when they start walking around. They find more fun on wet grounds and on other surfaces that carry harmful pathogens that can easily infect their soft skin. They can also get injured when they hit objects and run around. You have got to get your toddler the right footwear. There exist various factors that you should consider when choosing shoes for your toddler.


When kids graduate to toddlerhood, they always face the problem of poor posture, balance and coordination. At the same time, they are very aggressing in reaching out for the object and running around. The kind of shoes that you choose for your toddler should help to keep the kid protected from the objects he encounters along the way. Quite often, the kid will hit the objects as he passes which increases the chance of getting injured. Shoes significantly reduce such chances. However, good shoes will not only reduce the chances but ensure that the kid is protected from all those objects. The shoe should be stable enough to support the good posture and balance. They should also be the kind that prevents penetration of objects that can injure the kid’s feet.


When you go purchasing a toddler’s shoes, ensure that the shoes are flexible enough. Flexible shoes allow easy foot development hence you should avoid stiff shoes. Flexibility also extends to the kind of material that makes the shoes. As a parent, you should go for shoes made from a lightweight material that also facilitates breathability. Natural materials are the best for this case.

Do Not Spend a Lot

It is not advised to spend a lot on toddler’s shoes as advised by Dr. DeCaro. The American Podiatric Medical Association recommends that parents should look for shoes that are made of quality material and that which help the kid to grow appropriately. Rather, purchasing shoes for another reason outside protection and facilitating the kid’s development is not advised. Therefore, factors such as the seal of acceptance should not be a driving force towards purchasing a toddler’s pair of shoes.

Get Them Professionally Fitted

The structure of a kid’s feet is not the same as that of an adult. Toddlers have their body features still developing and their feet are not an exception. Their feet are flat until they become 4 years of age and above when their feet arches begin to develop. It is necessary to have your toddler’s feet measured by a professional to determine the right size of the shoes to purchase. If there is no one to measure the kid’s feet in a professional way, you can use you can use the pinky finger to determine the amount of space that your kid’s toe box has. According to Dr. DeCaro, get your kid a shoe where the space between the toe of the shoe and the edge of the child’s toes fit pinky’s width.

Check the Shoes Quarterly

In every three or 4 months, your child’s feet experience a full-size growth or three-quarters of the growth in every four or 3 months. Dr. DeCaro recommends that you should get new shoes for your kid quarterly or when they wear out depending on the one that comes first. You can also have your kid wear second-hand shoes if they are in good size and shape.


After a few months, your kid will start walking. What are you going to do next? Avoid allowing your kid to walk barefooted because that exposes the kid to more dangers. The best kind of your toddler’s shoes are the ones that are breathable, that have been professionally fitted, lightweight, flexible and made from good natural material. Moreover, when choosing a pair of shoes for your toddler, make sure that they fit the kid perfectly to allow the better walking and feet development.

Waterproof Shoes for Toddlers

Have you been complaining that your kids get home with wet socks and wet feet? If the kids do not have access to waterproof shoes, they are likely to have their feet wet when they walk on wet grass and other wet surfaces. Taking care of your kids is crucial. Therefore, doing everything possible to keep them secure is the best thing that you can do to them. One of the thing that you can do is getting some waterproof shoes that keep them warm and with less contact with water.

For a very long time, parents have been looking for ways to keep their kid’s feet warm and dry. They desperately provide rai boots, prevent them from being in contact with puddles and sometimes even warm them. However, it is very hard to prevent the kids from having fun, especially with wet surfaces. Moreover, they throw away their rain boots especially when you get immediately out of site and plunge into the wettest and dangerous surfaces that you can ever imagine. You, therefore, cannot make them wear the rain boots all along just to keep them dry and warm. Rain boots might be a good way to do all this for the kids. However, the boots are stiff and heavy for the kids to keep wearing them the whole day. That is why kids will always throw them away when they get the slightest chance. Have you ever worn wet socks and shoes or even rain boots the whole day? The way you feel the uncomfortable way that your kid feels. You, therefore, need to get some waterproof shoes for toddlers.

Waterproof Shoes for Toddlers

However, the existence of many waterproof shoes in the market makes it hard for anyone to choose the right type of shoes for the toddlers. Being able to identify a waterproof shoe that is also lightweight and flexible such that the kid can have them in his feet for a whole day is not easy. The kid’s feet might be extra wide, wide, narrow, long or even short for his age yet you must find the shoe that perfectly fits his feet. With their soft tender tissues, they easily get infected or injured when they are exposed to water since most of the water on ground surfaces are mostly infected.

In order to choose the best waterproof shoe for your kid, there are several factors that you should consider. Most of the times, parents consider the fact that the kids grow very fast hence go for the shoes that the kids will not outgrow easily. Parents also consider that aspect that the kids are more likely to handle their shoes recklessly hence the quality of the shoes that determines the time the shoes will last is a factor to consider. Since water is said to accelerate the rate at which even the most quality shoes get worn out, acquiring lightweight, waterproof and flexible shoes is the key. When you acquire such a shoe, you are assured that they will not be producing bad odour and that they are capable of keeping your kid warm and healthy.

These shoes can be used for various purposes such as outdoor activities, hiking, playing sports among others. They also help to save money since they last longer than the usual kind of shoes. Once you acquire them, you should know that you are protecting your kids from getting infected by bacteria or fungi that lead to rashes and itching skin. They also protect your kid from catching a cold. Therefore, do not value the money that you use to purchase such shoes more than the good health of your kid. However, consider factors such as the comfort of the shoes, their size, weight, flexibility and effectiveness before you can purchase them.


There is nothing that one should value more than his kids. Parents are charged with the responsibility of taking care of their kids with whatever means necessary. For toddlers, you can begin by getting them a pair of waterproof shoes. This kind of shoes ensures that the toddler is comfortable and secure when playing in wet grounds and that they are not limited when it comes to having fun. Remember, their soft and tender tissues can easily get injured or infected hence their feet need to be kept warm and dry.

On One Knee

Recently an indoor trampoline center opened a few miles from our house. Knowing how Tess likes to jump and bounce, I took her there.

She loved it. As soon as we started jumping together, she smiled and squealed, and did the thing she does when most excited:  she held her breath, made her eyes bug out, and wiggled her arms overhead. It’s like she’s having a brief overload of delight. It’s cool to see.

I ended up less enthused about the place than she was, mostly because I did something galactically dumb:  I wiped out big time on one of the trampolines. My fall destroyed my knee and put me on crutches for a few days.

Turns out I tore my ACL. Now I’m off the crutches but am a little unstable and can’t fully bend or straighten the leg. Tess seems to know exactly what happened. She is less interested in walking than ever before. She demands to be picked up at every moment. When I try to make her walk, she folds up her legs and looks up at me, as if to say, “I can’t tell what you’re trying to make me do here.” And with the bad knee, carrying her sucks right now. She’s a backbreaker.

So, people who like the new trampoline center:  orthopedists, our chiropractor, and Tess.

Since hearing about my injury, a lot of our friends and family have been writing and calling, asking what they can do to help. I did what I always do in response to such offers. I waved them off and didn’t take anybody up on it.

Nope, I don’t let people help. Not sure what my deal is with that. Part of it comes from having relied on people, having trusted them in the past, and having gotten burned. Example:  my wife and I hire a new babysitter, explain details of Tess’s danger of nighttime no-breathing, train the new sitter on how to use our home suction unit, and then return home one night, asking, “How was Tess?”, only for the sitter to reply, “No idea. She’s been quiet up there for a few hours, so I assume she’s fine.” Aaaaaaaaand pink slip.

In spite of memories like these, I know I need to let go. I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions, but I have resolved lately to ask for more help and accept it when it’s offered. So if you’re reading this, and we’re hanging out anytime soon, here’s a few things you can do to help me.

(1) As I arrive to meet you, offer to take Tess for a second, so I can visit the men’s room. 
This sounds so bizarre, I know. But bringing Tess into the facilities is ridiculous. I have to throw her over one shoulder and keep her there while undoing my belt, unzipping, etc. She never stays still. She never cooperates. While balanced on my shoulder, she usually tries to gouge my eyes out or chomp out a big chunk of my earlobe. So if I’m on my own with Tess and am meeting you out in public, chances are I haven’t gone since like breakfast. It only takes a minute, but it means a lot if I can do that alone. Seriously.

(2) Include Tess in stuff.
Tess has no friends. She’s five. No playdates, no birthday parties with classmates. In case you’re wondering whether I’ve noticed this, I have. Tess likes people. She’s social. She’s finally at a point now where she notices other kids and wants to interact with them. It might not bother Tess to be left out, but it bothers me.

This past summer, we were on vacation on an island here in Maine. A family was staying in the house next door, just across the cove from us. They had three boys, all around Dana and Tess’s ages, and we hung out quite a bit. One morning, one of them, the youngest, came around the cove and through the woods to invite Dana to come to their house for breakfast. Tess was in her high chair, eating, and the kid got right in her face and grinned and said, “How about youuuu? Would you like to come to breakfast too?” I loved that kid for doing that. He just wanted to include her, and I don’t think his folks put him up to it.

The kid was practically a stranger. We’d known him about 72 hours. But there are people who for years we’ve thought of as our closest friends, and they don’t think to do what he did.

(3) Root for her.
It’s weird to have to put this on the list, but it makes a big difference when people do it. It doesn’t take much. Follow her progress. Ask how she’s doing. Care.

I’ve been blown away lately by the people who’ve done this, sometimes when I least expect it. It happened on Halloween, while Dana was trick-or-treating with a friend. The other kid’s dad–who I’d only met a few times before and barely knew–asked all about Tess. For maybe ten minutes while we watched our boys dash from house to house ringing doorbells, he and I stayed in the street and talked. He wanted to know about her genetic testing, her school and her daily life. Above all, he listened. And again, some of the people we thought were our closest allies don’t do that. It means a lot, though.

The Annual Checkup, from A to Z

This week we brought Tess to her annual checkup with her pediatrician. We laughed, we cried, we shook our heads in disbelief–at how far she’s come in the past year, and how fantastic her doctor is, but mostly how it feels to sit in the waiting room and fill out a developmental checklist about Tess. Such evaluations are so flawed we might as well evaluate whether she enjoys Proust and a postprandial cognac.

To sum up the visit, here’s The A to Z of Tess’s Checkup:

A is for Active. Doctor wants kids to be off TV and doing stuff. Tess swims, rides horses, spends an hour or two every day working out, and has no interest in television. Yep.

B is for Briefly. They ask everyone to fill out a standardized checklist in the waiting room, and there’s no getting out of this. The first question is “Please describe your child briefly.” Part of me wants to be a wiseass. How dare they ask me to reduce my Tess experience to a few words? My response: “Cheerful. Loving. Tenacious.”

C is for Chomp. We gave her a wooden tongue depressor at one point. Splinters ensued.

D is for Development Questions. From the checklist:  “Seldom plays with other children?” Check. “Does not talk well for age?” Check. “Does not seem to understand well; is slow to ‘catch on’?” Check. The list is dumb. Heartbreaking. Hilarious.

E is for Eat. These days, she eats everything, so a distracting chew toy is a must, if we want to get anything accomplished. Thing is, she’s lost interest in all the ones we currently have. Apparently I should buy one shaped like a stethoscope.

F is for Five Stars. Our doctor told Kate and me that we get five stars as Tess’s parents. It sounds goofy, but we appreciated hearing that. Self-doubt can be poisonous and this is the antidote.

G is for Growth chart. Why do we want to know where T lands, percentage-wise? We feed her constantly and the girl eats like a damn linebacker. What could we possibly do differently?

H is for Happy. This word came up again and again during the visit. She has a lot going on, but is generally pretty easy to be around. Happy girl.

I is for Immature. From the checklist:  “Immature; acts much younger than age?” Check.

J is for Juice. Doctor wants to reduce in kids’ diets and replace with more water. T never drinks juice.

K is for Kiss. While we were talking about how Tess shows affection, she gave me one of her sloppy kisses. Awwww.

L is for Limits. My wife on raising Tess: “The only limits she has are the ones we place on her.”

M is for Milestones. These were on the reverse side of the developmental checklist. For years I’ve been told to chuck these right out the window; Tess is so delayed that they don’t apply to her, except in terms of knowing what comes next in the progression. It’s one thing to know about chucking it out. It’s another to actually do it without it gnawing at you. And this might have been the first time that I have.

N is for Nurse. She was new and thus didn’t know Tess. I never know what to do when someone asks T a question and is then waiting for a response. It gets awkward. I need to be better about jumping in and explaining the whole nonverbal thing.

O is for Open. Ear canals looking good.

P is for Paleo. We’ve tweaked T’s diet for years, and this one works for her. Minimal reflux, less indigestion, and almost no eczema anymore. Yessssss!

Q is for Quality. Tess’s doctor is freaking awesome. During the visit she repeatedly asked, “What else can I do to help you right now?”

R is for Relentless. Containing T in an examining room is a workout and a half. It’s definitely a two-person job. She never stops. Which is awesome. Have I mentioned how great our chiropractor is?

S is for Shots. Our girl took three in her thighs: flu, polio, and something else I can’t remember. I held her hand each time the needle went in, and she tensed for a second but didn’t cry or even register any pain. Unreal.

T is for Testing. We mapped T’s genome, but still don’t know what her deal is. I think we’re okay with this.

U is for Uncharted Territory. Next fall Tess will start kindergarten. Will she be potty trained? Will she walk down the halls?

V is for Vision. T needs corrective lenses. She needs a new prescription, plus her current frames allow her to pop out the lenses and try to swallow them. So we know we need a new eye test for her. Which involves returning to the abrasive ophthalmologist who, four years ago, told us we were nuts for thinking anything was amiss with her vision.

W is for Weight. Tess on a scale = total disaster. She can’t stand, but won’t sit still. Imagine two adults trying to put a python on a unicycle, while a third paints its portrait.

X is for X-rays. Tess’s hips are A-OK these days, so there was no need to even mention these. So grateful for that.

Y is for Year. Have I mentioned the developmental checklist? Okay, here’s the last thing I’ll say–I promise. I happened to glimpse her file, which contained the identical checklist from a year ago. I had filled it out. In the blank for “How are you doing, as a parent and otherwise, at this time?”, I’d written “Fine.” My handwriting then was jagged, and you could tell I was annoyed to be filling it out, and especially to be asked this particular question. This time I wrote “Great.”

Z is for Zero. We are in a good place with Tess right now. Apart from the need for a vision test, we have zero mysteries to solve.

Meet with Me

Tess has a bunch of amazing specialists working to help her. She went to the hospital in Boston a few times this year. She had hip surgery, got scoped by a GI doc, and took tests with an audiologist and an adaptive communication specialist. Here in Maine, she saw a physical therapist and visited her pediatrician half a dozen times.

Thing is, most of these specialists aren’t getting paid. Our insurance company, United Healthcare, has an administrator called UMR, and their policies are designed to keep them from paying Tess’s doctors, or at least to delay those payments for as long as possible. I’m on the phone and emailing UMR pretty often. I’ve written about this before, here and here.


The biggest problem I have with UMR’s no-pay policy is this pretense they’ve invented, one that says they aren’t sure whether our family has secretly gotten new health insurance coverage from somewhere else. Until they know for sure whether we have other insurance, they say, they won’t pay a dime to any of Tess’s doctors.

Well, I’ve told them. I called their 800 number, once in August and then again a month later. Both times I said nope, nothing’s changed and you’re still our primary insurance. Both times they apologized and said all claims would be reprocessed. But here we are in mid-October, still getting medical bills for services that Tess received in July. In spite of my calls, UMR is still saying the same thing:  they deny all claims because they need other insurance information.

This week I’d had enough. I emailed the president of UMR, a man named Jay Anliker, and asked to meet with him personally. Apparently I’m not the only one having difficulties with UMR not paying doctors for the work they’ve done. There’s a whole county of employees in and around Indianapolis who have also had enough, which I mention in my message.

Here’s what my email said:
Dear Jay,
I’m writing to schedule a meeting with you.

For years now I’ve had a lot of problems getting UMR to pay claims, mostly for my daughter, Theresa “Tess” Bigelow, age 4, DOB XX-XX-XX. Our member ID is XXXXXX, and it’s under my wife’s name, XXXXXXXXX, who’s employed by XXXXXXXXXXX.

Since my wife started her job in August 2010, I’ve called your 800 number a whole lot, and also written letters to claims services. I know UMR changed its website recently to try to make it easier for customers like my family, but we’re still having trouble. Depending on who I talk to when I call your 800 number, UMR’s computers either have a bunch of information about my family and my communications with you, or none at all. Go ahead–look me up.

I read somewhere that employees of Hamilton County, Indiana were having issues recently with UMR regarding claims, and so you met personally with Steve Dillinger, the county commissioner, to try to work things out. (Here’s the article where I read about your meeting.) So let’s you and I do the same. If you’re really serious about helping customers, meet with me. I live in Maine, and I’m a stay-at-home dad to my two kids, so do you think you could come here? I’m free most weekday mornings, and we could meet here at my house. You can reach me on my cell: (207) XXX-XXXX.

I’ll look forward to a personal response from you. Let me know when you want to meet, and I’ll send you my address. Thanks!


Bo Bigelow

Musical Chairs

For months now we’ve been thinking of a great unknown for Tess:  kindergarten. Next year at this time, she’ll finish preschool, board a bus of some kind, and join her brother at Falmouth Elementary. Will she be in a chair or will she walk aboard that bus?
Well, yesterday her physical therapist told me that we need to start thinking about a chair for her. Yes, T is close to walking, and yes, she could do it at any time, and yes, we all are pretty sure she’ll be on her feet eventually. But in case she isn’t, we must provide the school with a chair/stroller option. Because they certainly won’t carry her.
Thing is, her current stroller is almost too small for her. We have an umbrella stroller, but it’s only good up to 50 pounds. And besides, her feet are already dragging on the ground with that one. At any time she could plant a foot as we’re speeding along and thus tip the whole stroller forward. Pretty unsafe situation.
It is hard to think about how agonizingly close she is to walking, and how close she has been for the past few months. I can’t count how many times I’ve cheerily told relatives, “Any day now!” Her legs have the strength to hold her up, and she’s nailed the mechanics of it, the one-foot-in-front-of-the-other part. She just won’t do it, though.
And so the stroller. It will have big steel loops welded to its frame, so it can be tethered down safely in the handicapped area of whatever vehicle ferries her to and from school every day. Ideally it’ll be cushioned around her head area, but not with foam, because she’s so bitey. I’d love to say it’ll be lightweight, but I have no such illusions; at this age and weight even the simplest strollers are backbreakers when you try to lift them into your car. The one she has at school, for example, a brand misleadingly called Pixi, is evidently entirely constructed of ununoctium, the element with the highest atomic mass. Curious, I tried to move it the other day and pulled about seven muscles. What the hell kind of pixi(e) weighs so much?
This past weekend I saw dozens of old friends, some of whom I haven’t seen in ten or twenty years. Most of them knew me in high school, well before I met my wife, before I ever dreamed I’d know things such as what happens when a 4-year-old drinks a bit of the hand cleanser Purell (turns out it’s the equivalent of rum, the poison control center tells me–Tess’ll be a bit drunk for a while, but will otherwise be fine.) One by one, these people pulled me aside and told me that they often read this blog and they’re pulling for Tess. Many sighed and said they wished they could do something for us. What they didn’t realize was that it’s heartening just to hear that from them. It means something to know how many old friends are with us. When we rejoiced and danced around our kitchen–upon recently hearing that Tess took two independent steps at school–all of those people rejoiced with us. It meant a lot when they all told us that.
The best news of all from Tess’s PT is that we shouldn’t order our girl a power chair. If Tess were never going to walk, we’d pick a power chair now, to get her used to it, since it’d be her only means of transportation for the rest of her life. But Tess will most likely be on her feet, the PT said. It’s the closest thing to a prediction I’ve ever heard from this particular PT. The stroller will be temporary, just to get Tess around the school, until she’s walking on her own. And I guess on that day, when Tess is eventually walking around the school, we’ll need to tell them to watch out for her. You know, to keep an eye on the Purell.
Read more : Shoes for Toddlers