Free Range Toesies: Why I let me kid run barefoot outside

It’s summer! Finally!! We had such a horrible winter this year. Added in the fact I had a newborn and a 3 year old and man was I ready for some fun on the sun!! As I watched Big Bear on the swing set the other day I realized his socks and shoes were off. It’s a habit he’s into right now and I’m a-o-k with it.

Here’s my dark secret: I hate shoes. All shoes. I even dislike socks (they are ok in the winter). But I hate the feeling of my feet stuck in these little prisons getting all stuffy. Bear is the same. Give him the ok to be bear foot and those shoes are gone. I’ve spent hours researching shoes and different brands to find the ones that will work best with our ideas of what a shoe should be. Bears first shoes where Robeezs (affiliate link). They are basically foot covers. We chose these because his feet were just starting to develop and we wanted him to feel the changes in the ground so he could learn better balance. I let him walk around outside in them in the winter. He didn’t get frost bite and they lasted though his cousin using them as well. I’ll be getting a new pair for Little Bear this year though. After that we moved on to the Nike Flex (affiliate link). Surprisingly it was the only shoe we found that had any give in the sole.

So why all the fuss about shoes? First, those things are expense! The last pair we bought was $54!! But more importantly, our feet influence our overall health. Think about it. If you can’t walk properly you end up with a shortened stride, muted hip mobility, strange posture, poor balance and a bunch of other issues. When kids run they start to build the habits that will stay with them for life. Shoes that do not allow for much or any movement hinder the foots ability to form properly and the muscles to build. Think about it this way, have you even seen a square watermelon? They grow them in boxes to get them in that shape. So if you put your child’s growing foot in a confining shoe you might be helping the foot to form in a less stable way. Now I’m not a doctor, these are my own thoughts. Talk to your doctor or a pediatrist about this. See what they have to say.

So with all that being said, why even put your kids in shoes? Glass for one. I’m not crazy. But when we are home or somewhere I know is safe. We play “free range toesies”. Socks and shoes come off and the fun times roll. I personally feel that if you allow your child to run, jump, crawl and climb without shoes you can only help them be better humans.

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