Closed or open toe, flat soles or slightly raised, with velcro or not ... the choices are endless. To this, we must add the glitz, price, favourite colours and your child's favourite, particular brand. It's definitely not hard to get lost in the madness of it all.
The real question is: what are the criteria that sandals for children should meet? We asked a specialist for some advice.
"First, says Marilou Arsenault (podiatrist), keep in mind that sandals are not made to walk for hours or play ball. Ideally, we would only wear them at the beach. On the other hand, the reality is quite different. In summer, heat wave or not, children put on their sandals to go to school, daycare or day camp. As a result, they run, jump, walk long distances and play ... with the sandals on their feet.
Before the age of one
As mentioned by the specialist: "Before the age of one, the choice of the model of sandals does not have too much importance since the child does not walk yet. At this point, sandals are solely for aesthetic purposes only."
Sandals exclusively for the beach
As mentioned before, if the sandals are used only at the beach or for short periods of walking, "although it is better to advocate those whose sole cannot bend easily, says Marilou Arsenault, there isn't much else indiciation. Indeed, a sole that is too soft can cause discomfort and / or injury. Flip Flop sandals are also avoided as they increase the risk of falls.
Some criteria to meet
For little athletes that stop at nothing, some criteria should be considered. "If we know that the child will kick a ball with their sandals, says the specialist, it is better to choose a model with closed ends, that's for sure. Ms. Arsenault also adds that "children wearing orthotics in their shoes should, in theory, use them in their sandals as well."
As for the foot support, the sandal should be slightly raised at the heel and completely closed behind. "Also," says the podiatrist, "you have to make sure they are not too big. With the wrong size of sandals, kids are more likely to stumble." To choose the right size, we proceed exactly as we would for an everyday shoe. Ms. Arsenault adds: "When the toes are at the end of the sandal, one should be able to slip a finger between the foot and the heel of the shoe. "
The podiatrist's favourites!
When Marilou Arsenault is asked if she has a preference for a particular brand, she cites Keen as an example: "It's not for advertising," she says, "but it really has all the features I mentioned."
In sum, children should always have sandals and sneakers on hand and change, depending on the activity. Of course, this is not realistic. That's why it's even more important to choose, with care, their next pair of sandals.