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Do shoes help babies' feet develop properly?

6 doctor answers10 doctors weighed in
Dr. Gregg Alexander
Pediatrics 33 years experience
No: Babies don't need shoes to develop or learn to walk at all. For safety and cold protection away from home, they are a good idea, but learning to walk "au naturale" is the best for natural foot and walk/run development.
Dr. Lawrence Wasser
Specializes in Pediatrics
No: We have had feet a lot longer than we have had shoes. Babies only need shoes when they are walking on rough surfaces. Some intoed feet may improve with shoes, but normal feet do not need shoes to develop. Avoid sandals and flip flop type shoes - the help babies fall down.
Dr. Robert Kwok
Pediatrics 33 years experience
No: Normal babies' feet develop fine without shoes. Shoes may be worn to protect a baby's feet while he is walking or climbing on wet, muddy, dirty, or sharp/rough surfaces.
Dr. Vadim Glukh
Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Surgery 23 years experience
Sometimes: In certain cases we prescribe shoes that help to re-align the malposition of the foot bones/ joints. However, shoes are often culpable for causing foot deformity when not fitted properly!
Dr. Jay Park
Dr. Jay Parkanswered
Pediatrics 50 years experience
Generally not: For infants, shoes are mainly for the protection of feet from trauma.
Dr. Joseph Newman
Podiatry 32 years experience
Usually not: They can protect and look nice, but they are not necessary until they start walking outdoors.

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Last updated Mar 15, 2017

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