THE GOAL: Maintain full natural function of one's feet for whole body health and well being for life.
HOW: When footwear is necessary, using options that allow MAXIMAL use and MINIMAL interference of the feet's fantastic functions.
SOLUTION ONE: DIY OR HAVE THEM HANDCRAFTED
First we'd like to drive home the point that like many mass produced things these days, food for example, it may be best to look into making or sourcing footwear closer to home, handcrafted and perhaps customized. Yes, it will be a greater investment of your time and money, especially for the little ones who grow so fast, but is just that: an investment in your future as kids are already showing signs of deformation and overuse injuries which require much more costly, time intensive, less fun measures to "fix" down the road which is not nearly as fun as maintaining what was perfect in the first place.
Have a look at the MAKER section of our site where you can find links to DIY or connect with makers who can handcraft footwear for you. Click here to go to the page.
SOLUTION TWO: SOURCE FEET-FRIENDLIER FOOTWEAR OPTIONS
Here is our current list of companies offering feet-friendlier footwear options for kids that we are thankful are currently available as we continue to drive the demand for even more and ever better options. If you come across any not yet listed here that might be a good fit please send us a note!
The list includes different styles, price points and customize-ability.
In the future we'll get more specific about desireable footwear features but for now, so as not to delay this list any further, our general standards include shoes that have at least most of the following features. It's true, we still have a long way to go and we WILL continue to raise the bar.
allowing toes maximally splay especially when walking, running, skipping, jumping
FLAT + THIN + FLEXIBLE SOLES
that minimally inhibit toe flexion and extension and sensory reception
stretchy, flexy, opposite-of-stiff; allowing for maximal movement of the foot's 33 joints
This feature has been brought to our attention by our friends at Soul Path Shoes.
Stay tuned for more on this, but for now it's something to think about.
Note: Not all models of a particular brand of footwear are created equal. Because a brand is listed here means that we appreciate at least one of their models and the effort they are putting forth to offer foot-friendlier option(s). We are happy to pass along their mojo and recommend you then use your best judgement to determine what options suit your needs.
and a sole-less footwear option with kids sizes!
Additionally....please see our previous list for sandal options as well: No Flip. No Flop. The Sandal List for People on the Move.
Stay tuned for more! We'll keep you updated and again, please feel free to pass along any options you may come across in your search as well!