As soon as a child is old enough to walk we are told we're supposed to shove shoes on their feet. Stiff, with pretty thick soles. What if we were to do the same thing with our hands as soon as we were born? Essentially, casting them. We'd loose much of the ability to use our hands to their full capabilities, would you agree?
As I have said before, our feet are our BASE. If our feet are jacked up, the rest of our body will be too. So, fix your feet! Or better yet for your kids.... don't have them to start with!!
We also stick kids in chairs and tell them to sit still. Kids are not meant to sit still. They're meant to move! Just like we're meant to move. Yet we are put in every sort of contraption except ones that require us to be active participants in our environment from the time we are born. We've been trained all our lives to sit still and pay attention and we go from sitting in a desk all day to sitting in an office chair all day. And we wonder why our body hurts! It's adapted to it's environment of mostly sitting in one position for extended periods of time.
“We spend the first year of a child's life teaching it to walk and talk and the rest of its life to shut up and sit down. There's something wrong there.”
― Neil deGrasse Tyson
Before this turns into a rant post (preach it, sista!), let me go to what I AM trying to blog on. Kids shoes. Kids alignment. Have you ever watched a toddler drop into a perfect, untucked pelvis, squat? Or walk with their feet aligned? Kids are pretty amazing! Then..... we loose those abilities. What if we didn't have to? What if we kept moving and kept our feet out of stiff, heeled footwear? Yes, most kids shoes have heels and are super stiff.... at the time when they are developing bone density and growing and learning how to use their body.
Check out this video of a little girl who grew up in Africa, who they call the real life "Mowgli." I love watching her move. And most of the time she is barefoot! FYI the video is in French, but it's enchanting!
Without further ado, here is my list of minimal kids footwear. Some of these I have tried, some of them I have not. And this list is in no way all the options out there. Thankfully there is somewhat of a barefoot movement going on so it's a whole lot easier than it used to be to find good shoes for kids. BUT, they're usually super expensive, which sucks when you have 3 kids with growing feet. BUT, it's worth it to me. They need minimal footwear more than they need that new toy, ya know? My kids are currently outside (FINALLY!!) playing with dirt, and a shovel. And some rocks. And they're actually barefoot. When possible, I try to have my kids all the way out of shoes. In our backyard is a good place for that!!
Little Skidders for the littler littles.
I get these at Target and they are cheap and really flexible.
Merrel barefoot trail glove
My middle child has these and we really like them!! They have vibram bottoms.
Fila and vibram five fingers.
I got the Fila brand from Zuililly but I'm sure you can get them anywhere. They're a little more "weird" looking because they have toes, but my kids love them. Vibram makes their five finger shoe in kids sizes as well.
Water shoes!! You can find really minimal water shoes at the big box stores for pretty cheap. Especially compared to other minimal shoes. And lots of them don't look like water shoes, either. I found these (speedo brand, I believe) at Target last year and my daughter wore them walking miles and miles and MILES in California this year with no blisters. Usually without socks. This is the only photo I could find of them and they are currently missing (under a bed or shoved in a corner perhaps? It's been too snowy to wear them anyway)
Soft Star shoes I've been dreaming of these for my kids. You can't go wrong with any of them, but I especially would like to get the BOOTS for my kids for winter. It is nearly impossible to find flexible, minimal kids winter boots. It's terrible!! They make great adult shoes as well!
Unshoes. I don't have any of these for my kids or myself yet, but mine are coming soon-ish (I contributed to their kickstarted campaign) and they make kids sizes as well!! I hope to get some for my kids as well. Or just look around and find some cheap sandals with BACKS that are flexible. Flip flops= not good for proper gait pattern. So, especially not good for developing kids!
Okay, that's my short list. Comment to me some other shoes you have found that are minimal for children.
Have a fabulous day!! Now, I'm going to go help my kids put the dirt BACK into the garden beds, as they've shoveled it all onto the walkway. And onto the baby's scalp.
Mama Aligned is Lindsay McCoy.