Baby footwear brand Dotty Fish have been working with The London Podiatry Centre, one of the most advanced podiatric clinics in the world. They looked closely at the effects of soft-soled footwear on a child who is learning to walk and taking those crucial first steps.
Dotty Fish have always been passionate about baby foot health and are keen to get the message out to parents on the benefits of wearing soft sole shoes. “We want to give people the information needed to make an informed choice when buying footwear for young children. We want to create a movement, one that looks at what is best for babies’ feet.” explains Helen Chapman, founder of Dotty Fish.
The London Podiatry Centre has one of the most advanced dedicated podiatric gait facilities anywhere in the world and have a wealth of information when it comes to foot health especially paediatric foot health. This is the first time they have ever worked with a baby shoe brand to analyse a child taking those early steps wearing a soft sole baby shoe. “We are an evidence-basedclinic and we use very advanced technology to help us determine if something helps biomechanically” explained Ron McCulloch, Consultant Podiatric Surgeon and Director at The London Podiatry Centre. “So far the results have been encouraging”.
For many years there has been a perception that a baby’s first shoe should be a structured shoe that will help keep them steady on their feet, but this is a misconception. Dotty Fish and The London Podiatry Centre hope to re-educate parents about the right kind of footwear they should be choosing for their children. In fact, the very best thing for a baby learning to walk and a toddler who is new to walking is to have bare feet but this isn’t always practical in the artificial, modern world we live in. The next best thing is to have an extremely lightweight flexible shoe with a thin, non-slip sole that protects a baby’s delicate foot and prevents slipping. This type of shoe will still give them all the benefits of walking barefoot whilst protecting their feet and allowing them to feel the floor beneath them.
“At Dotty Fish we have long known the benefits of soft soled shoes for babies and early walkers. We have always designed shoes that not only look good but which are also good for growing feet. The London Podiatry Centre’s results are fantastic and have really helped reinforce our belief in the benefits of wearing a less structured shoe that allows a child new to walking to develop this skill naturally. We believe these findings will really help give parents the information they need when choosing their child’s first shoes. “ Says Helen.