Submitted by Danny Smith
I’m Gonna Eat Up Those Feets. Oh, yes I am!
When people are gathered around fawning over a baby, they often joke about wanting to just gobble up those tiny baby hands and feet. It’s astonishing to new parents, how a baby’s whole fist can curl around mom & dads’ finger. How did we make a hand so small, delicate and perfect?
Baby feet are just as adored as their hands we plaster-cast, as evidenced by the rising popularity of baby footprint tattoos. So, when it comes to a marketable baby accessories, darling little shoes are an easy sell. People love to see mini versions of the style statements they like to make, featured in miniature on a baby, whether it’s little tiny Timberlands or little Converse Allstars or little ballet slippers with big bows. There are baby shoes for formal holiday events, when your baby may be making the grand debut to extended family, or a toddler dressed in the finest for the rare treat of seeing out out-of-state relatives, home for Christmas.
Haven’t we always loved tiny shoes?
Part of the appeal of baby shoes, especially on infants, is that it’s all the cuter because an infant’s feet have yet to even touch the ground. Putting shoes on babies isn’t new; even in antique decor, sometimes you see a pair or ceramic shoes dipped in brass, created to evoke the whimsy of history-worn simple white leather baby shoes with laces, like these:
The only difference in recent years is the staggeringly wide array of designs and options for growing feet. Perhaps you could also say, there is more branding, and so there are more franchise-themed child shoes, of patented cartoon characters or brands geared to appeal towards reflecting the particular lifestyle flair of parents. The other major difference is that shoes are mass produced for extremely cheap, using sweatshop labor, with little regard for quality.
When little shoes attack!
Podiatrists say that there are a couple main problems to look out for with children’s shoes. When babies are transitioning towards walking, parents reason that little sneakers will give them a good grip, protect them from getting splinters or stepping on something sharp–but in actuality, putting shoes on developing feet makes clumsy feet even clumsier; it effects the sensitivity of the foot, in essence ‘disorienting’ the feet from the feeling of contact when taking a step. Pediatricians are not kidding around when they say barefoot is best. If your home is drafty and you’re worried about the cold, then wiggle on some baby socks or soft-soled moccasin style footwear, properly fitted.
Where can you find soft-sole shoes for little walkers?
Bobux I-Walk provide a very popular, Fair Trade line of soft-soled children’s shoes.
Foosies carry funky bical grippers.
Isabooties are stylish vegan, soft soled booties, made in Colorado.
Bearfeet make some really fine, quality, sophisticated shoes for, I’m guessing baby interviews, and all other baby formal events.