I'm posting this here instead of in Life With A Babe to maybe get a bit of a broader perspective. Daughter is 10 1/2 months old and is standing with support but walking is a little ways off. I am almost positive she has wide feet, as both parents do and according to my (methodologically bad) use of a tool from the StrideRite website she does. Also when I put her in a pair of sandals we got as a present, they seemed to fit in the length but be too narrow. Does she need shoes yet, or should I wait until she is actually walking? What kind of shoes? Can I use Robeez or their ilk in their normal size based on her foot length, or does she need a wide Robeez (if such a thing exists)? I'm leary enough of dropping $25 a pair on footwear that will fit for like 3 months, I want to at least make sure it's appropriate for her. Anyone BTDT?
Yah, BTDT. Dd2 has very wide feet and they are kinda fat on top. She has bilateral club feet and they are very short with big toes that stick up. We've been using stride rite shoes for the most part, and Keens work well and are less expensive. We've given up looking for inexpensive shoes that are wide enough... maybe somebody has better ideas. We don't have the luxury of letting her go barefoot as she wears AFOs at least eight hours a day.
I loved the Robeez before we got the AFOs. We got several hardly worn pairs from Freecycle. I'd say keep her out of shoes as long as possible, then go soft soled.
You'll really be fine with something soft-soled for at least months.
My DS didn't want to wear shoes (besides sandals in summer and rain boots) until he was over four. We just got lots of pairs of Robeez and Hanna Anderson Mocs (you can get them from the outlet) that we could wash and he was fine. He was quite active. When they are so light, they really don't need too much foot protection (they're not pushing down very hard on rocks or anything so a flexible leather sole was plenty).
We had a hand me down robeez that was way to tight (not length) at the width. So my.crafty mom changed the original elastic ring that keeps the shoes tight for a longer piece of elastic. He wore the same robeez forever.
Then by 16 months, he would go barefoot cos we couldnt find anything that closed, until we found a new Jack & Lilly at a clothes swap. This was a "dress shoe" style with Velcro. These are very soft rubber soled shoes. The company also makes slippers, robeez style. They have models on sale sometimes.
But the secret, really, was the Velcro closure. Later he even went into a Velcro converse (yes DH and grandma are all about style but not so bad, quite soft) The Velcro allowed us to close it at wider level.
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Robeez are awesome for expansion and wide feet. We love Robeez and my 26 month old still wears them the bulk of the time!
My oldest had and still has wide feet, though they seem to be a better fit the older he gets. We always got his shoes at Stride Rite because they fit him best in width. All others were just too narrow.
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Other than in mud or snow, Robeez are great for as long as they'll fit. Be careful though, because some of the other brands that make similar shoes are much narrower.
My DS goes barefoot unless we're going out in public, and always has. Around the house they don't need shoes, barefoot is a much better option at this point. Once they're asserting their independence and wanting to walk when you're out, that's when I start worrying about shoes. But he wore Robeez until he outgrew them, even in public. Shoe Zoo makes some similar, nicely wide and cheaper, particularly if you can find a co-op.
I didn't get DS' first pair of "real" shoes until he was well over 2 and had outgrown all the soft-soled options. And then I took him in to be professionally fitted, so that I could be sure we got a pair that fit, and he does in fact measure "wide". At that point it was Stride Rite, but he is still barefoot all day every day at home.
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DS was a super early walker, but we just had him in no skid socks until about a year, and robeez if he must wear shoes. Our issue now is finding super flexible soles for his wide feet. I guess his feet are big for his age (size 7 at 17 months), and everything in his size has thick, stiff soles. I shudder at the price tag, but Livie and Luca are the only brand I've found that are wide and flexible and come in his size.
We were really happy with Hanna Anderson moccasins and DS wore them (year round) until he was over 4: http://www.hannaandersson.com/style.asp?from=SC%7c10%7c4%7c503%7c510%7c9%7c%7c&simg=18611_A91 He was very active and had no problems not wearing "real" shoes.
I found two different brands that worked really well for DS' wide feet.
Early on, he just wore robeez or went barefoot. But around 18 months, I bought him a pair of Squeakers. They were affordable at $19, and they had a little bit of style to them. They worked just fine for him for about 3 or 4 months. I will say that you pretty much get what you pay for, though. After 3 months of use, the bottom treads had worn off, leaving a slippery sole, and the velcro closure had stopped working, and the inside of the shoe was falling apart.
By then he had outgrown them, so it wasn't that big of a deal, but still..
The other brand i LOVE is Pedoodles. They are pricey, but sometimes you can get them 50% off on mamabargains, greenbabybargains, etc. They are VERY well made, all leather, beautiful soft soles, and totally worth every penny. They have velcro closure, too, and their widths were more than wide enough for DS feet.
My only complaint is that they don't carry a lot of larger sizes, now that he is 27 months.
my daughter is 15 month old and also has wide feet. Hers are more high than wide, but it still makes her harder to fit.
I love the stride rite step 2 because they are so soft and flexible, but they would not work on my daughters foot. They cut in too much on top. So we tried the comparable (but slightly stiffer) pedipeds grip n go. Same problem.
Ultimately, for 'real' shoes, I went with two pairs: See Kai Run and Tsukihoshi Kids. The SKR are very flexible and the leathers are very soft, and the Tsukihoshi are incredibly lightweight and durable.
I personally do not like to have my child barefoot. She is always in robeez around the house because we have dogs and other children, and she has stepped on things many times that hurt her delicate little feet :) That being said, for an almost but not quite walker, I would stick to things like the robeez. They are the most comfortable and still offer some protection. A compromise would be pedipeds, or my favorite the See Kai Run smaller line:http://www.seekairun.com/cgi-bin/commerce.cgi?search=action&category=SMLR&keywords=View%20All which I like better becuase they have a slightly better bottom grip, are harder to get off, and fit wider feet. That is honestly what my daughter uses most of the time still.
Good luck in your search!
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Robbis are fine for a prewalker and an early walker. If she needs more protection or you want a more shoe look than Smaller by See Kai Run is super flexible and See Kai Run in general are very wide.
Stride Rite makes everything in a wide but you have to be careful. A lot of their shoes are really flexible and a lot of them are not.
My son had really wide feet and we used soft roobeez and Pediped, but had to try a few differant styles. Now he just gets extra wide at Stride rite.
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