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Foot arches in toddlers

540 Views 3 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Llyra
My DD is almost 21 months old and I have noticed that when she is running around barefoot, she has no arches in her feet. Should I be worried? Should she be wearing shoes with arch support?
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No, don't put shoes on her. Toddlers don't have arches. That's normal and a necessary part of their development. Putting shoes with arch support will mean that the muscles and bones and tendons don't ever develop the way they're supposed to. Let her go barefoot as often as possible, or in soft-soled shoes like Robeez. Her feet were designed to develop without interference of hard shoes.
DS is 2.5 and still doesn't have any arches either. Our pediatrician says that's totally normal. I've read lots of things, as the previous poster said, saying don't use shoes with arch supports for babies or toddlers as it impairs the proper development of their feet.

DS went through a phase where he ALWAYS wanted to wear shoes, but now he's back to taking them off at any opportunity and loves to be barefoot. Yippie!
The arch is there, but until around 3 or so it's hidden by a pad of fat on the bottom of the foot. This is perfectly normal and necessary for the development of the foot. As their stride becomes more adult, and as they lose their baby fat, the arch will slowly emerge. Shoes with arch support undermine the natural development of the strength of the foot, and are not a good idea. In generations past, it was believed that it was necessary, but we know now that it is not. That is one reason why so many of us older folks have trouble with our feet and also with our backs and posture!
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