Every parent out there wants what is best for their child. So when the time comes for the bundles of joy to take their first steps, many moms and dads are willing to spend a bunch of money on the perfect shoes in order to facilitate for their little ones the process of walking.
Choosing the right shoes might be exhausting, because they have to fit the little foot just perfectly and provide enough comfort. However, according to the most recent research the struggle of getting the most appropriate foot wear might be part of the past because the best shoes are no shoes at all.
When a child learns how to walk, their sensory system is in the phase of fast development and walking barefoot helps improve their balance and coordination, as well as their spatial orientation skills.
Leaving the shoes out of the picture helps young children develop a stronger sense of touch and receive important sensory information from the soles of their feet touching the ground.
Dr. Kacie Flegal, a vitalistic chiropractor says how walking barefoot is important for the vitality of the two sensory systems: the vestibular system and the proprioceptive system.
The former determines the person’s center of gravity, whereas the latter is the ability to understand the motion and also the positioning of the human body.
Another expert, Tracy Birne, a podiatrist specializing in podopaediatrics claims how wearing shoes while learning how to walk and at very early age can hamper a child’s walking and cerebral development.
While outside, children should probably have their shoes on, but the amount of time they spend with them on should be reduced to minimum.
Once the toddler feels more confident in their walking skills, which of course takes some time to be achieved, they can progress to a firmer soled shoe, until then, children should be encouraged to walk barefoot.
Feet have a lot of sensory cells that form powerful neurological connections. Using shoes constantly will block out useful tactile feedback that the body and brain can use for better development. Many researchers connect child’s intelligence with walking without shoes. While wearing them results in the sense of touch being dampened and the messages to the brain diminished.
It’s an interesting fact that all this doesn’t only apply to young children, but adults as well. Walking barefoot can get you plenty of benefits among which stimulation of the sensory system and the development of brand new neural connections.
If you have ever experienced issues related to your ability to maintain balance then the first thing you should do is get rid of your shoes and wear them only when you really have to.