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Old 05-08-2012, 10:50 PM   #11
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Re: How long to wear soft soled shoes?

My kids wear soft-soled shoes exclusively until running outdoors on sidewalks for extensive periods of time (usually around 2), then they get 1 pair of VERY flexible thin-soled shoes.

Soft-soled shoes remain the main footwear until at least age 3.

My DD is 4.5 and I still test every shoe for extreme flexibility. If the sole is not light, thin, and VERY flexible, I don't buy it. Yes, I pay more for her shoes, but it's worth it.

I'm going to check out the soft star shoes that are linked above.

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Old 05-08-2012, 11:45 PM   #12
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Re: How long to wear soft soled shoes?

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I'm going to be the odd one out I'm sure, but I'm a big advocate for barefoot running, so I say keep kids in soft soled shoes forever. Kids have proper foot strike, and wearing hard-soled shoes changes that. I wear soft-soled shoes even as an adult and I'm slowly learning proper foot strike again. Studies show that people have fewer foot/ankle/leg injuries with soft-soled shoes.

This is excatly what I was gonna say. Forever!
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Old 05-09-2012, 07:46 AM   #13
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Re: How long to wear soft soled shoes?

I have them up to size XL: which I think is 18-24 months.
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Old 05-09-2012, 09:08 AM   #14
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Re: How long to wear soft soled shoes?

My ds has a pair of Robeez in size 3-4 years. He wore only soft sole shoes until 2 years, inside and out. Then he wore soft sole and thin sole, like Robeez Tredz. He still prefers thinner soled shoes, like Converse.

My now 7yo dd also had a pair of Robeez in size 3-4 years. She wore them under her rain boots to preschool. She would take the boots off when she got there. That way she could be comfy in class and still meet the shoe requirement they have.
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Old 05-09-2012, 09:24 AM   #15
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Re: How long to wear soft soled shoes?

DS1 is still in soft soled shoes and he will be 4 in July. I vote for as long as possible, but it is getting harder to find them in his size now.

Janine - I tried Vibram for him but you would have thought I was literally sawing off each toe putting them on. He has this weird foot thing where he doesn't like anything in between his toes and I guess the sensation is seriously sensory disrupting for him.
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Old 05-09-2012, 09:51 AM   #16
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Re: How long to wear soft soled shoes?

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How are they in the width department? Tharen has the widest feet and ankles which makes it practically impossible to buy him shoes.
I'm not sure. I know both brands strive to keep an open top area to allow toe splaying, but I have narrow feet myself. Vibram has a few models designed with wider feet in mind, and the Speed (which is available in kids sizes) is one of them, but I don't know if they would be wide enough.

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Janine - I tried Vibram for him but you would have thought I was literally sawing off each toe putting them on. He has this weird foot thing where he doesn't like anything in between his toes and I guess the sensation is seriously sensory disrupting for him.
I think that might be somewhat common. I was really excited to see that they had kids sizes, but I worry my kids will feel the same. It took me a while to adjust to the toe thing myself, but I really wanted to so I went with it and it is great now. But I know that if I gave a pair to my daughter she probably wouldn't go for it either. I'm still considering the Vivobarefoot for her, but it will be a few years before she fits into their kids sizes.
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Old 05-09-2012, 12:28 PM   #17
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Yay so I can keep buying soft soled shoes for as long as I can find em! Amazon has a brand called luvable friends that has the cutest and cheapest soft soled shoes I've found and some styles go up to 24 month!

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Old 05-09-2012, 01:35 PM   #18
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Re: How long to wear soft soled shoes?

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I'm not sure. I know both brands strive to keep an open top area to allow toe splaying, but I have narrow feet myself. Vibram has a few models designed with wider feet in mind, and the Speed (which is available in kids sizes) is one of them, but I don't know if they would be wide enough.



I think that might be somewhat common. I was really excited to see that they had kids sizes, but I worry my kids will feel the same. It took me a while to adjust to the toe thing myself, but I really wanted to so I went with it and it is great now. But I know that if I gave a pair to my daughter she probably wouldn't go for it either. I'm still considering the Vivobarefoot for her, but it will be a few years before she fits into their kids sizes.
Dh can wear the Fila Skeletoes (which also come in kids sizes) and he is the one who gave Tharen the super wide and thick feet. I'm just not sure Tharen would tolerate something between his toes like that. I would love a pair myself, or the Vibrams (we started with the Skeletoes just to see what he thought of them) but I can't wear them at all because my second and third toes are connected to the first joint and I am not going to have surgery just so I can wear a particular style of shoe. I actually kind of like my weird "connecty toes". Right now the boys only wear sneakers if they really really have to. Other wise they are in rope sandals or flip flops but neither are ideal for park play so I was thinking if I could find something that would work for everything it would be great. Kearnan likes his converse sneakers but Tharen obviously can't wear them because they are so narrow.

I saw these while looking around on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/AS.../chrisficti-20 and may try something like this. I like the split toe style and may try them for myself as well. They would be convenient for TKD days since I hate flip flops. Or I may just order some Soft Star mocs. The price really isn't too bad for one pair of shoes a year (the boys don't grow that fast these days).
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Old 05-09-2012, 01:57 PM   #19
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Re: How long to wear soft soled shoes?

Odd man out. My dd wore until 1.5, but she seemed to always walk funny in them. We took her to striderite and asked them to look at the way she walked and if the could make a recommendation based on it. Bought a pare with a arch built in and "pods" and omg what a difference suddenly she was running and jumping around like she did barefoot. She was a 5.5 wide.

They sell soft soles too (and in wide sizes)
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Old 02-21-2013, 05:38 PM   #20
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Re: How long to wear soft soled shoes?

Glad I chanced on this thread as people looked at me funny everytime I talked about soft soles for as long as possible.
Since barefoot is somewhat minimalist, why can't we find cheap barefoot shoes? Cheap or expensive, it should be the proper fit to size and function that matters the most, right? I'm looking for cheap suggestions as it's not such a big deal if they don't fit right (just try another brand), or we have to buy 3 sizes within one year.
Below are a few I have found to be <$10 when on sale. Any other suggestions?
Shoeszoo leather booties
Skidders
any brand water shoes (check that they are extra flexible)

I have mostly shoeszoo leather booties that my DS absolutely loves. Shoeszoo has sizes up to 6-7year olds! Hope we can go that long with that brand. DS will remove the velcro watershoes and go looking for the leather booties sometimes. Having said that though, there are times the leather booties don't work, like when it's super cold or wet. I have come to like Skidders for those occasions. My only gripe with them is that between one size and next is a big difference. Skidders will either fit really well or be like clown shoes, and DS will trip alot until he grows into it. The water shoes worked when I needed a protective toe area for when DS went on his tricycle and dragged his feet (it would have ruined his leather booties).

I did get a few pairs of soft star classic and playtime shoes in size 4 & 5 for DS but was disappointed. DS kept wanting out of them. I think they might work better in larger sizes and with an older kid as DS was actually unsteady in them (tried at 12m and 18m, he is running and climbing in all his other shoes). Will keep trying and hoping I did not waste $$ on those.
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