When my son was three, he liked to play a game where he dressed up like either mommy or daddy. This mostly involved wearing our shoes. He would come clunking out of the closet with my husband's shoes on, struggling to lift his feet in them, or he would slide around in a pair of my heels and ask me, "how do you walk in these shoes, Mommy?"
But when it comes to his own feet, we've tried to be really careful. When he was learning to walk, we kept to the doctor's advice of letting him practice barefoot so he could learn to balance and figure out the way his toes gripped the ground. After he was walking on his own, we put him into a flexible shoe so his muscles could develop properly. Now, we take him shoe shopping every few months to make sure that his shoes fit him well.
There's one thing that we definitely do not do: We do not let him wear flip flops.
We are not a flip-flop family. My husband and I wear close-toed shoes everywhere but to the beach. I feel like we are in the minority these days, as I see people's toes all around me all year long. It really bothers me when I see children wearing flip flops all the time. I hear mothers chiding their little ones for slipping off their flips in restaurants or in parking lots because "the ground is dirty" and I have watched numerous children trying to run in thongs, trip and take a nasty spill.
There is a really easy solution to both those things: Sneakers.
The research is there if you want to read it: Flip-flops worn all the time are just not good for your feet. (Moderation always seems to be the key in life.) I want my son to be able to run at a moment's notice if I start a random game of "tag" with him.
What type of shoes do your children typically wear? Tell me in the comments.