First Steps

Your child’s first proper pair of shoes is literally a big step and an important one. We would strongly suggest that you have the shoes professionally fitted and the fit regularly checked.
The first pair of shoes that you tend to buy will be a very soft pair of what are know as pram shoes. As your little one will not yet be walking these will have no real use other than to look pretty and keep the feet warm. We recommend that you choose one that the child cannot easily pull off – so a lace, buckle or a velcro is ideal.

Once they start to pull themselves up or take a few steps with you holding their hands, is a good time to buy a pre walker shoe. These again are totally soft and we sell with a non slip sole. If you want to walk outside with them then a shoe with a very thin flexible rubber sole is the perfect solution. We developed the Floralie and the Dixie specifically for this age group.

When they are walking unaided, is the time for the first pair of proper shoes. We at
Papouelli advocate always having a soft upper with a supportive heel cup and a very
flexible sole. This will give support and protection but allow the foot and muscles to
develop correctly.

Should you want any further information on shoes or feet, Papouelli staff have been fully
trained by the Society of Shoe Fitters. We have also been accepted as a member of the
Childrens’ Foot Health Register which advocates excellent fitting and well made shoes.
We would be delighted to answer any questions you may have and professionaly fit your
child’s first pair of shoes.


Buy shoes with breathable leather uppers – this will give better support and enables the
perspiration to escape. Shoes with a soft flexible upper and sole will allow the natural movement and growth of the child’s foot. Where possible choose shoes with an adjustable fasting over the instep for a secure fit. Shoes that are worn so they have uneven soles and heels can also be detrimental to the feet – we would advise that you replace shoes after 5 – 6 months of every day wear such as school shoes.

We also recommend looking after the shoes – they all benefit from a little polishing to
keep the leather soft and supple and replacing the sole and heel if they are worn down can
make them literally as good as new.

You should have your Childs foot measured regularly
First steps 6 -8 weeks
Preschool – 2 -3 months
School 3 -4 months
Children do not always grow evenly but in fits and spurts. We are always happy to check your child’s feet and we will be able to tell you if your child has grown out of their shoe or if they are still fitting well.

FOOT FACTS- from baby to adult

It takes about 18 years for a child’s foot to totally develop.
A baby’s foot will grow faster during the first 3 years than at any other time.
A baby’s foot arch does not develop until age 2/3 years.
70% of foot problems are caused by the wrong footwear or ill fitting shoes and the majority of these were caused during childhood.
At birth a foot contains 22 bones – by school age this will be 45.
Over the next 13 -14 years these will fuse together to create the 26 bones that makes up the adult foot.

It is therefore very important to recognise that a child’s shoes need to be well fitted and supportive not just in the early years but until they are 18 or so.
Every year the average person walks 2500 miles (the equivalent of walking from New York to San Francisco). The Human foot has to cope with that journey year after year.

Look after them