Whether you love them or hate them, Crocs—those clunky, colorful foam shoes that vaguely look like they’re made to be worn in outer space—are hard to ignore.Crocs were introduced in 2002 and have since become a popular shoe for people of all ages. Their distinctive design has sparked some fashion controversy. Some have suggested that the shoes are ugly, while others have accused Crocs of “stealing” ideas from more expensive brands.
Notwithstanding the drama surrounding Crocs, kids love them because they’re comfortable, practical, and come in many fun colors and funky prints. Affordable and durable, kids’ Crocs are ideal for the playground, the beach, and anywhere else your little one will explore. But the real question is: are Crocs suitable for kids?
Crocs are great for toddlers because they’re made from a soft, flexible foam that forms to a toddler’s feet, providing sufficient support and stability. This makes them perfect for toddlers who are learning how to walk.
The Australian Pediatric Society recommends that toddlers walk barefoot or with soft-soled shoes as much as possible. This will enable them to receive sensory information from their feet touching the ground, which is crucial while learning to walk. (Source)
Thankfully, Crocs’ have soft soles and wide toe boxes that provide plenty of room for your little one’s toes. The only problem with Crocs’ super spacious toe boxes is that they’re also bulky, making it easier for a toddler to lose their footing and fall when wobbling or running around.
Additionally, Croslite, the proprietary closed-cell foam resin used in the manufacture of Crocs, is super soft. As a result, Crocs can easily be sucked into moving clamps of escalators, pulling your children’s feet along with them.
My suggestion? It’s okay for toddlers to wear Crocs when playing at home, building sandcastles on the beach, or splashing in the bathtub. But if you’ll be taking your kids to the mall or any other place where they’ll have to use an escalator, make them wear sneakers or sturdier shoes.
Should My Toddler Wear Crocs?
There is a lot of misinformation about foot development and special shoes for children. In our case, somebody told my wife and me that our son needed custom-made foot orthotics because he had flat feet. The son in question was only three months old.
Of course, I believed the news, which marked the beginning of my little boy’s discomfort. It took us several days to realize—after taking off the shoes—that he could cope without them! Once we realized this, I researched and found a few articles discussing flat feet and arch support on the Internet.
The consensus was that arch support shoes were unnecessary for children younger than 16 months old. After 16 months, your toddler’s feet naturally start to develop arches, and when he’s about six to ten years old, his feet’s arches will be fully formed. Then he’ll need shoes that provide arch support, like Crocs.
That said, I’m not dissuading you from buying Crocs for your kids. After all, they’re made with an ultra-light foam material that allows kids’ feet to breathe, unlike many other shoes. Your children can go hiking, play in them, and look cute. Also, they come in every color imaginable. And finally, since they’re made with soft materials, they won’t hurt your child’s tender little feet.
Are Crocs Safe For Toddlers?
The answer to this question is straightforward: as long Crocs are worn at the pool, yard, playground, or the beach, these shoes are a comfortable—and safe—alternative to more traditional children’s footwear.
However, I won’t advise you to buy Crocs for active or restless kids who always run around. Remember what I said about Crocs’ super spacious toe boxes?
If your child is the active type, buy them shoes that encourage their energetic spirits so they have fun without falling and breaking their cute legs.
Toddlers need shoes that support the rigorousness of their daily activities. This is mainly because they impose a significant amount of stress and pressure on their feet and legs while learning to walk. While Crocs provide considerable support and comfort for your little one, they’re unsuitable for all-day use.
Also, do not let your toddler wear Crocs on escalators. DO NOT. These videos will tell you why:
What Do Podiatrists Think About Crocs for Toddlers?
Podiatrists recommend Crocs as a better option than wearing sandals or flip-flops or going barefoot. These shoes provide some arch support and cushioning and have antimicrobial footbeds which prevent harmful bacteria, fungi, and other disease-causing organisms from infecting your feet. As if that isn’t enough, Crocs have many holes through which air can circulate your precious toes.
Experts say that individuals with foot problems may benefit from wearing these shoes, as their extra-wide toe boxes effectively accommodate foot diseases like bunions and hammertoes.
However, these medical professionals hinted that Crocs clogs aren’t as ideal for toddlers as they are for adults. The expert’s concerns stemmed from the fact that Crocs clogs have open backs, the heel straps aren’t tight enough to keep the feet of an average toddler in place, and the shoes themselves are too wide to provide adequate heel support for a toddler’s rear feet.
Consequently, the kid’s arches might develop properly, so his feet might flatten as he grows older. Flat feet, in turn, will make him vulnerable to a host of foot problems such as hammertoes, bunions, and the feared plantar fasciitis.
And, if your toddler doesn’t walk correctly, any foot problem he experiences could trigger pains in other parts of his body, like his back, hips, and knees.
Benefits of Crocs for Toddlers
Crocs seem like the perfect inexpensive shoes for toddlers—they’re comfortable, flexible, waterproof, and durable. But are there other benefits of Crocs for kids? Yes!
Easy On, Easy Off
While toddlers love stylish shoes, it’s hard for them to learn how to tie their shoelaces at such a young age. Feel like your little one is getting frustrated? Get them Crocs. These shoes don’t have laces or buckles, so your kid can easily slip his feet in and out of them.
Yes, these trendy Crocs will make your toddler feel like he’s walking on a sponge cake. However, before you buy them, remember that they do not offer the same level of support for athletic activities as conventional athletic shoes.
The rugged outsole of these shoes provides unmatched traction in all directions, protecting your little one’s feet from small rocks, stones, and other unforgiving objects.
Crocs enable your kids to get out there and enjoy life—even if they get their feet wet. Whether they’re splashing in a muddy puddle or running through the sprinklers, you can trust that Crocs will dry quickly due to their many holes.
Crocs were invented for use by boaters and other people who spend time near the water, so they have a non-slip tread and are waterproof.
Potential Drawbacks of Crocs for Toddlers
While Crocs are great for many situations, they aren’t perfect. Here’s a list of some of their drawbacks:
Experts recommend wearing Crocs for only about four to five hours at a time. If you want your toddler to wear shoes for an extended period of time, it’s best to choose a pair that offers more stability and support to the foot.
Not Ideal for Physical Activities
Toddlers often learn different physical activities at different rates, and they need shoes that can support their enthusiasm. Unfortunately, the flexibility of Crocs can cause your kid ankle sprains if he wears the shoes while engaging in those activities.
While Crocs may let your kid’s feet breathe, the soles of the shoes are too soft to protect their feet—and without protection, their feet are more likely to be injured while wearing the shoes. Sadly, Crocs can’t withstand the piercing powers of sharp objects such as broken glass or jagged rocks on the ground.
Getting the Right Pair of Crocs
When your child tries out a pair of Crocs, watch out for; how well the shoes conform to the shape of his feet and whether his feet slip from side to side in the shoes or stay out.
For the toddler’s foot to be comfortable, his heel should rest securely without slipping up and down on the heel cup of the shoe. Lastly, the shoe’s arch, top, and side areas should comfortably hug his feet.
Final Thoughts: Pick the Best Shoes for Your Toddler
Crocs are known for their waterproofing, flexibility, and loose-fitting style. However, they are not ideal for toddlers because they slip off easily, tear easily and can cause pain and discomfort. They offer a number of benefits, but also come with some drawbacks.
These shoes are not meant for long walks, so do not wear them for that purpose, as it could lead to potential foot problems.
It would be safer for you to find shoes that protect your toddler’s developing feet. Since his feet are still growing, look for shoes to help him develop arches and a correct walking posture.
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