As an ex-shoe shop manager, I have a thing about shoes. For starters, I love them! I have always owned far too many (much to the husband’s dismay) and I have always been drawn to great quality over cheap, throwaway items and gorgeous designs will get me every time. So, when my first child, Jake, began to walk it was inevitable that I would want well-fitting shoes, which would protect his feet, allow for growth and last. I am an advocate of good foot health and ensuring that your child’s feet are well-looked after from day one which is why he has never been put in anything that may jeopardise this.
Fast forward 4 years and we are now at the first steps stage with my second child, William, who has decided to be exactly like his brother and thinks walking before crawling is a must! Sigh… I thought I may get at least one calm child.
Anyway, he has been taking steps with us holding him up for a couple of months now (yes, he is only 7 months) and with his constant wriggling to go down when we are outside it has meant that I’ve had to be careful about where he could go in order to protect his little feet. And this heatwave certainly hasn’t helped because the ground has just been far too hot in some places for him to go down. So, I needed a solution.
I didn’t want to spend a fortune (two children will make you more money-savvy!), I wasn’t yet looking for proper shoes as they would just be too heavy and hot but I also didn’t want something cheaply made which could damage his feet. My shoe fitting/health knowledge means I am very aware that barefoot is best and this was probably something I would say the most in my previous career to those first-time parents shopping for their baby’s shoes. It can be very easy to get swept along with the fashions and ‘cutesy’ looks but if you can do without a shoe, you are doing what is best for your little one. Of course, in some instances, this isn’t possible (as I mentioned above) and Dotty Fish have come up with a range that takes everything surrounding child foot health into consideration.
Shoes for young babies and children need to be:
- flexible so feet can move naturally.
- lightweight allowing for natural ankle, knee and hip movement
- wide around the toes to allow feet to spread when standing.
- thin soled so children’s toes can grip the floor in the same way as if they were barefoot.
- a snug fit so they don’t come off without restricting movement or growth
- made from a breathable material as baby’s feet sweat 2-3 times more than adult’s feet
Dotty Fish Website
We were asked to review a pair from their gorgeous range and we chose these stunning grey, star sandals:
The Dotty Fish shoes are all made from a soft leather upper and suede sole and come delivered in this protective organza bag. They are also suede inside which makes it incredibly soft against the baby’s delicate skin. The elasticated band in the top of the shoe means they stay on without causing pressure or irritation to your baby’s ankle.
Did I mention that the range has been created after working closely with The London Podiatry Centre?
“We worked with The London Podiatry Centre, one of the most advanced podiatric centres in the world, who have cutting-edge gait analysis equipment and specialise in paediatric podiatry. The results were fantastic and really helped reinforce our belief in the benefits of wearing a less structured shoe. One that allows a child new to walking to develop these skills naturally.”
The sizes are offered in ages but, obviously, every baby is different so you will need to take this into consideration before ordering. The website does offer a sizing guide although I wouldn’t get too hung up over getting it spot on. I chose 6-12 months for William (even though he was premature and should have been 5 months at the time of ordering) because his feet are quite long anyway plus he has plenty of puppy fat on them!
On arrival, I went into ‘shoe shop mode’ and checked the fit by seeing:
If there was any growing room– there was
How the width was– a little wide but as he isn’t walking properly it isn’t going to cause a rubbing issue
How well they stayed on– perfectly
And looked at how comfortable he was in them– all shoes are going to take getting used to, especially when it is the first pair
The Dotty Fish shoes are very lightweight which has meant that William could lift his feet with ease, even if it did take some practice to be able to walk in them. They also provide extra grip, which barefoot won’t do on all surfaces especially if you have tiled or laminate flooring in your home. But the main pro for me was that we could allow him to walk on the hot paths and patio caused by the weather at the moment… and will, of course, come in very handy once the rain eventually returns!
Overall these little Dotty Fish shoes have been perfect for William’s needs at the moment. They are comfortable, protect his feet and are easy to pop into his changing bag to come out everywhere with us. With such a cute range, and affordable prices (starting from £8.99) I think I may be purchasing more pairs in the future!
*We were sent the Dotty Fish sandals in exchange for this review. As always, opinions remain honest and my own. For further information please refer to my disclosure page.
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