18 answers

Safe to Use 'Hand-me-down' Shoes?

I read somewhere that using 'hand-me-down' shoes for older infants/toddlers was very bad for their little feet. Does anyone else have any info on this and whether it will shape their feet differently if wearing another kid's shoes?
I just bought alot of second-hand shoes ranging in sizes 3-5.5 and wanted to know if it was ok for me to use them on my 'soon to be lil walker'.
Thanks!

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I used Robeez, or off brand soft shoes for pre-walk stage to keep feet warm. I heard that hard bottom shoes can cause flat feet and make it difficult for a little one to learn to walk. So I think little ones should only wear shoes (hand me down or not) when they're out.

Between me and my 3 sisters we have 15 kids that range from 14-1, so the hand-me-downs move around frequently. I have never had any problems with that. Unless the shoe is so worn that it doesn't look wearable, I wouldn't be concerned with it.

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nah...no kid wears those shoes for more than 6 months, you can tell how worn they are, but I'm guess that if they were in good enough condition to be sold second-hand, they will be fine for your son:) One thing to keep in mind - don't put him in shoes until he walks WELL. Keep him either barefoot or in soft-soled shoes (like Robeez or a store brand version) until he's a good walker. My son didn't need real shoes until size 5.

i am from a large poor family andi know from my experience that a lot of people will tell you alot of different things but trust someone who believes in hand me down and arounds it is not harmful

I and my siblings grew up in second hand shoes, from the time we started wearing shoes until we were old enough to buy our own (unless they were so worn out they weren't safe to wear of course!). All our feet are fine.
I personally have never heard that it's not good for their feet. We use them with neice and pass my sons on to his Dad's other child. I would say if they are in good condition they are safe to use.

I would like to know about this too!

I have always worn hand-me-down shoes even as a child. Check the heels for wear. If rode over pass them. Also run your hand inside and check for the seams of shoes which can and do cause issues also with the insoles. I knew of a girl growing up who hated new shoes and would have another friend wear them for a few weeks to "break them in". I would think the main issue of used shoes would be foot fungus. I still wear hand-me-down shoes. Goodwill is a great place to find them.

This goes along with Krista's response.. I was told that kids feet leave wear patterns in the shoes also, obviously the older they are the more so. I was told from a sales person at Stride Rite that the wrong shoes can cause problems with your child's foot development too. She commented that if they didn't come into the store as a new walker they ended up being referred there later b/c of problems. Was this a salesperson talking? Who knows but I chose to be safe rather then sorry and to get around the expense, I ask for gift cards for holidays, birthdays, etc. On top of that I can't tell what size to put my kids in? I have our kids measured and fitted at a specialty store also and that's how I ever would have known that my son needed a double wide shoe for awhile! They also say to have them measured every 3-4 months.

Good question~!!! My daughter only has hand-me-down shoes. I got to thinking about it...I checked all of her shoes and there aren't any wear patterns on the inside. Does that make sense? There's no indentations or anything where they have formed to someone else's feet. IMO, it they're not worn out or anything they're fine. If you got them at a consignment shop, they're most likely in really good shape. I would just check them to make sure that they are firm on the inside.

Hi K., Like somwone said before I had two sisters and I don't remember wearing each others shoes only because our feet weren't the same size. My feet hurt then and they still hurt. Sometimes now I buy shoes almost new from Ebay. I have got tremendous deals and the only thing I would say just make sure the width is good for them. My kids wore the same baby shoes until they started walking and it did't hurt them any. Good Luck

My mother always said that it would hurt your feet to wear someone else's shoes, but I didn't believe it then, and I don't believe it now. My children have been wearing hand me down shoes all their lives. When my oldest was just learning to walk, I took her and had her foot measured, bought the expensive stride rites, darn near cost a whole week's worth of groceries. Well she wore those shoes less than a month until they wouldn't go on her feet anymore. So that was the last time I did that. If shoes are in good enough shape to be handed down, they weren't worn enough to be any harm to another foot. My little ones only have 2 or 3 pair of shoes, so they do wear them out, but I see other kids with a pair for every outfit, those shoes aren't getting worn out!

I think that infants and toddlers can gain their balance better if they don't have shoes on. My guys are almost always barefoot anyways. I think they only wear shoes when it's bad weather outside or we are in a store. I have heard that infant and 1-2 year olds may take longer to gain their full balance if they wear shoes all the time. I don't know how much of a difference it could really make since we all can walk just fine and I'm sure many of our parents dressed us up in cute little shoes all the time.

ah Kim, don't beleive everything you hear sweetie :)
Same as the above ladies posted..hand me downs travel all over our family. I have a 1 year old nephew who is wearing my 10 year old's baby clothes!
None of my kids or neices or nephews walk like a duck or run like a new born horse so you're good to go, tie the laces, strap the velcro and set baby on his/her way!!
Have a great weekend!
S.

I used Robeez, or off brand soft shoes for pre-walk stage to keep feet warm. I heard that hard bottom shoes can cause flat feet and make it difficult for a little one to learn to walk. So I think little ones should only wear shoes (hand me down or not) when they're out.

It's best not to share shoes. People who have done it will say it's fine, but it really is better not to. Children all have different gaits and wear patterns. You can mess with the development of your child's feet by letting him wear others' shoes. Just think about it. You can buy good shoes on clearance if you're worried about the money. For first walkers, I recommend Pediped or Bobux. Try Zappos.com and see what they have on clearance.

Our ped said any shoes were fine, expensive or cheap (no need to spend big bucks on Stride Rites, etc). I didn't ask about used shoes but my rule of thumb for buying them for my kids is they can't be too worn (for the imprint issue) and I'm more likely to buy dress shoes used than any other kind since no child wears dress shoes all that often before they grow out of them.
When my kids were first walking I bought the Robeez knock-offs at Target for about $15 a pair (which was a splurge for me). They are suede-soled moccassins which are great for inside play (keep socks on and are non-slip). I've also bought a few pair of Robeez used since they're moccasins and can't really get a foot imprint in the foot bed.
HTH-
J.

If they are good shoes they probably aren't that worn. Kids this little grow so fast that they don't really wear their shoes out. Make sure they look OK on the inside.

I used hand-me-down shoes at times with my kids. Their feet are fine. Nothing happened, and I think it is fine to use them for your son too.

D.

I am 31 and have been married for almost 12 yrs. My husband and I have 3 boys ages 10,7, and 4.

I'm going to be the first to post a negative opinion. It is true that you should not use used shoes on your child. Kids feet leave wear patterns in the shoe. Everyone's feet have different wear patterns. It can cause problems with your child's foot development and cause problems as an adult. We have our kids measured and fitted at a specialty store. I'll get one pair there and then look around stores for better buys on additional shoes. There is one pair that I know of that won't conform to kids feet and can be handed down but they are summer shoes. They're called Salt Water sandals. You should do the research online yourself at credible websites from the pros.

Between me and my 3 sisters we have 15 kids that range from 14-1, so the hand-me-downs move around frequently. I have never had any problems with that. Unless the shoe is so worn that it doesn't look wearable, I wouldn't be concerned with it.

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