School uniform. Check
School bag. Check
School hat. Check
Lunch box. Check
School shoes - not required. What??
As a child, my Bib hated shoes. We'd put them on, she'd take them off. We'd get her dressed, pop her in the car and by the time we got to our destination, her shoes and socks were long gone. She was just one of those kids. Mostly it didn't phase me, cause I do prefer barefoot myself and we do have a no shoes in the house rule, but there are times when you just have to wear shoes and look like someone loves you!
"the best foot development occurs when children go barefoot and it's important to remember that the primary role of shoes is to protect the foot from injury and infection. Shoes that are stiff and compressive can cause deformity, weakness and loss of mobility - children should be barefoot as much as possible under the age of 12 for healthy foot development" - Leading Podiatrist Bronwyn Cooper with an expertise in footwear.
When Bib first started school we headed out to find a pair of school shoes that would support her foot for the 6 hours/5 days a week she was going to be wearing them, hopefully last the year and NOT cost the earth. We were recommended Clarks (like all Aussie kids are!) but it turns out Bib's foot is not from the original cast mould and Clarks don't actually make a shoe to fit her? Ahhhh. Luckily we found an English shoe company that caters for the 'wider' foot and $130 later, she has shoes! So much for the not cost the earth!
So, for the last 2 years, every morning Bib has been getting ready for school. Get dressed, shoes and socks on, suncream, hat, brush teeth, brush hair and we're out the door. Normal right.
Then we get to NZ, and we're told shoes are optional? What does that mean? Optional? Do I need to buy a pair or not? Apparently not. There are kids walking to school in sandals, crocs, runners, and then others in nothing at all. Perhaps it the strong Polynesian influence in NZ, I'm not sure but I have to say it feels weird!
As you can imagine, my Bib is in Heaven! She's LOVING the freedom. The fact she can run around with NO shoes simply makes her smile. It almost feels a bit naughty for her I think :)
So when I came across these 'barefoot sandles', I simply knew I had to buy them. I knew my little barefoot gypsy girl would LOVE these. And she did. They are now her most favourite pair of shoes and she's even allowed to wear them to school. Imagine her smile now!!
No matter how old you are, the right shoe can be the difference between happy, healthy feet and absolute misery! Wouldn't you agree?