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My BIL works in physical therapy and he gave us this huge speech about hard-soled shoes and how they can cause leg & feet malformations, postural problems, etc... It's weird because he's usually a pretty laid-back guy but this is a topic he seems to be super passionate about. Anyway, DH actually has problems with his leg/spinal curvature (not anything too severe but enough that he was medically exempt from mandatory military service in his home country), so he takes it pretty seriously.
Right now, Marcos is barefoot in the house although once in a while if he wears a pair of socks that don't have a grip underneath, I'll put on some soft-soled shoes so that he doesn't slip when he pulls himself against the furniture. Once he starts walking, I'll probably get him a pair of hard-soled shoes to wear outside, and the rest of his indoor shoes will be soft-soled and/or slippers.
he's barefoot pretty much all the time now, but he's getting blisters on the bottom of his big toes so I need to put socks with grips on him more at home (hard floors). He has some shoes packed away, but doesnt wear them yet. When he starts walking around outside, we'll get shoes out for that, but he'll still be barefoot most of the time.
I don't think they even sell hard soled shoes in smaller sizes here, I haven't seen hard soled in anything smaller than a 4 (for reference, as our sizes are different, Audrey currently wears a 0).
We have shoes for the purpose of keeping socks on. It's very cold and wet here at the moment, and she has developed a habit of pulling off her socks and throwing them in puddles at the bus stop. Shoes solves that problem. When she figures out how to undo Velcro I will need a new plan of attack though.