Through research and testing, Stride Rite Children’s Group learned that babies’ first steps help shape their walking gait into adulthood. Stride Rite commissioned a multiphase biomechanics study at the Leon Root, M.D. Motion Analysis Laboratory at Hospital for Special Surgery to better understand the effects of footwear at the important learning-to-walk stage of a child’s development. This study is the most in-depth research conducted on children’s footwear by Stride Rite and within the industry to date. The first phase of the study analyzed qualitative and quantitative measurements of babies’ gait, plantar pressure and the ability to negotiate different obstacles. Early findings indicate that in order to develop a healthy walking pattern, first walkers need shoes that allow them to feel and grip the surface beneath them, as well as distribute their weight properly to keep their balance. “Stride Rite’s investment in the continual pursuit of enhanced knowledge about growing feet is unparalleled in the industry. We are excited to be the only children’s footwear company to commission a study to analyze children’s movement patterns and stability on a variety of terrains,” said Pamela Salkovitz, president of Stride Rite Children’s Group. “Key learnings of the study have enabled us to develop the SRT collection. Its technology, comfort and style make it the ideal shoe for new walkers.” The SRT collection, which is available this fall, is made with patent-pending Sensory Response Technology™ (SRT™). This revolutionary children’s footwear technology improves the way a child learns to walk via a sensory feedback system, an ultra-flexible design that allows for more freedom of movement, and a unique construction that reduces the number of stumbles and falls. Shoes in the SRT collection are also designed to make baby comfortable. They feature moisture-wicking linings, which help keep babies’ feet drier longer, and eco-friendly materials such as a recycled EVA heel cup and a partially recycled outsole to protect baby and baby’s future environment. A great feature for mom and dad is a removable insole containing a Fit Check™ system that easily let’s them know when it is time to see a fit specialist. Mom or dad just removes the insole and places baby’s foot on it. If baby’s toes pass the Fit Check™ line, then it’s time to visit Stride Rite and see a fit specialist.