Hi. I'm new here. I was unaware of this until I visited her just recently. My nephew is 8 now, and his mom only lets him wear these special orthopedic sandals to school and other places where shoes are required. - although she'd rather him be barefoot... He doesn't have any foot problems or anything, but as a baby and toddler, my sister was fanatical about him not wearing shoes, over concern for his feet developing properly, and attaining correct balance and flexibility, etc. She showed me several articles by different pediatric orthopedists. The articles made a strong point, and convinced me she was doing right, but that was back when he was 2 ½ years old. I had no idea she was still continuing with it now that he's 8, though, and it also surprises me, because she wouldn't be caught out of her house without her shoes... He hates having to wear sandals to school when the other boys are all into and wearing the latest tennis shoes, etc. They fight and argue over his protests and complaining about not being able to wear his tennis shoes to school. She has several pair of these non slip grip socks that she makes him wear when she takes him with her shopping and places. It's what she made him put on in the van before going into mcdonalds, one time when I was with them. They fought then, and I could tell he was embarrassed for having to wear them. We then went to wal-mart and the mall, and he just wore those socks. She's real defensive about it, and I couldn't really do any good by talking to her about it. I feel so bad for him... Any advice?