This paper takes a large sample of shodless people and compares the occurrences of foot ailments that affect most of us.
I found this very interesting as I have grown a space between my forst two toes as my feet get stronger. "Almost everyone surveyed showed a marked spacing between the first and second toes such as that found on young babies. The great toe was either pointing straight ahead or slightly abducted to provide a greater weight-bearing base or, possibly, to compensate for a shortened first metatarsal segment."
For Children: But it is strongly urged that all children go barefoot from birth until they walk outside of their own homes. Baby shoes cause great harm to growing, formative feet. The so-called "sentimental" value of baby's shoes might well be dispensed with. When necessary, large loose socks will provide all the warmth needed during winter months in the home, even on cold linoleum floors. Strong, sturdy feet need to be developed naturally through the uninhibited normal exercises of crawling, playing and the first months of walking. Neither should the child be encouraged or aided to begin walking by supporting him by his arms or by wheeled baby-walkers. The child will walk when it is physically able, there being no standard age at which it should begin. Overzealous parents should be cautioned in this respect. Remember, a kitten learning to walk is unaided and very clumsy but soon develops into a sure-footed, graceful animal. Remember, too, that a child who had developed a strong, well-formed pair of feet by going barefoot the first few years of its life will not thereafter tolerate shoes that fit badly. When shoes are finally necessary they should be pliable and have ample toe room. Only feet that are weak need supportive rigid shanks.Article Here