Best Baby Shoes for New Walkers in 2024 – Lightweight, Flexible, and with Sensory Pods
If you are reading this article, the following is likely true:
- Your baby is cruising and attempting to take his or her first steps
- You know how important it is for new walkers to wear the correct types of shoes
I will provide you with a list of the best baby shoes for new walkers based on my 10 years of shoe fitting experience.
Let’s get started!
Should Babies Wear Shoes or Go Barefoot at Home?
I want to start by clarifying that the best thing you can do for a baby who is learning how to walk is to allow him/her to go barefoot at home. This is best in terms of promoting healthy foot development.
Your baby’s feet aren’t fully developed yet, and learning how to grip the floors and coordinate their steps with little or no support will help with balance and coordination.
When Should Parents Get Babies their First Pair of Walking Shoes?
Shoes come into play when you start taking your baby outside, and their main purpose is to protect your baby’s feet. You don’t want your baby to step on unsafe terrain, broken glass, or sharp rocks.
I am passionate about fitting children’s shoes as I truly believe that the correct type of shoes can be life changing. Children’s feet are constantly developing, and what happens to their feet during their childhood will affect their physique as they grow older.
Parents need to understand that not all babies can wear all shoes. You might be limited by the types of shoe brands and shoe styles that your baby can wear based on your baby’s foot shape.
Are Shoes Going to Help Your Baby Walk?
No, providing your baby with a pair of shoes won’t speed up or make the learning process any easier. Children learn to walk by gripping their toes on the ground, that’s why it’s so important to allow them to go barefoot. When they go outside the shoes should come with sensory pods, as that feature allows babies to “feel” the ground. I will expand on this shortly.
First Walking Shoes: 3 Important Factors to Consider
1️⃣ Make sure that the shoes fit correctly: I have noticed that a lot of families waste a lot of time and energy trying to figure out what first walking shoes work better than others. Yes, it’s important to find shoes that are lightweight and flexible, but fit should always be your number one priority. If the shoes don’t fit the shape of your baby’s feet, your baby won’t get any of the benefits that the shoes have to offer. What’s even worse, you might create foot issues such as blisters or corns.
2️⃣ Sensory Pods: This is one of the most important features your baby’s shoe should provide. Sensory pods allow babies to feel the ground, which helps them feel more stable and confident when taking those first steps. Shoes with sensory pods also help prevent your baby from losing balance, slipping and falling.
3️⃣ Lightweight and Flexible Soles: Babies lack the strength to bend a harder sole, so before you purchase a pair of first walking shoes for your baby, grab your baby’s shoes and try bending the sole – you should be able to bend the shoe up about 50 degrees easily.
My Favorite Shoe Brands for First Walking Shoes
My go-to shoe brands for babies who are learning how to walk are:
- Stride Rite
- See Kai Run
Why Robeez Didn’t Make My List?
Robeez is one of the most well-known shoe brands for babies, as their shoes are made out of the softest leathers and they are also both flexible and durable. However, Robeez are a leather covering for babies’ feet, and won’t provide enough protection when you take your baby to walk outside.
What Makes the Baby Shoes I Recommend Ideal for First Walkers?
The baby shoes that I recommend provide 4 important features that makes them ideal for new walkers:
1️⃣ Sensory Pods As I mentioned before, sensory pods allow the baby’s feet to feel the ground and feel more stable when walking.
2️⃣ Flexible Soles: You should be able to bend the front part of your baby’s shoes up about 50 degrees easily. Remember that a baby doesn’t have the strength to bend a harder sole.
3️⃣ Wider Opening: For parents to not have to struggle every time they have to put their babies’ shoes on, the shoes must open up widely.
4️⃣ Extra Padding: Your baby’s shoes need to come well-padded on the heel and around the ankles to minimize rubbing, and on the bottom inside for comfort. This helps prevent the formation of blisters.
Where Can You Find Baby Shoes that Provide these Important Features?
You can visit your local shoe store or buy them online. I strongly suggest that you take your baby to your specialized local shoe store to be properly fitted for shoes.
If you prefer to shop online you must be 100% sure of your baby’s foot length and shape. Keep in mind that your baby’s foot shape and size might change quickly, so it’s important that you measure your baby’s feet regularly.
Find Out How to Properly Order Your Baby’s Shoes Online
Do you know whether your baby’s feet are narrow, medium, wide, or extra wide? Do you know whether your baby has a high instep or not? Most babies who I helped at the shoe store had either wide or extra wide feet, as they were carrying some baby fat.
To prevent you from wasting time and money by having to return the shoes back and forth, it’s important that you know your baby’s exact foot length and shape. Your baby’s foot shape won’t translate to your baby’s actual shoe size (as shoes can fit true to size, short, or long), but I will tell you how each shoe style fits so you can adjust the final shoe size that you order.
Now that you know your baby’s exact foot length and shape, let’s take a look at the best baby shoes for new walkers in 2024. Disclosure: Some links in this post may be affiliate links and we may receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you) when you click our links and make purchases. This allows us to create free content and resources for many families around the world.
Best Baby Shoes for New Walkers in 2024
Take a look at the description below each shoe image to find out whether that shoe can fit babies with medium, wide, or extra wide feet. All of the shoes that I recommend below will protect your baby’s feet while allowing them to develop in their own natural way.
Looking for Other Shoe Recommendations? – Get a Personalized Suggestion
Let me know if you are looking for your baby’s first pair of walking shoes to be made of a specific color or a specific material and I will help you find them:
Is Your Baby Refusing to Keep the Shoes On?
Usually, the issue might be an incorrect fit. The shoes might be either too short or too narrow.
How Fast Can Babies Outgrow their Shoes?
Even when you provide your baby with the correct amount of growing room, you can expect to replace the shoes every 3 to 3 1/2 months.
The Final Fitting
The best-fitting baby walking shoes promote healthy feet by allowing them to develop on their own and protect them from injury. Please remember that the shoes must fit your baby’s feet perfectly.
Shoes that are too short or too narrow might make your baby’s toes rub or overlap against one another or the side of the shoes. On the other hand, shoes that are too long or too wide might compromise your baby’s stability and make your baby more prone to stumbles and falls.
Let me know in the comment section below if you have a favorite shoe brand or style that worked well for your baby’s feet!