The Best Shoes for Babies Learning How to Walk – Allow Them to Take Those First Step with Confidence!
Are you looking for the perfect pair of first walking shoes for your baby? Did you know that certain first walking shoes come with sensory pods on the bottom that can help your baby take those first steps with more confidence? I have put together a list of the best shoes for babies learning how to walk, and the shoes can fit different foot shapes such as medium, wide, or extra wide feet.
From the day your baby starts crawling around the corner of your living room to the day that your baby starts taking those first few steps, it is important to consider the shoes you will provide for your little walker.
Is Your Baby Ready to Wear Shoes?
Babies who are learning how to walk only need to wear shoes when you take them to the playground or pre-school. However, when you are at home, your baby doesn’t need to wear shoes to allow for healthy foot development. Several pediatricians and physical therapists who refer their patients to the children’s shoe store that I work for agree with this.
You should also consider that most babies have wide or extra wide feet, so it’s important that you find shoes that are wide enough to prevent your baby from developing foot issues such as blisters or corns.
Please note that babies wiggle their toes as a way of exercising their feet, so it’s extremely important that you provide your baby with shoes that don’t constrict toe movement.
7 Key Features that Your Babies’ Shoes Must Provide
1️⃣ Flexible Soles: If you grab your baby’s shoes you should be able to bend the front part of the shoe up about 50 degrees easily. Please keep in mind that a baby doesn’t have the strength to bend a harder sole.
2️⃣ Sensory Pods: It’s important for your baby’s shoes to provide good traction to prevent your baby from losing balance, slipping and falling. Sensory pods allow the baby’s feet to feel the ground and feel more stable when walking.
3️⃣ 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 and other foot issues.
4️⃣ Breathable: Babies’ feet sweat up to 2-3 times more than an adult’s. The shoes that you provide for your baby must allow air in and allow moisture out since this will help your baby’s feet stay dry, cool and healthy.
5️⃣ Oversized Openings: For parents to not have to struggle every time they have to put their babies’ shoes on, the shoes must open up widely.
6️⃣ Rounder Toe-Boxes: This feature helps prevent your babies’ toes from overlapping against one another or rubbing against the side of the shoes. Let me show you the difference between a pair of baby shoes that provides a round toe-box versus one that doesn’t:
7️⃣ Extra Depth: Shoes that provide extra depth allow the baby’s feet to sit deeply inside the shoes and prevent the top part of the feet (instep) from rubbing against the top part of the shoes. This feature also prevents blisters by preventing the top part of your baby’s toes from rubbing against the top front part of the shoes. Let me show you the difference between a baby shoe that provides extra depth versus one that doesn’t:
Most Common Questions Parents Ask About their Baby’s Shoes
When you are shopping for your baby’s shoes, it is easy to become confused by a universe of sophisticated shoe brands. However, keep in mind that babies grow at such a rapid rate that everything they own is basically disposable. Wise parents know what the right questions to ask themselves when shopping for their babies’ shoes:
1️⃣ Are they easy to put on?
2️⃣ Do they come with sensory pods?
3️⃣ Do they seem comfortable?
4️⃣ Are they wide enough for my child’s feet?
What Is the Best Shoe Material for Babies?
Your baby’s first walking shoes should be made out of leather to allow your child’s feet to breathe properly. Materials such as leather and canvas are ideal because they are sturdy, breathable and flexible at the same time.
Leather shoes will mold to the shape of your child’s feet and soften with wear, which is ideal for an active, growing foot. When choosing shoes for your little one, try avoiding plastic materials because the shoes will not breathe or stretch and will worsen sweaty feet. Besides making your babies’ feet sweat more, plastic can create other foot issues such as blisters, calluses, and corns.
I only write reviews of shoe styles that I have fitted before, otherwise, I wouldn’t know how well-made they are, the amount of support that they provide, and how they fit. Disclosure: Keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases.
The Best Shoes for Babies Learning How to Walk
Below you can find a selection of the best shoes for babies who are learning how to walk. Keep in mind that all of these shoe styles are available in wide (W) and extra wide widths (XW), so please make sure that you choose your baby’s shoe width accordingly.
What Shoe Size Should You Order for Your Baby?
In each of the descriptions of the shoes, I indicate whether you need to order a half size or a whole size bigger than your child’s foot size to provide the correct amount of growing room.
*A half a size bigger translates to 3/16 of an inch or 0.4 centimeters of space between your child’s longest toe and the end of the shoes.
*A whole size bigger translates to 3/8 of an inch or 0.8 centimeters of space between your child’s longest toe and the end of the shoes.
Parents need to make sure that they provide their babies with the correct shoe size, not too large or too small. Shoes that are too small hinder the proper growth of the foot, diminishing blood circulation, causing painful blisters, ingrown toenails, calluses, corns, and many other foot problems. Shoes that are too large might prevent your baby from maintaining grip on the ground properly, compromising your baby’s stability.
This leads me to this next question: Are you 100% sure of your baby’s foot size? You won’t be able to order the correct shoe size if you don’t know your baby’s foot size to begin with.
How to Retrieve Your Baby’s Exact Foot Length and Shape
I always recommend parents take their babies to be properly fitted for their first pair of walking shoes at their local children’s shoe store that they trust, especially when it comes to fitting their first pair of shoes.
The issue is that not all parents have a good fitting children’s shoe store in their area. That is the reason why I decided to create a resource where I describe the best fitting children’s shoe stores by state.
Find Out How to Order the Correct Baby Shoe Size Online
If after looking at that resource you still can’t seem to find a kids’ shoe store in your area, then proceed to read an article I created where I describe the simplest, yet most effective way to figure out your baby’s foot size from home.
In that article, I help parents determine their baby’s exact foot size and whether the baby has narrow, medium, wide, or extra wide feet. I also will be able to tell you whether your baby has a high instep or not.
The Best Baby Socks – Seamless and Breathable!
Babies’ feet tend to sweat a lot, about 2 to 3 times more than adult feet. This is one reason why kids’ shoes wear down faster than those of adults. However, sweat is not a concern only for the durability of the shoes but also for the health of your babies’ feet.
Sweaty feet are vulnerable to foot fungus, rashes and infections.
The type of socks that you provide for your babies play a key role in preventing their feet from sweating so much. You must look for breathable materials to allow the feet to breathe properly. Look for seamless socks since they won’t constrict toe movement and they will prevent your babies’ toes from overlapping one another.
I have put together a selection of the best baby socks that I have fitted before:
The foot is a complicated structure comprised of 26 bones designed to provide support for the entire body, to adjust to uneven surfaces and to absorb shock with every step. Babies’ feet contain more cartilage than bones. Though the feet are likely to develop completely by the age of 2, the bones don’t fully develop and harden entirely until around your child’s 18th birthday.
You should have your baby’s shoes professionally fitted – which should include measuring each foot for length and width. Try updating their shoe size every 3 months as children’s feet grow very rapidly. Always make sure your baby’s shoes are not too tight since tight shoes can alter your child’s gait and cause ingrown toenails or bunions.
Watching your baby take his or her first steps is probably one of the happiest and proudest moments that a parent cherishes for a lifetime — though things do get a little more hectic once your kiddos are mobile!
Are Any Other Shoe Choices Available?
Do not hesitate to contact me directly at my e-mail if you have any further questions or if you need a different pair of shoes for your baby. My e-mail address is:
Have you found a particular first walking shoe style that has worked well for your baby, who is learning how to walk? Please share your findings below so other parents can benefit from your experiences.