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The Best Shoes for Toddlers – Learn About the Best Shoe Styles for Your Toddler!


Editor’s Note: This post has been updated and revised for accuracy on February 2022 and reflects an up-to-date selection of the best shoes for toddlers.

Have you been looking for a pair of supportive, lightweight, and breathable shoes for your toddler? Did you know that the shoes that you choose to provide for your toddler play a key role in keeping their feet and legs healthy?

There is one important fact you must remember: Toddlers should go barefoot as often as possible to promote healthy foot development,  good balance, posture and coordination. However, shoes play a key role in keeping their feet and legs healthy when you start taking them outside.

I have noticed that most toddlers start to walk anywhere between 8 and 18 months of age. That’s an exciting time for every parent, but you need to keep in mind that your toddler’s first walking shoes are critical in form and fit, and they will play a key role in keeping your toddler’s feet and legs healthy.

Most toddlers tend to have wide or extra wide feet, so it’s important that your toddlers’ shoes are capable of fitting the shape of your child’s feet.

What Makes the Shoes I Recommend for Toddlers Special?

There are actually 2 other key features that the shoes I recommend provide that makes them the best choice for toddlers:

✅ Extra Depth: This feature allows your toddler’s feet to fit deeply inside the shoes and prevents the top part of your toddler’s feet from rubbing against the top part of the shoes. Shoes that provide extra depth also prevent toddlers from getting blisters on their toes, by preventing the top part of your toddler’s toes from rubbing against the top front part of the shoes. Let me show you the difference between a shoe that provides extra depth and one that doesn’t:


✅ Rounder Toe-Boxes: Shoes with round toe-boxes help prevent your toddler’s toes from rubbing against the side of the shoes or overlapping one another. Let me show you the difference between a pair of shoes that provides a rounder toe-box versus one that doesn’t:


I always recommend parents to take their kids to their local children’s shoe store where a shoe fitter can properly measure their feet and find shoes accordingly. The issue is that most local children’s shoe stores have been closing down, and parents are left with big retailers such as Nordstrom’s or Payless, which have staff who don’t know how to properly fit shoes.

How to Retrieve Your Child’s Exact Foot Length and Shape

The reason why I mention this is because I have helped hundreds of children that were experiencing foot and leg pain due to wearing the wrong pair of shoes that were fitted from those stores. I have been contacted by several parents explaining to me how they don’t have a local shoe store in their area and must get their kids’ shoes online. If you are one of those parents, start by reading a post I wrote where I describe the best way to make sure your child is wearing the correct shoe size:

How to Measure Your Kids’ Foot – 2 Simple Steps to Determine Foot Length and Foot Width

In that article I help parents determine their child’s exact foot size and whether the child has narrow, medium, wide, or extra wide feet. I also will be able to tell you whether your child has a high instep or not.

Before I describe the best shoes for toddlers, I wanted to answer a couple of common questions parents have asked me about their toddler’s feet.


Are You Worried About Your Toddler’s Feet? – Keep A Close Eye!

One common question parents have when it comes to their toddler’s feet is whether they have flat feet or not.

That most toddlers are flat-footed when they first start walking. Most of them tend to turn their feet inwards, because muscle strength and ligament stiffness need to catch up to other development. However, the flat-footedness nearly always improves as they keep growing up.

My Experience Fitting Children’s Shoes

I have been working for a children’s shoe store for over 10 years now, and I have helped hundreds of toddlers who were walking with their feet or legs turning inwards to walk and run straighter. The correct type of shoes and the correct type of orthotics can have a huge impact in the way your toddler walks and runs, and they are also effective in reducing or fully eliminating any pain they might be experiencing.


Let’s check out some of the symptoms you must take into consideration if you are worried about your toddler’s feet or walking gait. Problematic symptoms may include:

  • The toddler complains of pain while walking.
  • Ingrown toenails (that persist or are painful).
  • Bunions or other deformities.
  • Stiffness in the foot.
  • Severe in-toeing or out-toeing.
  • Flat feet beyond the age of five years.
  • If your child isn’t walking at all by two years of age.

But, we don’t have to worry about that now. However, if you think your child might be a candidate for orthotics, start by reading a post I wrote where I describe the best orthotics for toddlers with flat feet:

Toddler’s Orthotics – The Best Orthotics for Your Child!


The shoes that you choose for your toddler’s feet play a key role in keeping their feet and legs healthy. Every time a family comes to the shoe store with their toddlers I feel a great responsibility in finding the perfect pair of shoes, because those parents are putting their trust in me.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at the best shoes for toddlers. Disclosure: Keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases.

The Best Toddler’s Shoes ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

These shoes are available in medium (M), wide (W), and extra wide (XW).

What Shoe Size Should You Order?

In each of the descriptions of the shoes I indicate whether you need to order a half a size or a whole size bigger than your child’s foot size to provide the correct amount of growing room.

Keeping Your Toddler’s Feet Healthy – Don’t Forget About the Socks!

Most parents allow their toddlers to wear their shoes without socks, as toddlers can get pretty fussy about wearing socks. Keep in mind that socks act as a barrier between your toddler’s feet and the shoes, and prevent the buildup of bacteria inside the shoes.

While I can’t get into too much detail about the importance of socks in this article, I wrote another post that explains everything that you need to know about children’s socks and you can find it here:

The Importance of Wearing Socks – Grippers or No Grippers?

Have you ever heard of seamless socks? They are really important specially if your child can’t stand the feeling of socks, and that feature will also prevent your kids’ toes from overlapping each other, this is also really important specially if your child has wide or extra wide feet. If you have a child that refuses to wear socks because he/she feels every lump and bump, you should also take a look at another post I wrote where I describe the best seamless socks for kids.

Seamless Socks for Kids – Stop the Struggle of Putting Socks On!

What Features Must a Good Shoe Provide? – Support and Stability!

There are the most important features that the shoes I recommended provide:

✅ Support: The shoes are lightweight and flexible, but at the same time supportive to minimize the impact their feet receive every time they become in contact with the ground.

✅ Firm heel counter: This feature provides your toddler with good ankle support. This is especially important for toddlers as most of the time they are performing lateral movements.

✅ Lightweight/Flexible: The shoes are lightweight and flexible for your child’s feet and legs to not become tired easily.

✅ Traction: This is also really important since you don’t want your toddlers slipping and falling, especially when they are walking around slippery surfaces.

✅ Breathable: To prevent the build of bacteria and prevent foot odor, the shoes must be breathable.

Now that you know about the importance of properly fitted shoes and socks, you are ready to make the most informed decision.

Are Any Other Shoe Choices Available?

Do not hesitate to contact me directly via my e-mail if you have any further questions or if you need a different pair of shoes for your toddler. My e-mail address is:


Have you found a particular shoe style for your toddler that has worked well for his or her feet? Please share your findings below so other families can benefit from your experiences.


I created this webpage to help parents understand the importance that shoes have in healthy foot development and how they can prevent foot problems in the future.Join the rest of the parents who are taking care of their kids feet and get my guide for free: 10 Mistakes Parents Must Avoid When Buying Shoes for their Kids.

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