Have you been looking for a good pair of baby shoes for your baby that is learning how to walk? Do you feel like you are always limited to certain shoe brands such as Stride Rite or Pediped?
Stride Rite remains one of the most popular shoe brands for babies that are learning how to walk, but several parents have contacted me wanting to know if there are any other shoe brands that will work for their babies.
One popular question I often get asked at the children’s shoe store that I work for is: Should babies that are learning how to walk wear shoes that are lightweight and flexible or substantial and rigid?
A child that is learning how to walk (unlike older children or adults) lacks the body weight (strength) to bend a harder sole. That is the main reason why baby shoes must be so soft, lightweight and flexible!
I have been fitting children’s shoes and orthotics for the last 10 years, working for a specialized children’s shoe store that specializes in children with foot and leg problems, but we provide regular shoe fittings as well. It’s important for us to carry top quality shoes that are available in different widths, since that’s the only way that we can guarantee to fit every single child.
When children are learning how to walk they use their toes to sense the ground and this provides them with confidence and balance. This is the main reason why the shoes that we provide for them must allow the foot to bend naturally so it gives our children a barefoot feeling. It’s important for your baby shoes to provide sensory pods to allow them to feel the ground underneath them.
I have been fitting a children’s shoe brand named Wobbly Waddlers and I have been really happy with how well-made the shoes are and how they fit. From a fitting standpoint, I love all the features that the shoes provide, and parents love the way they look. This shoe brand is the best alternative to Stride Rite first walker shoes.
Let me tell you a little bit more about what makes this shoe brand so special.
Their shoes feature a flexible rubber sole that allows the baby to feel the ground under his or her feet. This technology and design ensure that the shoes are not overly rigid, and allow the foot to bend naturally with each step, improving ankle strength and balance. This is as close as a baby can get that barefoot feeling, while still having the protection needed when playing outside.
As consumers we are more conscious on our purchases and recognize the power we have to create a positive influence to the people that make the things we use. Wobbly Waddlers brand is owned by a local mom and dad inspired to build a better world for their kids. The shoes are artisan made, using locally sourced materials, making sure that our shoemakers earn fair wages, competitive benefits and work in a safe and healthy environment.
These shoes are also made of genuine leather, which is a great feature since the shoe will mold to the shape of you babies’ feet.
Wobbly Waddlers rubber soles also ensure better grip on any slippery surfaces. This shoe won’t be recommended for a toddler that has pronation or any other kind of orthopedic symptoms as it’s too soft.
Please keep in mind that I always recommend to parents to allow their babies to go barefoot at home when they are learning how to walk, in order to promote healthy foot development. A shoe comes into play for when you take your baby to play outside.
Let me show you a selection of the best first walking shoes for babies made by the shoe brand Wobbly Waddlers. Let’s first learn about what features a first pair of walking shoes must provide and how you can make sure that you provide your baby with the correct shoe size.
What Features Must a First Walking Shoe Provide? – Let’s Find Out!
It’s important for parents to understand that they must provide their babies with the correct type of shoes if they want to keep their feet and legs healthy, especially during the early years, where development is very important.
A shoe for a first walker must provide the following features:
- Rounded soles for balance.
- Flexibility for natural movement.
- Oversize opening for easy-on.
- Secure closure to keep shoes on.
- Wide rounded toe box to prevent your babies to from overlapping each other.
- Made out of genuine leather since children’s feet perspire more than an adult foot.
The shoes must also be able to fit the babies’ foot shape perfectly, meaning that the shoes should be deep (so your babies feet sit deeply inside the shoe), and they must be able to accommodate a wide or an extra wide foot.
Can we find a pair of first walker shoes with all of those features? Yes! I have fitted them before and you can take a look at the pictures below which will allow you to visually see the features of the shoe.
The first picture shows you how flexible the shoes are:
The second picture shows how nice and wide the shoes open up so you can easily put the shoes on your babies’ feet:
The two following pictures describe some further features of the shoe:
That is the most popular shoe style of the Nature line for boys. Below you can take a look at some pictures of a similar shoe style but for girls:
Why Do Parents Tend To Choose Stride Rite for Their Babies?
Stride Rite remains the to-go shoe brand for babies that are learning how to walk due to their large selection of baby shoes.
One of the reasons why Stride Rite shoes are so popular is that they are available in different widths such as medium, wide, and extra wide, guaranteeing to fit any type of baby’s feet, no matter their shape.
I have good news for you, The Natura line of the shoe company Wobbly Waddlers will also fit a child with a wide or an extra wide foot, and the shoes will provide all the important features mentioned above.
IMPORTANT TIP: Most babies have wide or extra wide feet.
There is one thing I want you to keep in mind. It doesn’t matter how many features a particular shoe style has to provide for your baby, if it’s not fitted properly, your baby won’t get any of the benefits that the shoes have to offer.
So start by reading an article I wrote where I describe the simplest, yet most effective way to make sure that your child is wearing the correct shoe size Go to the link below:
Keep in mind that I always recommend parents to take their babies to be properly fitted for shoes at their local children’s shoe store, where a shoe fitter can properly measure their feet and find shoes that FIT. But if you are one of those parents who must purchase their kids’ shoes online, that article will explain you everything you need to know.
Wobbly Waddlers Shoes for Babies ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
I have fitted several different children’s shoe brands and you might be wondering why I recommend this shoe brand in particular. I really value the fact that their shoes come with a built-in leather insole that provides contouring comfort and support. This doesn’t mean that the shoes come with too much structure, since babies don’t need a supportive shoes, especially when they are learning how to walk.
This leather insole is very soft and will help to distribute body weight equally over your baby entire foot ensuring comfort in each step and will help release pressure in the joints.
Did you know that Wobbly Waddlers is approved and recommended by pediatricians and podiatrists? You can rest assured that if you provide your baby with a pair of Wobbly Waddlers shoes you will help and promote a healthy foot development.
Now that you know what features a first walker shoe must provide for your baby, you are ready to see a selection of the best Wobbly Waddlers shoes for kids. Please refresh your browser if you can’t see the recommendations.
Disclosure: Keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases.
These shoe styles fit “short” which means that you will have to go a whole size up of the size that your baby measured at the standard foot measuring tool (Brannock device), in order to allow for growing room.
Please keep in mind that these shoe styles will fit a baby that has a medium, wide, and certain extra wide feet only. You will love how easy you will be able to put these shoes on since these all of the shoe styles open nice and wide. This is a great and important feature for a lot parents since they always seem to have a hard time getting their babies shoes on.
If you have been looking for an alternative to Stride Rite baby shoes, you have found it right here. These shoes will keep your kids’ feet healthy and allow them to take their first steps with confidence!
Have you tried this particular shoe brand or any of the shoe styles that I recommend? Do you happen to have a children’s shoe store in your area that you TRUST? I get contacted by parents daily asking me if I know about a good fitting children’s shoe store in their area. If you happen to have one please let us know in the comments section below, so other parents can benefit from your experiences.