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Walking Shoes For Babies – The Best Alternative To Stride Rite Shoes!

Baby First Walking Shoes

Have you been looking for a good pair of baby shoes for your child 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 options 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 firmer 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 ten years at a premier children’s shoe store specializing in proper fit for over forty years. We specialize in children with foot and leg problems, but we provide regular shoe fitting as well. It’s important for us to carry top quality shoes that are available in different widths, since that’s the only way 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.

I have been fitting a children’s shoe brand named Wobbly Waddlers and I have been really happy with their shoes. From a fitting standpoint, I love all the features that the shoes provide, and parents love the way they look.

Let me tell you what makes this she brand so special!

Their shoes feature a flexible rubber sole that allows the toddler 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 kids’ 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.

If you have a child that has pronation, or any other type of orthopedic symptoms please refer to my article called:

Orthopedic Shoes For Kids – STOP Your Kids’ Foot Pain!

Please keep in mind that we want our babies 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 child to play outside.

In this post I will describe the best first walking shoes for babies.

Baby First Walking Shoes

What Features Must A First Walking Shoe Provide?

It’s important for parents to understand that they must provide their children 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 child’s foot shape perfectly, meaning that the shoes should be deep (so your babies foot 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:

First Walker Shoes

The second picture shows how nice and wide the shoes open so you can easily put the shoes on your child’s feet!

Kids Shoes With Two Velcro Straps

The third and forth picture describes some further features of the shoe:

Toddler Boy 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.

Baby Girl First Walker Shoes

Girl First Walker Shoes

Why Do Parents Tend To Choose Stride Rite?

Stride Rite remains the to-go brand for babies that are learning how to walk due to their large selection go 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. The shoes provide all the important features mentioned above. However, 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 child, if it’s not fitted properly, your child won’t get any of the benefits that the shoes have to offer.

So start by reading a post I wrote where I describe the simplest, yet most effective way to make sure that your child is wearing the correct shoe size and you can find that article here:

How To Measure Kids Shoe Size From Home – In Less Than 30 Seconds!

Keep in mind that I always recommend parents to take their babies to be properly measure 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 his or her kids’ shoes online, that article will explain you everything you need to know.

Baby First Walking Shoes

Wobbly Waddlers Shoes For Babies – Learn The Secret!

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 a baby doesn’t need a sturdy supportive shoe when is 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 this shoe brand is approved and recommended by pediatricians and podiatrists? You can rest assured that if you provide your child 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!

These shoes fit “short” which means that you will have to go a whole size up of the size that your child measures at the shoe measuring scale. 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 shoe style open nice and wide. This is a great and important feature to a lot of 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 Shoes you have found them 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 described above? 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 children’s shoe store in their area. If you happen to have one please let us know in the comments section below so we can all benefit from your experience.


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 kid’s feet and get my guide for free: 10 Mistakes Parents Must Avoid When Buying Shoes for their Kids.

Join the rest of the parents who are taking care of their kids’ feet and get my guide for free: The 5 Most Common Mistakes Parents Make when Buying Their Kids’ Shoes

2 Comments on Walking Shoes For Babies – The Best Alternative To Stride Rite Shoes!

    • Hello Adriana,

      Most parents don’t know that there are other shoe options besides Stride Rite for their babies learning how to walk. I particularly love how these shoes are made of quality leather and will mold to the shape of the child’s feet.

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