Walking Shoes for Babies – Picking The Perfect Pair of Shoes for your Baby

Are you looking for the perfect pair of first walking shoes for your baby? Did you know that the first pair of walking shoes play a key role in helping your baby walk confidently? The best walking shoes for babies are lightweight, flexible, have oversized openings, and are capable of accommodating different foot shapes.

It’s important to understand that it’s always better to allow your baby to crawl or walk barefoot inside the house. This is the best thing we can do to promote healthy muscle development. Your baby will only need shoes when you go outside to the shopping mall, the playground, or any activity that involves your baby taking steps outside the house.

One of the most common questions I get from parents is what type of shoes they need to provide for a baby that is learning how to walk? Let’s find out!

First Walking Shoes for Babies – Lightweight, Flexible, and Sensory Pods!

Your baby’s first walking shoes must be lightweight, flexible, and provide sensory pods on the sole so your baby can get a better sense of the ground. However, the most important thing to keep in mind is making sure that you provide your baby with the correct shoe size.

Most babies tend to have wide or extra wide feet, as they might carry some baby fat.

As your baby lifts its heel to take a step, there must be some degree of easy flexibility at the ball to step forward without resistance from the sole. Keep in mind that your baby, unlike older children, lacks the body weight (strength) to bend a firmer sole. That is the main reason why first walking shoes need to be soft and flexible!

Your baby’s first walking shoes should have a sole that must retain its shape with wear.  As to material, a leather outsole is unquestionably the best to fulfill these functions. Shoes with leather soles are found in good quality shoes, like the ones I will recommend shortly.

When it comes to baby shoes, there is such thing as a sole being too soft. A sole that is too soft, such as a soft-sole slipper, will not hold its shape with wear. It lacks that important quality of lateral stability.

Your baby’s shoes must provide good lateral stability because you will notice how your baby will grab onto furniture and move side to side.

Before you buy your baby his or her first pair of walking shoes, grab the shoes and make sure they bend in the right places just like in the picture below:

I have put together a selection of the best first walking shoes for babies who are learning how to walk, but let’s make sure that you know your baby’s exact foot size. You won’t be able to order the correct shoe size online if you don’t know your baby’s foot size to begin with.

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

Take a look at an article 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 Baby (9-15 months) – Learning How to Walk

During this stage, your baby should start becoming an independent walker. If your baby is crawling and standing up with the assistance of holding into things this might be a good time for getting the first pair of shoes.

The appropriate pair of shoes at this age is what I describe as transition shoes. These types of shoes should bend in half and twist, and they should be very lightweight and most flexible so your children’s muscles can develop properly.

Your baby’s tiny toes are constantly wiggling, which is nature’s way of exercising the foot for development. Toe gripping is also essential for gait balance when the child starts to walk. Thus the obvious importance of baby shoes having ample grow room and wiggle space in the toe area.

Some parents believe that once they fit the first pair of walking shoes for their babies, they will immediately start walking. Eighty percent of the time this will not happen. Once we fit the first pair of walking shoes, babies lose the sense that they had to the ground, so it takes longer to adjust.

I can tell you that most times after I fit babies for their first pair of walking shoes, it looks like their feet were nailed down to the ground, as they refuse to move and will stand in the same position waiting for the parents to rescue them! This is totally normal.

After a week or so of wearing the shoes, babies should have no problem walking. Babies will begin to learn how to balance themselves with their arms, that is the reason why they should not be holding onto anything when attempting to take those first steps.

Below you can find the best first walking shoes for a baby that is learning how to walk. These shoes are all available in medium (M), wide (W), and extra wide (XW). 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.

The Best First Walking Shoes for Babies

To some mothers, new shoes often look giant on the baby’s foot. I often mention that baby shoes sometimes appear large to the eye, but the shoes are the right size needed for this fast-growing foot.

The question of durability is completely unimportant in infant shoes, since they never wear out the shoes because of how fast they grow.

Did you know that getting the right socks for your baby has the same importance as getting the correct pair of shoes? Socks play a key role in keeping your baby’s feet healthy. A sock that is too tight will restrict toe movement, and might also make your baby toes more prone to overlapping each other.

The Best Socks for Babies

It is important to provide your baby with a pair of seamless socks since these types of socks allow the toes to freely move. I have put together a selection of the best socks for babies:

The Toddler (2nd – 3rd Year) – Already Walking

Toddlers put more pressure on their feet and legs, so they require a shoe with a harder sole that provides better support and a stiffer heel counter. Flexibility and fit remain the two most important priorities for your toddler. Remember that it does not matter how much support a particular shoe provides, if not fitted properly it will not benefit your child’s feet in any way.

The fit and design of the shoe during those first three years is more important than at any other time in life. That’s because of the fragile nature of the young foot, plus the constant activity of the toes within the shoe.

Below you can find a selection of the best shoes for toddlers who are already walking. The shoes below will fit toddlers with medium (M), wide (W), or extra wide (XW) feet. 

Get a Personalized Suggestion

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:

[email protected]

Has your baby been trying to walk on his/her own? Is your baby ready for his/her first pair of walking shoes? Please share your thoughts and experiences so that way we can all benefit from them.