What are the Best New Balance Shoes for Toddlers?
Have you been looking for a pair of New Balance shoes for your toddler but you are unsure about what specific style to order? New Balance is one of the most popular shoe brands for children, but among this shoe brand, certain styles are a lot better than others in terms of comfort, fit, and support. One of the most common questions parents ask me at the shoe store where I work is: “What are the best New Balance shoes for toddlers?”
Whether your toddler is learning how to walk or just started walking, he/she will need a pair of shoes that provides a stable base of support, but that are lightweight and flexible at the same time. Most importantly, the shoes must fit the shape of your toddler’s feet perfectly.
Some of the most popular shoe brands for toddlers are Stride Rite, See Kai Run, and Saucony. However, New Balance has certain styles that work great especially for toddlers who have wide or extra wide feet.
I have noticed that most toddlers either have wide or extra wide feet. This doesn’t mean that their feet will remain wide for the rest of their lives, but at this stage, they tend to carry some baby fat that makes their feet wider.
My Experience Fitting Children’s Shoes – Over a Decade of Shoe Fitting Experience!
My name is Juan Valenzuela and I have worked for a specialized children’s shoe store for over 10 years. I specialize in helping children with “complicated” foot shapes as well as foot and leg problems, but the store provides regular shoe fittings as well.
I handle approximately one hundred shoe fittings/try ons per week, and over the years I became familiar with the best shoe brands and shoe styles among each brand. New Balance became my go-to shoe brand for toddlers who have wide or extra wide feet.
Does New Balance Make Good Toddler Shoes?
New Balance is mostly known for manufacturing shoes for children with “complicated” foot shapes such as wide or extra wide feet. When it comes to toddler shoes, they have certain styles that work extremely well, especially for toddlers with wide or extra wide feet with high insteps.
What Makes New Balance Shoes Ideal for Toddlers?
There are 3 features that the New Balance shoes I recommend provide that makes them ideal for toddlers who are learning how to walk or just started walking:
1️⃣ Lightweight and Flexible with a Stable Base of Support: Your toddler’s shoes need to be lightweight and flexible to promote healthy foot development and help them balance. In addition, some toddlers lack the step thrust to bend a harder sole, so the shoes must be flexible.
2️⃣ Rounded Toe-Boxes: This feature allows the toes to spread and encourages natural movement to improve balance. Toddlers are constantly wiggling their toes – which is nature’s way of exercising their feet for healthy foot development – so it’s really important that you don’t constrict this movement.
3️⃣ Extra Depth: This feature allows the foot to sit deeply inside the shoes, preventing the top part of the foot (instep) from rubbing against the top part of the shoes. If you notice red marks or indentations on the top part of your toddler’s feet (instep), it’s highly likely that his/her current shoes are not deep enough.
How to Order the Correct Shoe Size for your Toddler?
Shoes that are too small hinder the proper growth of the foot, diminishing blood circulation, and causing painful blisters, ingrown toenails, calluses, corns, and many other foot problems. Shoes that are too large might prevent your toddler from maintaining grip on the ground properly, compromising your toddler’s stability.
Most specialized children’s shoe stores have been closing down. COVID has accelerated this movement towards online shopping and stores closing, leaving many parents confused, as it’s very hard to shop for children’s shoes online. This is the reason why I created a free resource that helps families determine their child’s exact foot size from home:
What are the Best New Balance Shoes for Toddlers?
Take a look at the description above each shoe to find out whether that shoe is available in your toddler’s foot shape (medium, wide, extra wide). Disclosure: Keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases.
Unsure About What Shoe Size You Should Order?
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 toddler’s current foot size to provide the correct amount of growing room.
Are There Any Other Shoe Recommendations?
If none of the shoes I recommend above are available in your toddler’s foot size or you need the shoes to be made of a specific color, I suggest that you send me an email and I will provide you with different shoe recommendations:
You can also contact me if you are looking for a different type of shoe such as a seasonal shoe or a pair of dress shoes. In the meantime you can refer to the following articles:
Have you found a specific New Balance shoe that has worked well for your toddler’s feet? Let us know in the comment section below so other families can benefit from your experiences.