Is your child cruising and attempting to take his or her first steps? Do you want your child to be able to take those first steps with confidence?
When children start cruising (this usually starts between the 8 and 11 month) it means that they can move side to side by holding onto furniture, and cruising is the last step on the journey of walking by independently.
As soon as your children start cruising and taking some steps independently, it’s time to start thinking about which shoes you will provide for their feet.
There are certain first walking shoe styles that are better than others, since some of them come with sensory pods on the bottom that will allow your baby to feel the ground, allowing your baby to feel more stable and confident when talking those first steps.
I know exactly which first walking shoe styles are better for a baby that is learning how to walk since I have fitted hundreds of babies for their first pair of walking shoes.
I have been working for a specialized children’s shoe store for over 10 years now, and I know everything that relates to children’s shoes and the way they fit. This is a specialized shoe store that focuses on children with foot and leg problems, but we provide regular shoe fittings as well. We carry some of the most supportive children’s shoes and orthotics, and I am familiar with which shoe brands and which shoe styles are better than others.
Did you know that providing babies with the correct type of shoes in the correct shoe size will help them take those first steps with confidence and promote healthy muscle development?
One of the most popular shoe brands for babies learning how to walk is Stride Rite, but among this shoe brand there are certain styles that are far better than others.
Before I provide you with a selection of the best shoes for a baby that is learning how to walk, I want to clarify a couple of points:
► When a baby is learning how to walk, the main purpose of the shoes is to act as protection for when you take your baby to play outside. You should always leave your baby barefoot at home for healthy foot development.
► Shoes won’t speed up the process of your baby that is learning how to walk, but they will protect your child’s feet when you take your child to play outside.
► If you don’t provide your baby with the correct shoe size, you will make the process of your baby learning how to walk a lot harder. Shoes that are too long or too short will compromise your baby’s stability and make your baby more prone to falling down.
►Shoes that are too stiff or too heavy will slow down the process of your baby learning how to walk. The shoes need to be lightweight and flexible, since your baby will lack the strength to bend a harder sole.
If you have a baby that is cruising and you need a pair of shoes to help him or her take those first steps with confidence, I will provide you with a selection of the best shoes for a baby who is learning how to walk.
How to Find Your Baby Exact Foot Size – Let’s Find Out!
As I mentioned before, if you don’t provide your baby with the correct shoe size you will not only slow down the process of your baby learning how to walk, but your baby might also develop all sort of foot issues such as blisters, calluses, or corns.
I have fitted hundreds of babies for their first pair of shoes, and I have noticed that 80% of the time they required a wider shoe (either wide or extra wide).
There seems to be several parents that struggle every time they have to put their babies’ shoes on, and I always explain them that if they feel that they are shoving the shoes on, that is the first sign that the shoes that they provided for their baby might be too narrow.
I always emphasize to parents the importance of having their baby’s first pair of shoes fitted at their local fitting children’s shoe store that they trust.
Not all parents have a good fitting children’s shoe store in their area. That is the reason why I decided to create a map where I describe the best fitting children’s shoe stores by state:
If after looking at the map you still can’t seem to find a kids’ shoe store in your area, then proceed to reading an article along with a video I createdwhere I describe the simplest, yet most effective way to figure out your child’s foot size from home:
First Walking Shoes for Babies – The 5 Most Important Features!
In addition to providing your baby with the correct shoe size, you must also find a shoe style that provides the following 5 important features:
❤️ Flexible Soles: This is one of the most important features since most babies lack the strength to bend a harder sole. Before you purchase shoes for your baby, grab your baby’s shoes and try bending the sole (you should be able to bend the shoe up about 50 degrees easily).
❤️ Sensory Pods: Your baby shoes must provide sensory pods in order to help your baby feel more confident and stable when taking those first steps. The sensory pods will also prevent your baby from losing balance, slipping and falling.
❤️ Rounded Soles: Flexible rounded soles encourage natural movement and improve balance. Babies are constantly wiggling their toes (which is nature’s way of exercising their feet for healthy foot development), and if you provide your baby with a shoe that is too narrow you will be constricting this movement.
❤️ Breathable: Did you know that babies’ feet sweat up to 2-3 times more than an adult? There are certain baby shoe styles that will allow moisture out, allowing your baby’ feet to stay dry, cool and healthy.
❤️ Wide Opening: It’s important for the shoes to open nice and wide so you don’t have to struggle every time you are putting your babies’ shoes on.
Now that you know what features your baby’s shoes must provide and how to figure out your baby’s foot size from home, you are ready to take a look at a selection of the best first walking baby shoes.
The Best First Walking Shoes for Babies ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
I only write reviews of shoe styles that I have fitted before, otherwise I wouldn’t know how well-made they are, the amount of support that they provide, and how they fit.
Here you can find a selection of the best first walking shoes for babies. All of these shoe styles are available in different width such as medium, wide, and extra wide, so please choose your baby’s shoe width accordingly.
All of these shoe styles fit “true to size”, which means that you need to go a half a size longer of the size that your baby measures in the Brannock device (shoe measuring scale) in order to allow for growing room.
I have also chosen these particular shoe styles because they come with the roundest toe-boxes and they are deep, two important factors in keeping your babies’ feet healthy (since it will allow them to wiggle their toes for healthy foot development).
Sometimes parents ask me what shoe size their babies need based on their age. The issue with getting your child’s shoe size based on the age is that it obviates a very important factor: Children grow at different rates, and the shoe size that a 1 year old baby might need can differ from the shoe size that another baby in the same age range might need . However, I created a general guide to find out your baby shoe size by age (remember that the most effective method to figure out your babies’ exact foot size is to measure them).
- 0-3 months: Size 1
- 3-6 months: Size 2
- 6-9 months: Size 2.5, 3
- 9-12 months: Size 3.5, 4
- 12-18 months: Size 4.5, 5
- 18-24 months: Size 5.5, 6
The Best Baby Socks – Seamless and Breathable!
Socks play a very important role in keeping your babies’ feet healthy, since they act as a barrier between your kids’ feet and the shoes, by preventing the buildup of bacteria inside the shoes.
One common mistake I see parents make is to provide their babies with gripper socks when they are wearing shoes. If your baby is not wearing shoes, gripper socks are the way to go since they prevent slipping and sliding when walking around the house. However, once your baby is wearing shoes, you must stay away from gripper socks since the grippers will stick to the bottom of the shoes, preventing your babies’ toes to freely move inside the shoes.
Seamless socks are the best type of socks for babies, since they allow babies to freely move their toes inside the socks and they provide the most comfort.
I describe a selection of the best seamless socks for babies below. Please refresh your browser if you can’t see the recommendations:
Have you tried a particular first walking shoe style that has worked well for your baby? Please share your findings below so other parents can benefit from your experiences.