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Has your little one started walking?
Starting to walk is an important milestone that all parents cherish. While pre-walkers are just cute accessories, the first baby walking shoes are much more. The right shoes protect the delicate feet of the baby, provide sufficient support, and make them feel confident to explore the outdoors.
When should I get shoes for my baby?
Babies do not require baby walking shoes right after they take their first steps. While learning to walk, a child receives important sensory information from the feet touching the ground. Walking barefoot strengthens the muscles, develops the ligaments of the foot, and contributes to a good posture.
Babies need shoes when they are ready to explore the outside world. If you have hard, slippery floors in your home, then wearing shoes is a better option. Shoes are also useful in keeping the baby warm.
Ill-fitting shoes can make the baby’s feet appear outward or inward. Sometimes, one baby toe may curl up under another. A tight-fitting shoe can cause inflammation and discoloration of nails.
Uncomfortable shoes cause soreness in the foot and prevent the baby from walking around comfortably. Shoes without proper traction cannot hold the baby up on their feet. Without the right shoes, babies may feel intimidated and less excited about walking around independently.
How can I choose the best baby walking shoes?
If you are shopping for walking shoes for babies, be sure to consider the following parameters.
Shoes with flexible and thin soles offer an experience that is close to walking barefoot. They support natural foot movement. Shoes with flexible soles are generally light in weight which makes them suitable for prolonged wear.
The best first shoes for babies are the ones with padding around the ankles and on heel backs. Padding minimizes rubbing and adds more comfort on the inside.
Find shoes that have good traction. Rubber or non-skidding leather soles are suitable for babies that are learning to walk. Outsoles with grooves and bumps provide better grip. The insoles should be cushioned for optimal comfort.
Ease of use
Walking shoes for babies must be easy to use. You must be able to get the baby’s feet quickly into the shoes. The key is to find shoes with the right fitting.
Babies have a wider “toe spread” than adults. Shoes with greater width help the baby to balance easily and prevent frequent falling. The general rule is that there should be a minimum of half-inch space between the front of the shoe and the baby’s toes.
The best baby walking shoes are made from breathable materials like soft leather, cotton, or canvas. Avoid shoes made from synthetic materials.
Baby walking shoes must feel snug around the feet. If the shoes are too loose, they keep coming off, causing the little one to fall frequently. Shoes that are too tight can cause bruises and irritation. Shoes for babies learning to walk must come with a wide front and narrow heel to blend well with the contours of the small feet.
Type of fastener
Baby walking shoes come with velcro, straps, or laces. Velcro is the easiest to put on and take off. It is a suitable option for busy parents. However, it may not be an ideal choice if your baby likes to wriggle out of their shoes often. Buckle straps and laces stay intact for a longer time.
How do I keep my baby’s shoes on?
Babies tend to kick off their shoes often. To keep the baby walking shoes on for a longer time, use the following tricks.
Find shoes with the perfect fitting: The heel must fit perfectly against the bottom part of the shoe. There must be no more than a half an inch space between the first toe and the top part of the shoe.
Choose ankle cut over low cut shoes: Shoes with ankle cut and high-top stay on longer than low-cut or slip-on shoes.
Shoes with full adjustment: Shoes that have velcro, snaps, or laces and can offer full adjustment keep the feet in place.
Choose your kid’s favorite shoes: While you buy walking shoes, pick colors or styles that your baby likes. The baby is more likely to keep the shoes on if they find them attractive.
The Dos and Don’ts of Baby Walking Shoes
- Visit the store in person to find the best shoes for babies learning to walk. A trained fitter will be able to help you best.
- Always examine the inside of the shoes for irregularities in stitching and stapling.
- The fasteners in the shoe must be fully adjustable.
- Choose a brand or model that comes in whole and half sizes.
- When you are confused about two different size choices, always opt for the bigger one.
- Don’t invest in heavy shoes.
- Don’t choose looks over the comfort of the shoe.
- Don’t opt for shoe types that are not suitable for a new walker. For example, the slip-on ballet pumps do not provide enough shock absorption and support for a new walker.
The Best Baby Walking Shoes
- The shoes are approved by the APMA (American Podiatric Medical Association).
- Available in full and half sizes.
- The double velcro offers a snug fit and keeps the shoes intact.
- Flexible soles allow natural foot development.
- Machine-washable and therefore easy to clean.
- It is slightly expensive.
- Not a lightweight option.
- The shoes can cause blisters when worn for a long time.
- Affordable and light in weight.
- Available in different colors.
- It includes a velcro front panel that makes the shoes easy to wear on.
- The canvas fabric and terry cloth insoles add more comfort to the tender feet.
- The shoes are too firm when they are new.
- Approved by APMA.
- The outer part is made from premium quality leather. The leather makes the shoe breathable and durable.
- Looks attractive.
- The slip-on style may not be suitable for all kids.
- Since there are no adjustable straps or laces, the fit may not be perfect.
- Approved by the APMA.
- Includes multiple safety features such as rounded edges and slip-resistance, thus making it one of the best shoes for babies learning to walk.
- The sole is made of rubber and is very breathable.
- Not suitable for warm weather.
- Since there are no adjustable straps, the fitting may not be perfect.
- Approved by the APMA.
- The shoes have a flexible, leather outsole for good grip.
- They look rugged and stylish.
- It is slightly expensive.
- A little larger than the other options.
- Made from 100% genuine leather that allows the feet to breathe.
- Outsoles are made of rubber and have good traction.
- A classic choice that is considered a star of the Buster Brown Baby walking shoe collection.
- Kids can easily meddle with the hook-and-loop strap and wriggle out of the shoes.
- The white color tends to get soiled easily.
- Made from premium quality leather.
- Looks attractive.
- Easy to wear as the boot opening is approximately 10 inches.
- Designed in regular and wider sizes.
- The model includes only four shades.
- The bottom of the shoes does not have good traction.
- The shoes are fitted with sensory pods on heels and forefoot. This helps the baby achieve the right balance easily.
- They look stylish.
- The inside of the shoe is quite wide and allows the natural development of the feet.
- The sole and upper part of the shoe are made from synthetic material.
- The grooved outsole offers a good grip.
- The shoe looks chic, and the double stitching makes them more comfortable.
- The side zip makes it easy to place the feet inside the shoes.
- Padded insoles and the super-soft suede leather make it one of the best shoes for baby learning to walk.
- A little bulky.
- The outer part is made of breathable canvas.
- Well-cushioned insoles add to the comfort.
- The shoes offer moderate arch support only.
You may come across many more options while buying baby walking shoes, and it can be very overwhelming. Start with a single pair of shoes and observe how your child handles them.
What’s important is to ensure that you have the best shoes for baby that support your child’s walking development while protecting their soft, delicate feet from sharp objects.