The Best Shoes for First Walkers: What to Look For
Finding the perfect pair of shoes for your first walker can be challenging. With many available brands and styles, deciding where to begin cannot be simple. This article discusses the best shoes for beginning walkers. Keep reading!
STRIDE RITE Soft Motion Jazzy Sneaker
The Stride Rite Soft Motion Collection offers everything you need for your baby’s first walking shoes. The shoes have rounded soles for balance, flexibility to promote foot development, slip resistance on the bottom, and a wide opening. This shoe was also noted to offer good balance during those beginner walking days when little ones are so unsteady. They also liked that the shoes were easy to put on and take off and that the sole had sufficient grip to prevent slipping.
The assortment of shoes includes sneakers, but there are other styles, like dress shoes, sandals, and boots. The brand’s SRTech styles offer more support as your baby gets more steady.
CARTER’S Every Step Kyle Sneaker
Baby’s walking shoes are often made with genuine leather and natural fabrics. It can get expensive. Carter’s uses synthetic materials to provide supportive features for baby feet while keeping the cost lower.
These walker shoes are lightweight and flexible, which makes it easy for the baby to move around. Plus, the soles have grooves that provide traction. And this style is versatile, so that it can go with any outfit. Remember that babies’ feet grow quickly, so you’ll need to replace their shoes often.
Pediped Originals Betty Mary Jane Shoe
Pediped makes shoes that are both cute and functional for early walkers. The Originals collection from Pediped is designed for toddlers aged up to 24 months. It features flexible leather all around, including the soles. As your little one ages, the Grip ‘n’ Go variation has a rubber sole that is more grippy and sturdy. It is also flexible and spacious for toddlers’ feet.
ROBEEZ Everyday Ethan First Kicks
The styles in this Robeez collection are designed to look like the shoe parents would wear. They are also built to promote the development of baby feet. Unlike most other baby shoes, these have a split sole so babies can get the skid resistance of a rubber bottom and the flexibility of a soft shoe.
The Robeez brand makes shoes that are both comfortable and stylish. The leather shoes come in various styles to suit any occasion, enabling you to select the ideal pair for any event.
MERRELL Bare Steps Sneaker
Merrell is known for their hiking boots for adults, but its baby walking shoes are also perfect. They have traction rubber soles and flex grooves to allow toddlers to move quickly. They also have a lot of space for the baby’s tiny feet, which is good because the baby’s feet will keep growing.
The Bare Steps Sandals are great for people who love being outdoors. They have a wide-toe box, a flexible and grippy outsole, and easy-to-adjust openings.
FRESHLY PICKED Soft Sole Leather Moccasins
These shoes are made of soft leather (no rubber soles). They feel like they are walking barefoot, which helps babies grip their toes on the ground. They are also lightweight and roomy on the inside.
These shoes have elastic around the ankle to stay on your baby’s feet. It has different colors and styles, allowing you to use them as crib shoes before your baby begins walking. You’ll also notice that the shoes don’t have a specific right or left; as your baby wears them, their feet will make imprints on the sole.
TEN LITTLE Everyday Original
The Everyday Original from Ten Little is the perfect everyday shoe. It is made from faux leather with 100% cotton lining and rubber soles. It makes it both breathable and lightweight. The flexible soles are perfect for growing baby feet, and the wide toe box means no pinching for developing toes.
NATIVE SHOES Jefferson 2.0 Liteknit
These stretchy slip-on sneakers have a sock-like fit on the top, so they’re breathable and lightweight. They’re machine washable, too, so you don’t have to worry about keeping them clean.
There’s also a crib shoe version of these shoes for infants up to 12 months that still has the knit upper and rubber sole, so babies can start taking their first steps wearing them. The brand is so famous there’s even a rubber, waterproof version.
SEE KAI RUN Cyrus Flexirun Sandal
These sandals are perfect for summer. They are suitable for walking in water and keeping toes cool. They also protect baby feet from rocks and gravel. These sandals come in bright, fun colors. They have a single velcro hook-and-loop closure that assures a secure fit.
The closed-toe sandal is a good choice for first-walkers. It helps their feet while still giving them some freedom. The sandals are made from water-friendly materials and are flexible and durable. You don’t have to worry about ruining them when your little one runs through puddles, plays on the beach, or jumps through the sprinkler.
TEN LITTLE Furry High Top
Ten Little’s Furry High Tops are a great way to keep your baby’s feet warm during the colder months. The high-top style covers your baby’s ankles for additional support, and the furry lining keeps them toasty even on the chilliest days. When testing, we found that sliding these shoes on and off takes seconds and is easier than many winter boot alternatives we’ve tried. Plus, it offers the same wide fit and flexible soles that Ten Little is best known for.
Shoes for New Walkers
Almost every parent will tell you that their world is turned upside down once their baby starts walking. Babies begin to walk at different ages, so don’t worry if your baby isn’t walking yet. When they begin to walk, you will want to buy them shoes. Shoes are not necessary when the baby is just starting to walk, but it is fashionable and fun to dress them in matching clothes and shoes.
Many professionals recommend that you allow your child to practice walking without shoes. Their tiny feet haven’t fully developed yet, so learning to grip the floors and coordinate their steps with little or no support aids in balance and coordination.
Once your child has learned how to balance well, you can take walks outside. Finding shoes that protect your child’s feet and make the experience safe and fun is essential. Look for shoes that are good for walking on challenging or unsafe terrain.
There are many different types of baby shoes on the market. That cannot be very clear if you don’t know what to look for. That’s why we have put together a shoppable guide and tips to help you choose the best shoes for your baby’s first steps.
4 BEST BABY WALKING SHOES
1. TSUKIHOSHI Racer
- Extra-wide toe box
- Arch support
- Machine washable
- Soles are white (dirty easily)
- The sizing is off for some
- Should not be tumble dried
What do buyers think? This product received four stars or higher from 86% of the 100+ Amazon reviewers. Tsukihoshi Racers race to the top of our list because they are adorable and support a baby’s foot without impeding muscle and balance development. A wide toe box allows for natural toe spread, and the outsole is made of a lightweight, shock-absorbing, slip-resistant rubber. It ensures your child’s safety and comfort.
These shoes have a sizeable hook-and-loop closure and elastic laces, making them easy to put on and take off. Because the insoles are removable, the shoes can accommodate customized child orthotics if your child needs them.
There are shoes available in sizes 3 to 7. The insoles are removable, allowing the shoes to accommodate customized child orthotics if your child requires them.
2. Converse Unisex-Child Chuck Taylor All-Star 2v Low Top Sneaker
- Two Velcro straps
- Soft foam cushioning
- Rubber sole
- Sizing runs large
- Some styles dirty easier than others
The Converse Kids Chuck Taylors are a good shoe for babies when you are going somewhere with gravel or uneven ground. The rubber sole will help them balance better. The canvas upper of the shoe allows for air circulation. They have two hook and loop straps to keep them on tight. They come in sizes 2 to 10 but run large, so your child should try them on before buying them.
3. UGG Bixbee Ankle Boot
- Washable by machine
- Several color options are available.
- Soft material
- Difficult to put on
- May feel stiff upon opening
If you live in a colder climate, your child may require winter boots to keep them warm. The Bixbee Ankle Boot from Ugg is our favorite because it has a strap that keeps the shoe on the child’s foot.
The booties feature a soft fleece upper and interior to protect your child’s growing feet. The booties also have a rough sole with small textured stars for traction. You may not want to put your child’s walking skills to the test on the ice, but these little booties come in sizes 1 to 5.
3. Dream Pairs Summer Athletic Sandals
- Bungee/elastic lacing
- Cushioned insole
- Soles may come undone after extended use
- Rocks/sand can still get in shoes
- No wide options
If you’re looking for a summer shoe that your child can wear comfortably, try one with an adjustable fit. The boots have elastic bungee lacing to help your baby find that perfect fit. Plus, the water-friendly material will be great for days at the beach or pool.
The slip-on design is easy for both parents and children. The shoes quickly dry off when not being used in the water. They are available in sizes 5 to 13, but they may run small for some kids, so have your child try them on first or double-check the size chart.
4. Bogs Baby Waterproof Insulated Rain Boots
- Waterproof material
- Plush lining
- Handles for easy slip-on/-off
- The strap connects to the back of the boot
- Sizing runs small for some
These stylish rain boots are both soft and comfortable. They have a durable rubber sole to protect your child’s feet, and the lining will keep their feet warm and dry.
We love how the handles on the sides help children put the boots on independently. The shoes are also effortless to keep clean. You can machine-wash them when they get dirty.
What to Search for When Selecting a Pair of Walking Shoes for Babies
The best baby walking shoes are snug. It means they will not slip around too much, even if the baby starts to walk. Check the boots for any red marks after taking them off. It might mean that the shoes are too tight. There are also some dos and don’ts when choosing the best baby walking shoes, which you can learn more about from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Do’s and don’ts
- When looking for your child’s first walking shoes, it is essential to find something comfortable. The shoe may be uncomfortable if your child limps or walks on their tiptoes. Young babies can’t tell you if the shoes fit correctly, so it is essential to observe physical cues.
- Don’t buy used walking shoes for babies. They have likely molded to the feet of their original owner, and it can be harmful to a baby’s feet to wear them. The baby’s first walking shoes must fit well since every child’s feet are different.
- Choose an ankle-cut baby walking shoe with laces, snaps, or Velcro closure. Shoes with a low cut or slip-on style are easier for a toddler to kick off or remove. For your sanity and your child’s safety, Look for baby walking shoes that are simple but difficult to remove. Toddlers may be prone to tripping for a while, so you want sturdy baby shoes that will stay on their feet.
- Shop for baby walking shoes at the end of the day. Baby feet tend to swell as the day goes on, so shoes that fit in the morning may feel tight by evening.
What to Search for When Purchasing a Pair of Baby Walking Shoes
- Look for a high-quality, soft-leather, or cloth-topped shoe that allows airflow for your toes. Stiff materials can impede a baby’s foot growth and development.
- The shoes should be lightweight and flexible so your baby can move naturally. To test if the shoes are too tight, pinch the top of the shoe while it is on your baby’s foot. They may be too tight if you can’t grab any material. Flexible materials mimic a baby’s bare feet so they can move when walking.
- Baby shoes should have grooves on the bottom so your little one can walk better. Shoes with rubber non-skid soles and ridges can help your wobbly walker.
Frequently Asked Questions About Shoes for First Walkers
Should Beginning Walkers Wear Shoes?
Barefoot is the best way for your baby’s foot development. If it is cold outside, you can put socks or booties on their feet with non-skid soles. When your baby starts walking, choose lightweight and flexible shoes.
What Shoes Are Best for Helping Baby Walk?
The Tsukihoshi Racers are an excellent choice for people who need arch support. They also have a wide-toe box. Another good option is the Stride Rite Baby Soft Motion Jamie Sneaker.
What Should Be the First Baby Shoes?
It is necessary to find shoes that are comfortable for your feet. Look for shoes with soft leather uppers and lightweight, flexible soles. Brands usually have pre-walkers that are very soft and good for the first few months of walking. Please make sure the fastenings are adjustable to make them fit well.
When Should I Start Wearing Shoes on My Baby?
Babies should wear shoes when they can walk and show signs of wanting to be mobile. The general guideline for when a baby starts walking is: Crawling between 6 and 13 months.
What Is the Purpose of Baby Walking Shoe?
Pre-walking shoes help your baby when they start to become mobile. It is because their nerve endings and soft cartilage are still developing. Baby feet should not be constrained in shoes at this point, as it may cause them to develop improperly.
Are Crocs Good for Babies Learning to Walk?
Many doctors say that Crocs are bad for young children’s feet. Children who can’t feel the ground are more likely to fall and get hurt. They may also have problems with their muscles and feet later in life.
Do Babies Need Ankle Support Shoes?
Some people think shoes are necessary to support a child’s developing leg and foot muscles and bone structure to prevent future problems with walking. However, your child’s feet will develop well independently without any special footwear.
When Should Baby Stand Flat-Footed?
Some infants around 6-7 months old will start to put their feet down and take some weight when held vertically. It is called standing. Some infants seem to prefer standing to sit.
How Long Should Babies Wear Soft-Soled Shoes?
Babies can benefit from wearing soft soles until they are 24 months old. After that, they can switch to wearing rigid-soled shoes. Every baby’s feet are different, so you should do what is best for your baby.
Are Soft Sole Shoes Good for Walking Babies?
Soft-sole shoes are a good choice for your baby because they offer protection and freedom of movement. They also help with the baby’s foot development.