The ultimate guide to choosing your baby's first shoes

A full guide on how to choose your baby's first shoes for walking

By Aey
The ultimate guide to choosing your baby's first shoes

Choosing your baby’s first shoes is a memorable experience and even though, babies don’t walk, this doesn’t mean that you should buy whatever is appealing to the eyes because there are other factors like the material that needs to be considered. A baby’s skin is soft and very delicate so you shouldn’t be surprised if your baby is irritable even when, in your opinion, the pair of shoes you selected was comfortable. This article is to help you pick out the most convenient pair for your little ones’ feet!

What age do babies start walking

It is safe to say that there isn’t an age limit defined for babies to walk. Some might take their first step somewhere in between 9-12months while others can take longer than that. I’ve seen babies who didn’t walk until 16th or 17th month. Parents tend to get worried when their babies don’t walk while their age fellows are waking but they forget the fact that they are learning, some learn fast while others take time and this isn’t something to be worried about.

The legs of a baby, 6-9 months, isn’t strong enough to support the weight of their body which is why during this time you might notice them trying to stand but falling down after a few seconds. You can help them to learn to walk during this time by holding them with their arms while they make walking motion against the surface. This might help them learn faster.

Usually, a baby stands up firmly with support when they are 9 months old and they learn how their knees work shortly after. When they are in this phase, it is just a matter of time that they try to leave the support and learn how to balance. Encourage your baby’s every move so that he/she tries harder and gain more confidence with every step.

How to choose baby first shoes for walking

• Stressful, yet exciting!

It can definitely be an incredibly stressful task to pick out the first pair of shoes for the precious little feet of the baby. It’s stressful mostly because of the caution that needs to be put in to make sure it’s the comfiest and safest fit for the baby to take his or her first steps in. After all, the baby’s feet are going to be at their most sensitive stage during the time he/she first starts walking. But what most parents seem to forget is that it’s all part of a journey that’ll translate into valuable memories after a few years. Consider this as an exciting task that you and your partner can participate in to make sure you make the best possible choice for your little pearl! You might ask “how though?”, and we’ve answered that in this article as well.

• First Walkers!

They grow up so fast, your little one’s already there – ever so excited about taking their first couple of steps! With a heart filled with pride, it’s important to know you shouldn’t just run out to buy walking shoes for your child without knowing a thing or two about it. Here’s a fact; letting babies learn walking with bare feet is the safest option, to begin with. They won’t need a pair as long as they're practicing inside the house!

• Professional Advice is Vital

Once you do feel like it’s time to bring your kid to the backyard to explore farther on their own feet, only then should you equip him/her with suitable shoes. The first step is to get his/her feet measured precisely by an expert. Many baby shoe sellers make sure they have a few such experts in the store, and it’s safe to take their advice for the size about what’s best for your child’s little feet. Make sure you let the child walk in the new pair before you buy it – look for signals from your kid if they look comfy and your baby is ecstatic in the new shoes, go for it! 

• What to Specifically Look For?

The first thing to prioritize is that they should be leather made, with a flexible and soft build quality that doesn’t rub roughly. Our grown feet could probably take rubs off of a new show until we adjust, but a child’s feet are a whole different story – it’s an absolute no-no for them. The shoes should be available in half and whole sizes both, with a wide variety of fittings for different widths to make it easier to adjust to the baby’s needs. The soles of the shoe are best if they’re non-slip and lightweight, helping the baby grip the ground and effortlessly lift and plant his/her feet without much resistance from the weight of the sole. Lastly, the toe area should be roomy but still, fit well. Its seams and edges should preferably be soft with breathable and flexible materials. All this may sound a bit overwhelming to check for in a small little shoe, but it’s not that complicated. It’s worth it too, the following paragraph explains why.

• Why Caution is Necessary

A high-quality pair of baby shoes, picked out with due care, can immensely help your baby gain control and balance in their first ever walks in life. It’ll enforce the much-needed confidence in them to keep going, one step at a time. Parents need to bare it in mind that it’s always good for the baby to walk barefoot as much as possible, as mentioned above, as long as he/she is inside at home. The shoes should only come in whenever you’re planning on playing in the backyard with the kid, or even taking them out on the street as they clench on to your finger when they’re ready for it.

Check their shoes every seven weeks or so, a baby outgrows stuff very quickly! It’s most important to keep a fitting-check on the shoes of the baby, because it may start hurting the feet or even restricting the growth somewhat. Here’s a given; never buy used shoes. Even if they’re totally clean, their shape would have been molded according to the fit of the previous user and your child won’t get the proper functioning out of them.

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 Even though when babies are born, they spend most of their time in cribs and bassinets, or anywhere cozy enough to keep them warm and safe.

When should I buy shoes with ankle support

• The Bare-feet Rule

Specialized ankle support in shoes is definitely not needed in the new walkers that are picked out when the baby first starts walking. Think of all the cultures and cities where the child walks barefoot for months before getting the first pair – they turn out to be fine walkers too! The first pair of shoes should always be as close as possible to being barefoot, as that’s the healthiest way to go for the child’s feet growth and walk learning.

• The Changing Ideologies

Dating way back to the previous generation, when today’s parents were starting to walk, pediatricians seemed to believe that ankle support is preferable in the first pair of walkers for a baby’s sensitive feet. But we’re in an advanced era now where researches back the belief that no such thing applies, and the best shoes are the ones that copy the barefoot situation the best.

• When Should Ankle Support Kick In?

There’s a long answer to this, and a short one as well. Experts today commonly suggest parents go for inexpensive yet well thought out pairs of shoes as starters, as the child is going to grow out of it within six to eight weeks. Now, the need for ankle support depends upon the sort of situation your baby is prescribed to be in by a professional because naturally, no baby should need ankle support if feet growth goes naturally and normally.

However, some children do grow their feet in a shape which doesn’t necessarily favor the ankle and may result in minor pain occasionally. If so, this should be diagnosed by your pediatrician, and if they think you should go for shoes with ankle support in them, only then you should go for it. Though, don’t worry about it for the first two to three months of walking at least!


Being a parent is a tough job and I know how hard it is when you’re a new parent! You’re skeptical about each and everything and you should be. You can never be too safe when it comes to newborns. I hope that this article covered all your questions regarding your baby’s shoes and walking.

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