7 Tips for Shopping for Baby and Toddler Shoes | 7 Tips for Shopping for Baby and Toddler Shoes

7 Tips for Shopping for Baby and Toddler Shoes


toddler shoes

If you’re a new mom or dad, the cute shoes at the store could be emptying your wallet. (After all, the baby Sperry’s are just so darn cute!)

As you’re paying the cashier for your new baby shoe haul, you may be second-guessing yourself and asking, “Does my baby really need shoes yet?” or “Did I buy the right shoes for my baby’s feet to develop properly?”

The truth is, while baby shoes are sold in newborn sizes, your baby doesn’t need shoes until they are walking. In fact, hard-bottom shoes may even have negative effects on your child’s developing mobility.

If you insist on putting shoes on your baby, who not yet has mastered the art of walking, choose soft-soled shoes that are more for warmth than functionality.

If your child has begun taking their first steps, only then do you need to begin putting shoes on your adventurous little one.

When shopping for shoes for your cruiser, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Soft and flexible is the way to go. Steer away from shows that are stiff and inflexible, and avoid fabrics that don’t breathe.
  • Give the soles a bend test. The soles should be flexible and non-skid to help prevent any unnecessary slips and falls.
  • Double check the fit. Have your child stand in them and walk to ensure they are comfortable. Also, be sure there is enough room to put your pinky finger between the heel of your child’s foot and the heel of the shoe. You should also be able to put a full thumb-width between the end of the shoe and the end of your child’s longest toe. Your child should have wiggle room without the shoe being too big.
  • You should be able to pinch fabric at the top of the shoe while your child is wearing them. If you’re unable to grab fabric, they may be too tight.
  • Shop in the afternoon. Like adult feet, baby feet also tend to get bigger at the end of the day due to normal (minimal) swelling.
  • Don’t buy shoes that need to be broken in. They should be comfortable from the first wear.
  • Laces vs Velcro: Velcro makes it easy to get your little one’s shoes on and off, but they may figure it out and start taking their shoes off on their own. Shoe laces can be burdensome to have to frequently tie as a parent or caregiver, but they can keep your baby’s shoes on. Just make sure the laces are long enough for double knots but without too much leftover string! If laces are long, they are a tripping hazard.

For more information about your child’s feet or to make an appointment with the podiatrists at the Triad Foot Center, click here to request an appointment online or call one of our three office locations, conveniently located in the Piedmont Triad.

Disclaimer: The information and other content provided in our blogs, videos, or in any other content or linked materials are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment. For a full disclaimer, please click here.