The Perfect First Step: Reviews and Buying Guide for the Best Baby Shoes!

The Perfect First Step: Reviews and Buying Guide for the Best Baby Shoes!

You have to admit—babies are among the cutest things on the planets but Baby shoes, accessories and clothes for babies are equally adorable! As a new mother, it’s totally understandable if you go overboard with the shopping and stock up for the whole first year (though I wouldn’t recommend it!).

While decking your tot up in fancy clothes for the baby version of the Paris Fashion Week is still excusable, what’s not excusable is going overboard with the enthusiasm and putting your little one in shoes. Introducing shoes to your tot’s wardrobe earlier than necessary can end up being detrimental to his or her health.

To make things easier for all the parents out there, here’s not just a guide on buying the best shoes for babies learning to walk, covering everything from styles to tips to pick out the best shoes to when the best time to put shoes on your toddler is, but also a review of my top baby shoes.

Guide for the Best Baby Shoes!

If you can’t wait to check out my top picks, all of them can be found on Amazon, linked below.

We ♥ honesty! FullerLifeMakeover earns a commission through the following hand-picked links at no extra cost to you.

What’s the Best Age to Put Shoes on My Toddler?

As a rule of thumb, wait until your tot can start walking unaided (7-18 months) to get him or her shoes, or to transition from pre-walkers to full-blown walking shoes, as the case may be. Wait till he or she can walk outdoors comfortably to use hard-soled shoes. Though your child can manage outdoor terrain, the soles are still really soft and will need protection from debris and dirt on the ground and possible infection. Mistakes are also bound to happen and you, or any other adult, may end up accidentally stepping on the tot’s foot. That’s when the need for hard-soled shoes kicks in. Till then, soft-soled shoes are sufficient protection.

What’s the Best Age to Put Shoes on My Toddler?

Letting your child go barefoot when he or she is just learning to take their first steps is the best option; this way, your child can develop coordination and learn to balance better on his or her feet. Feeling the ground beneath will also help your tot get acquainted with surface textures of different kinds, gain stability and develop foot arches (extremely important!). Additionally, not wearing shoes also gives the feet and toes space to stretch out, breathe and grow naturally, instead of being shaped or influenced by the shoe’s casing and firm shape.

BABY SHOES fashion

If you must dress up your tot’s feet, socks or booties before your tot is walking is a good idea. They provide the necessary level of protection (indoor walking), keep your little one’s feet warm and look cute! If you absolutely must buy that pair of pink shoes to match the white dress your tot’s going to wear on her first birthday, don’t feel too bad—there’s nothing wrong with buying a pair of shoes and putting them on your tot, provided you don’t leave them on for too long. But remember, pre-walkers don’t need shoes!

Childern

But Does Wearing Shoes Help the Ankles Get Strong?

You may have heard that wearing shoes can help your toddler build stronger ankles; however, no proof exists to support the same. In fact, more proof exists that suggests putting shoes on your toddler too early can be harmful, instead, and that going barefoot in the initial months can actually strengthen the ankles instead of wearing shoes.

BABY Girl

Babies’ ankles are sturdy and stable enough to support their movement at that age, negating the need for support, so don’t get swayed by apparent medical benefits of wearing shoes.

What Are the Different Baby Shoes Options?

Just like it is for adults, there’s a variety of shoes to choose from for your little boy or baby girl just learning to take his or her first, teeny steps. In fact, stilettos and heeled shoes apart, you’ll probably find a baby version of every adult shoe style out there!

Shoes for Boys

Some of the best baby boy walking shoes include:

  • Slip-on shoes (for pre-walkers)
  • Boots (especially for cold weather)
  • Moccasins
  • Sneakers
BEST BABY SHOES 2020

Shoes for Girls

Some popular styles for your little baby girl include:

  • Moccasins
  • Boots/booties
  • Slip-on shoes (for the pre-walkers)
  • Mary Janes
  • Sandals
  • Infant girl sneakers
BABY SHOES

Sizing Guide

Each toddler has a different foot shape, size and rate of growth; however, the following averages can help you pick out the right size for your tot, especially when shopping online:

  • Size 1: For 0-3 months old
  • Size 2: For 3-6 months old
  • Size 2.5/3: For 6-9 months
  • Size 3.5/4: For 9-12 months
  • Size 4.5/5: For 12-18 months
  • Size 5.5/6: For 18-24 months
BABY SHOES

Though this guide can be pretty helpful while buying toddlers’ shoes, do remember to check out the size chart of each brand, as the measurements that constitute a size may vary from brand to brand.

What Kind of Shoe to Pick for My Tot’s First Steps?

Soft-soled shoes that are breathable, flexible and comfortable are a step in the right direction when it comes to the ideal shoes for your tot’s first steps! Pick materials such as cloth, canvas and leather; avoid plastic like the plague!

A good way to gauge flexibility is to feel your tot’s toes through the shoes; if you can, the shoes are flexible and vice versa. Additionally, look for features such as non-slip/skid-resistant soles, washable material, and of course, a good fit.

BEST BABY SHOES

Though some shoes also feature a range of additional features such as special inserts, wedges, arch supports, high backs and reinforced heels, they’re not really necessary for the average child and will just end up burning a hole in your pocket. Give them a skip and focus instead on a good grip, good fit, flexibility and comfort.

Don’t worry—we’ll discuss at length more factors that you need to consider while picking out your tot’s shoes, in a bit.

Signs That You’ve Bought the Wrong Shoes!

Like babies, baby feet are extremely delicate. If the following signs appear after you put your tot in shoes, you may have to review your purchase:

  • Any soreness, redness, or lumps on the ankles, toes or your tot’s feet
  • Deformation of toes, such as one toe curling under another
  • The feet curving inwards or outwards
  • Discoloration or inflammation in your tot’s toenails
  • Toe walking
  • Ingrown toenails
  • Any back, knee or ankle pain
  • Constant tripping, twisting of ankles, stumbling, the heels lifting out of the shoes, and dragging feet are all signs that those baby boy walking shoes are too big 

The appearance of these signs can indicate that your tot’s shoes are terribly wrong for him or her. Generally, tots’ shoes don’t need breaking in. After your child has worn the shoes for a while, take them off and check for any irritation, redness or any of the above signs.

BABY GIRL IN SHOES

In case the problem recurs, seeking your doctor’s advice on the same and the best shoes for babies learning to walk is recommended.

Help! How Do I Keep the Shoes On?

Just as they’re extremely notorious for puking, gurgling up milk and poop explosions, babies are extremely good at kicking off their shoes, with older tots even attempting to prise them off on their own. Keeping the shoes on, on your tot’s feet, can be done with the following tips:

  • A secure, snug fit goes great lengths in keeping the shoe one. (How secure is too secure? You shouldn’t find marks when you remove the shoe).
  • Adjustable shoes, such as ones with laces, snaps and Velcro closure that can be adjusted to your tot’s size also help.
  • It may also be a matter of preference; those angel baby shoes you loved may not really sit very well with your little princess or rockstar! Try out a bunch of styles and you may find that he or she likes one more than the other.
BABY SHOES

Are Velcro, Sandals and Crocs Recommended?

Though sandals, Crocs and shoes with Velcro are extremely easy to put on; however, as mentioned, they also slip off really easily, which brings down their protective efficiency. Additionally, Crocs can be unsafe on escalators; there have been reports of Crocs getting caught in them and toes getting injured.

Another thing to consider with sandals and some shoes, too, is the number of decorative items and fasteners that could possibly come off and pose a potential choking hazard to your tot. Some fasteners could also have sharp parts that can poke, scratch or cause laceration hazards. Checking the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission list will give you a good idea of which shoes have been recalled for posing safety hazards.

To keep shoes on and prevent injuries, laces might be the best option. 

BEST BABY Girl SHOES

How to Pick out the Best Shoes for Your Tot

To pick out the best shoes for your tot, here’s a list of factors to keep in mind:

  • Getting the Fit Right: Since your tot can’t tell you if the shoe fits right, the onus falls on you. A few simple checks can help determine if the fight is right, such as checking the length, width and heel. Ensure that the space between your tot’s big toe and the front of the shoe is at least half an inch for sufficient wiggle room—this is a good length for the shoe. Being able to grasp a tiny bit of the material at the shoe’s widest point indicates sufficient width (if you’re able to grasp a lot of the material, it’s too wide), whereas being able to fit your pinky snugly in between your tot’s heel and the shoe indicates sufficient heel room (if your finger has too much room, the shoe is too loose). As babies grow quickly, do a length-width-heel test every month.
  • Lightweight and Breathable: A heavy shoe will lead to your tot’s steps being heavy and lead to him or her to drag their feet, which can lead to the development of bad posture and walking habits. Pick lightweight, breathable materials such as fabric, canvas or even light, soft leather, to replicate the barefoot experience as much as possible, so that your tot is slowly eased into the feel of wearing those new angel baby shoes. Stay away from unbreathing materials such as synthetics and stiff leather as these can obstruct the healthy development of your tot’s feet. 
BEST BABY Girl SHOES
  • Non-Skid, Flexible Soles: The ability to bend the sole to up to 40 degrees is a good indicator that the sole is flexible. Additionally, look for good traction in the form of non-skid/skid-resistant rubber or leather soles, especially ones with ridges or grooves on the sole. This will keep your tot from slipping and falling till he or she gets the hang of walking. 
  • Secure Closure: Whether you choose snaps, laces or Velcro, the shoes should be easy to get on your little one’s foot and stay there securely, not come off easily on their own. Ergo, easy on but not easy off! As mentioned earlier, laced shoes are a good option, but if you don’t want to deal with untied laces the whole day, Velcro is the next best; however, laced shoes will be trickier for your tot to remove, which means he or she won’t be removing them on their own when you want them kept on!
  • Padding: Padded shoes are popular; padding on the heel backs and around the ankle area minimizes rubbing, while padding on the bottom makes the shoe comfortable. 

Apart from this, shopping for angel baby shoes later in the day is a wise thing to do, as tiny feet swell by the end of the day and are, therefore, bigger. If you buy shoes based on the morning fit, you might find that they get tight by the evening.

BEST BABY SHOES

The 8 Best Baby Shoes for Little Walkers!

Tutoo Unisex Baby High-Top Sneakers

The first feature on my list of the best shoes for babies learning to walk is the Tutoo Unisex Baby High-Tops—these babies are adorable and efficient in equal measure. Along with the ability to match absolutely any outfit and look extremely stylish, these Tutoo sneakers facilitate the healthy growth of your tot’s feet and keep them warm. A great option for your tot’s very first adventures outdoors!

Features

  • Made of cotton
  • Features a soft cotton sole with an anti-slip polka-dot design
  • Is tested to ensure safety and no harmful reaction to the baby’s skin
  • Lightweight
  • Available for toddlers between 3 and 18 months
  • Features lace-up closure
  • Unisex
  • Can be machine-washed
  • Available in 31 different color options
  • Sizing:
    • Size S: For 3-6 months with a heel-to-toe length of 4.33 inches
    • Size M: For 6-12 months with a heel-to-toe length of 4.7 inches
    • Size L: For 12-18 months with a heel-to-toe length of 5.1 inches

Pros

  • Lightweight nature of the shoes ensures that walking is easy for your tot
  • Easy to put on and take off for the parent
  • Stays in place once securely tied, making it a great option for your kid’s outdoor frolicking, along with the non-skid soles
  • Goes through multiple safety tests, so you can rest assured that your baby’s feet are in safe hands
  • Very stylish
  • Easy returns
  • Is easy to clean and care for, as it can be machine washed
  • Reasonably priced

Cons

  • Many users have reported sizing issues, stating that the shoes run larger than size.
  • Since the sole is cotton, the shoes may not be very durable, especially with frequent outdoor usage; some users have stated that the shoes tore on the second use itself.

Antheron Soft-Soled Canvas Shoes

The Antheron Soft-Soled Canvas Shoes give your tot’s feet a world of comfort, made of flexible canvas and featuring a soft cotton lining that lets your tot’s feet breathe. It also doesn’t hurt that these baby moccasins are also extremely stylish, designed in the classic high-top style—your tot is sure to be the center of attention at the playground with these shoes on!

Features

  • Anti-skid soles feature anti-skid dot patterns for slip resistance
  • High-top baby moccasins made with soft canvas, with a breathable cotton lining
  • Features car suture stitching
  • Elastic closure
  • Available in 24 different style/color combinations
  • Unisex
  • Sizing:
    • 0-6 Months: Heel-to-toe length of 4.25 inches
    • 6-12 Months: Heel-to-toe length of 4.73 inches
    • 12-18 Months: Heel-to-toe length of 5.12 inches
  • Available in 5 other different styles—
    • Soft, anti-skid cotton soles
    • Non-slip soft rubber soles
    • Lace-up closure
    • Elastic closure
    • No finger loop

Pros

  • Available in a variety of styles and color choices, giving customers more choice
  • Is extremely comfortable, thanks to a lightweight, breathable cotton lining and canvas make
  • The shoes’ material is friendly to your tot’s skin while the shoe itself allows for the healthy, natural growth of your tot’s feet
  • Well cushioned for comfort
  • Easy to put on and take off
  • Very stylish
  • Anti-slip sole
  • High-quality construction
  • Reasonably priced

Cons

  • The elastic closure means that it is as easy for your toddler to take off these angel baby shoes as it is for you to put them on!
  • Many parents have stated that they faced sizing issues—the shoes run large.
  • Some customers have also stated that the material is poor, providing no support to the feet, and that the odor of the new shoes is overwhelming.

Converse Kids’ First Star High-Top Sneakers

If you ask me, it doesn’t get more classic than a good ol’ pair of Converse All-Stars. A must-have product for adults around the world, these legends are now available in their baby versions—meet the Converse Kids’ First Star High-Top Sneakers, a stylish pair of comfortable shoes that definitely belong on this list (and any list!) of the best shoes for babies learning to walk!

Features

  • 100% cloth make
  • Features a synthetic sole
  • Lace-up closure
  • Foam-backed
  • Features an insole of terry cloth
  • The upper is made of canvas
  • Follows the standard Converse sizing mentioned on the website
  • Unisex
  • Available in 8 different colors

Pros

  • A classic pair of shoes from an iconic company, so full points for reputable brand backing!
  • Easy to put on but not necessarily for your tot to take off, thanks to the lace-up design
  • The foam backing and terry cloth insole keep your toddler’s feet comfortable
  • Durable synthetic soles that allow for frequent outdoor usage
  • The canvas and cloth construction ensures breathability
  • Fits true to size

Cons

  • Extremely expensive for baby shoes!
  • Some products had the logo stitched on the wrong side.
  • Some parents found the grip of the shoes to be insufficiently strong.

Livebox Pre-Walker Toddler Boots

These boots are not just one of the most chic baby shoes in the market but they’re also a boon in the winter for your baby girl! The Livebox Pre-Walker Toddler Boots features a soft cotton-leather-fleece-combination construction that keeps your tot’s feet warm while also allowing her enough flexibility and comfort to explore the world and conquer it!

Features

  • Made of cotton, man-made fleece and baby-friendly soft leather
  • Safety tested
  • Soft-soled boots with elastic closure
  • Anti-slip soles
  • Zero-hassle returns
  • Available in 8 different color options
  • Sizing:
    • Size S: For 0-6 months with a heel-to-toe length of 4.25 in
    • Size M: For 6-12 months with a heel-to-toe length of 4.76 in
    • Size L: For 12-18 months with a heel-to-toe length of 5.1 in

Pros

  • Great for both indoor and outdoor walking
  • Extremely stylish yet functional; keeps your tot’s feet warm, comfortable and flexible—the boots can even be folded over for extra warmth
  • Is well designed, extremely comfortable and soft
  • Breathable materials such as soft leather and cotton ensure constant airflow and ventilation to your tot’s feet
  • Tested for safety, so parents can rest assured
  • Lightweight nature allows for easy, natural walking and ensures that your tot slowly and organically eases into the shoes
  • Convenient return policy—you can return the shoes for any reason
  • The materials are all extremely baby-skin friendly while the man-made fleece makes the shoes animal friendly!
  • Extremely reasonably priced

Cons

  • Velcro/elastic closure doesn’t keep the shoes securely on your tot’s feet. He or she can also easily remove both.
  • Only for baby girls.
  • Not waterproof.

Bebila Cartoon Baby Moccasins

These infant girl sneakers are all kinds of soft, comfortable and efficient, not to mention as cute as a button! They feature a colorful exterior that can enhance the playfulness of any outfit while keeping your little princess’ feet safe, warm and free to explore. Whether your tot’s walking on hard wooden floors, shaggy carpets or the pavement, getting these shoes for her is a step in the right direction, when it comes to her journey of learning to walk.

Features

  • Made of soft polyurethane leather
  • Features a leather-rubber anti-slip sole
  • Available in 15 different patterns/prints
  • Features a tassel finish on the front
  • Hand-made
  • Returns/replacement available
  • Sizing:
    • 0-6 Months: 4.33 inches
    • 6-12 Months: 4.72 inches
    • 12-18 Months: 5.12 inches
    • 18-24 Months: 5.51 inches
    • 2-3 Years: 6.30 inches
    • 3-4 Years: 6.69 inches

Pros

  • Soft, breathable leather construction that is also durable and friendly to your tot’s skin
  • An anti-skid sole, coupled with a lightweight build and overall flexibility of the shoes, ensures natural development of foot movement and growth
  • Easy to put on and take off
  • Extremely cute prints/patterns that are clearly printed sans any smudging
  • Extremely high-quality handmade shoes
  • Easy returns process
  • Soft, flexible and comfortable

Cons

  • Easy to take off for your toddler
  • On the expensive side
  • Some parents faced sizing issues and even complained of the prints fading/material peeling off within an hour or two of use, which doesn’t speak too well for the product’s durability

Josmo Kids Unisex Walking Shoes

Having been in the business for more than 25 years, Josmo definitely knows how to own it with classy shoe designs that have captured parents’ hearts (and the tots too!) since its inception. In fact, this particular walker is a company classic, having hit the shelves over 15 years ago and going on to become a wardrobe staple for toddlers across the country! Simple yet upscale, the Josmo Kids Walking Shoes is a no-frills shoe that more than efficiently does what it’s designed for. It just goes to show that quality and clarity go a long way!

Features

  • Lace-up booties with an opening around 10 inches
  • Made of supple, soft leather
  • Features a leather sole
  • Flat-bottom corrects and a structured form to support walking
  • Available in both regular and wider sizes
  • Available in 15 different colors

Pros

  • Extremely classy design
  • Comes from a very reputed, well-known brand and is a classic product
  • Easy to lace up and put on for parents but not for kids to take off, so it stays on
  • Simple yet effective
  • High-quality leather construction and design (including flat-bottom corrects) that support and help walking
  • Inclusive sizing to fit a wider variety of children’s feet
  • Durable material and make

Cons

  • Quite expensive for children’s shoes.
  • The corrective features incorporated in the shoe may not be necessary or even healthy for all toddlers; it is best to check with a pediatrician if these shoes can work for your tot.

Stride Rite Soft Motion Freddie Booties

If you thought Josmo was a big player, Stride Rite hits the ball out of the park, having been a parent-child favorite since 1919! Stride Rite is known for its high-quality products, and the Soft Motion Freddie Booties are no exception, designed to withstand every adventure in your tot’s life, while being easy on you. Designed to meet the needs of growing children, these booties are a must consider for your tot’s outdoor explorations.

Features

  • 100% leather construction
  • Features a rubber sole
  • Features the company’s trademark Natural Motion System and Sensory Response Technology
  • Leather upper with a classic sneaker silhouette
  • Lace-up closure
  • Features soft memory foam lines inside

Pros

  • A product from an iconic, reputed brand, so you can be confident of high quality, functionality and efficiency
  • High-quality leather that’s breathable, supple, flexible and durable
  • The Natural Motion System is designed to be as close to barefoot walking as possible to help babies develop their stride and walking naturally
  • The Sensory Response Technology also aids in mimicking barefoot walking with the help of 2 sensory pods on the outsole, helping tots feel the ground
  • The outsole is lightweight and flexible, helping toddlers adapt to uneven terrain and surfaces while also encouraging natural movement
  • Lace-up closure keeps the shoes on securely; a wide opening lets you slip on the shoes in a flash!
  • Not only is the sole anti-skid but also rounded, ensuring better balance
  • Extremely stylish baby boy walking shoes design
  • Fits true to size

Cons

  • Extremely expensive (around $50!)
  • Some parents received defective products
  • Not sized for babies with wide feet
  • Unsatisfactory returns policy
  • Available only in white, which tends to get dirty/stain easily

OAISNIT Baby Sneakers

The last product on my list of baby boy walking shoes, the OAISNIT Baby Sneakers are not just for the boys—they make great infant girl sneakers too. Soft, lightweight and comfortable, these shoes have all the trappings of a great walking shoe for your tots. It comes equipped with a range of impressive features that enhance its efficiency and is one of those rare well-endowed baby boy walking shoes that won’t burn a hole through your pocket!

Features

  • Soft rubber sole that’s lightweight and anti-skid
  • Features an anti-collision toe cap
  • Features breathable lining along with a colorful upper
  • Adjustable closure
  • Available in 7 different colors

Pros

  • Lightweight and soft rubber sole that’s comfortable, facilitates better walking and prevents skidding
  • The anti-collision toe cap is a unique, additional protective feature that keeps those all-too-common initial-days stubbed toes at bay!
  • The adjustable closure lets parents slip the shoes on quickly while also allowing kids to take shoes off and be more independent
  • Breathable lining that keeps feet fresh, sweat-free and odor-free
  • Reasonably-priced
  • Are reasonably stretchy and fit well

Cons

  • Though the wide closure makes kids more independent, this means they’ll also be taking off shoes when you least want them to! This also increases the possibility of shoes being easily flung off.
  • Some users faced sizing issues; some stated that the shoes ran smaller than the standard sizing, while others stated that it ran larger!

The Final Word

Though all these shoes are great in their own right and can really help your tot develop his or her walking by leaps and bounds, my personal favorite has to be the Stride Rite Soft Motion Freddie Booties. Despite being quite expensive (the most expensive on the list, in fact), the shoes are quite unparalleled in their efficiency and overall awesomeness. To me, the price justifies the product’s durability, comfort and range of features. Checkout some of the Best Options for Children’s Boutique Fashion.

The Bebila moccasins come a close second; these infant girl sneakers are extremely reasonably priced, as cute as a kitten that thinks he’s a lion and comes with a range of great features for its price range. Whichever your favorite turned out to be, I hope this list gave you quite a few quality products to consider and if you don’t have a favorite, I hope you’re at least well-equipped enough by now to pick out the perfect walking shoes for your tot’s steps!

BEST BABY SHOES

Read More: TODDLER FASHION 2020: THE TRENDIEST OF CLOTHES FOR YOUR TOT

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