The First Pair of Baby Shoes

When your toddler starts walking, it’s time to start looking into to buying his first pair of kids shoes. While socks and booties are more than sufficient to keep your baby’s feet warm, toddler shoes are necessary when she is running about outside or inside on cold or rough floors. Going barefoot, or at least in non-slip, socked feet is the ideal, though, since walking in bare feet help your toddler’s sense of balance and co-ordination.

Finding the Right Fit
Here are some tips on choosing baby walking shoes when you and your toddler go to the shoe store. You will want to look for soft baby shoes that are lightweight and made of breathable, soft material that will conform to your toddler’s foot. Baby shoes that have rubber soles with some form of traction will be the easiest for him to maneuver in. It is also important that his feet are measured every time you go to buy shoes. Just like adults, toddlers often have one foot that is slightly larger than the other. Go with the larger size to ensure that the shoes are comfortable for both feet.

Your toddler should always try on the shoe before you buy them. All shoes are made differently and even though the shoe is suppose to be her size, it doesn’t guarantee that it will be comfortable. When she tries the shoe on, make sure that she stands up so that her full weight is on her feet. Also, shoes should always be tried on with socks and ideally towards the end of the day when feet are naturally more swollen.

You should always buy shoes, both for yourself and your toddler, that fit and feel comfortable right away. Any shoe that pinches, hurts or needs to be “broken in” is not the right shoe for your toddler. To make sure you have the right fit, your toddler should be able wiggle his toes with no problems and the top of the shoe should not press down on his toenails. There should also be about a half inch of space between the longest toe and the front of the shoe. Additionally, you should be able to stick your pinky finger snuggly in-between the back of the shoe and your toddler’s heel. If there is a lot of room back there, then the shoe is too big. Can’t get your finger in at all? Then the shoe is too small.

When to Get Some More
Toddler’s feet grow very quickly. On average, you can expect to buy new shoes for your toddler every three to four months. However, feet can go through growth spurts so it is important that you continue to make sure your toddler’s shoes fit properly every month. Signs that a trip to the shoe store is necessary include:

- Your toddler has red marks or blisters on her feet. This suggests that the shoes are pinching, binding or just generally irritating her.
- The tops of his toes are hitting the top of the shoe
- She doesn’t want to wear the shoes or tries to take them off all the time
- Fusses or whines when you try to put the shoes on him
- Is walking right out of the shoe

Some Shoe Advice
- Avoid buying shoes that your toddler will have to go grow into. Shoes that are too big can make walking difficult for her and may also give her blisters.
- Toddler boots can be difficult to get on but low-rise shoes can be too easy to take off. Since there is no one ideal toddler shoe, you will have to decide which type of shoe is best suited to your toddlers needs. Just try to steer clear of any shoe that has a raised heel.
- Avoid “hand-me-down” shoes. Since they will already be molded to fit the previous wearer’s foot, it is unlikely that the shoes will be very comfortable for your toddler. The exception to this rule is shoes that have never been worn or are dress shoes and therefore will not be worn frequently. But if they don’t fit properly, pass them on to someone else.
- An expensive shoe does not guarantee a fitted shoe. Your toddler won’t know the difference between the designer stuff and the bargain basement shoes. Your main concern should be which shoes fit your toddler not what is fashionable.