When Baby was an infant, those soft, decorative shoes provided the perfect final touch to his adorable wardrobe. However, as he starts to walk, it’s time to stroll into more practical footwear.
While he will outgrow his shoes fairly quickly, it’s important not to use that as a reason to compromise on quality. Here are steps in the right direction when it comes to buying shoes for Baby.
It might not seem like the type of material the shoe is made out of is all that important, since most toddler shoes are outgrown before they have the chance to get worn out, but it is essential to choose shoes that are both durable and flexible. Shoes that protect little feet, but also have flexible soles, are ideal for these early-walking years. Shoes that are too stiff can weaken the muscles in the feet and impair natural movement.
These early months – or even years – on Baby’s feet can be a bit unsteady, and shoes that offer good traction and support can help protect him from falls. Other parts of the shoe, like ties vs velcro, are a matter of preference. Velcro shoes will be easier to put on, but they’re also easier to take off, and Baby is sure to master that step soon enough.
Perhaps the most important factor when picking out Baby’s early shoes is finding the right fit. The best bet is to head to a store that specializes in selling toddler shoes, and getting his foot measured by the store staff. If that’s not an option, try placing your pinky finger between the back of his foot and the back of the shoe. It should slide in comfortably but without offering much space, as Baby’s foot sliding around in the shoe can cause friction and irritation.
Once you’ve found a pair that seems to be a good fit, have Baby strut his stuff around the store to be sure he seems comfortable. Watch for any obvious signs of discomfort, like limping or tripping, which indicate the shoes are not the right match for his feet (even if they are the right size).
It’s expected that toddlers will outgrow their shoes roughly every few months. Signs that the shoes have been outgrown include redness, irritation, and swelling of the foot. Therefore, for his comfort, it’s important to check the fit frequently and size up when needed.
- “Shopping for Kids Shoes.” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic, 1998-2016. Web.
- “Movement: 8 to 12 Months.” HealthyChildren. American Academy of Pediatrics, August 1 2009. Web.