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8 Best Shoes for New Walkers

toddler walking

My godson just took his first steps, so I decided to buy him shoes for his birthday. I thought choosing the perfect pair would be as easy as when my kids were babies. Oh boy, I was wrong. Now, there are so many options; one shop alone had a myriad of sneakers, doll shoes, and rubber sandals. I could not keep up! So, I scoured the web to find the best shoes for new walkers. 

I finally found the best shoes for dear Baby Austin. He’s embarking on adventures in their living room, the park, and daycare. I understand you’re busy reveling in your new explorer, Mom and Dad. So, I’m sharing with you the top ten walking shoes for your baby.

When Should Your Baby Start Wearing Walking Shoes?

Some experts advise allowing your little ones to explore their surroundings barefoot since it promotes balance and muscle strength. However, after your child begins to walk confidently, you should consider introducing shoes, especially if they are walking outdoors, on uneven surfaces or slick floors.

What then should a parent do? As with most things related to parenting, there isn’t a universally applicable solution. Therefore, you must pay attention to your child’s cues, track their development, and speak with a reliable physical therapist or pediatrician as needed. The fact that they are safe, protected, and allowed to travel the world at their speed is what really counts.

How to Choose the Best Shoes for New Walkers

Before heading out to the store, check out the following shoe features to watch out for:

Flexibility: You want shoes that move and groove along your child’s feet. Think soft and bendy materials that won’t cramp their style as they take those first toddling steps.

Support: Find the balance between sturdiness and comfort. A firm heel and a snug fit around the ankle will give them extra stability.

Room to Grow: Make sure those shoes have plenty of wiggle room for their little piggies. It’s best to leave some space at the front – about the width of your thumb.

Traction: Non-slip soles will allow your little walkers to have the essential grip to navigate various surfaces.

Breathability: When it gets too hot, shoes made of breathable materials, such as leather or mesh, can keep baby’s tootsies cool and dry.

Easy On, Easy Off: Oh, the never-ending battle to fit shoes on a fussy infant. Your sanity will thank you later if you choose models with adjustable straps or elastic openings.

Here are our top picks!

Stride Rite Kids’ SRT Soft Motion Artie Athletic Sneaker

Stride Rite Kids SRT Soft Motion Artie Sneakers

These sneakers’ soft motion technology encourages natural movement – a treat for first-time walkers finding their stride. They’re durable and super easy to slip on and off because of the premium leather material. Additionally, thanks to the adjustable hook and loop closure, there are no more wrestling matches just to get those shoes on – hallelujah!

These striders are all about comfort, too. Its seamless silhouette cradles your baby’s foot, while the memory foam footbeds provide extra cushioning. Lastly, these bad boys are APMA-approved – a vital stamp of approval from the American Podiatric Medical Association.

Ten Little Everyday Original Shoes

Ten Little Everyday Original Shoes

Whether your little one is headed to a party or hitting the playground, give them comfort and style with the Ten Little Everyday Original Shoes. Also, since you’re getting an APMA-approved pair, you know you’re getting top-notch quality for those growing feet. Crafted from vegan leather and 100% cotton lining, this pair will keep those tiny tootsies cool and healthy. 

The natural rubber soles, made from the Hevea tree’s milk, provide non-skid traction that can survive nonstop running, jumping, and playing – basically, a toddler’s life! The no-slip tongue also prevents pesky shoe mishaps so you’ll be out of the door in no time.

Pediped Unisex-Child Force Sneaker

Pediped Unisex-Child Force Sneaker

When sporty style and eco-friendliness have a baby, these shoes are the result. As another APMA-approved option, you can rest easy knowing your little one’s precious feet are in good hands. We all know that happy feet make happy babies – and the Ortholite memory foam footbed makes it happen. Additionally, the design envelopes the foot like a bear hug, providing stability and support. 

These kicks give kids a more natural and balanced gait because of their flexible, rounded, slip-resistant soles. Therefore, it will fit your child regardless of whether they pretend to be tiny racing cars or march like adorable soldiers.  

Robeez First Kicks

Robeez First Kicks

The shoes’ structured silhouette looks, feels, and operates like the real thing – because it’s never too early to be a fashionista. A baby six months and older will benefit from the split rubber sole that grips the floor like a boss. These kicks are also approved by the American Podiatric Medical Association, so you know they’re good for your baby’s growing feet. The soles that flex and bend with every step allow for the full range of motion needed for healthy foot development. 

Lastly, it features a kick-proof (or should I say toddler-proof), elasticized ankle or convenient zipper. With a padded insole that provides protection and plenty of cushioning, your little one’s feet will be as snug as a hug.

Stride Rite Unisex-Child Sr Taye 2.0 First Walker Shoe

Stride Rite Unisex-Child Sr Taye 2.0 First Walker Shoe

Introduce your little one to stylish comfort with this shoe’s removable insole that fits all feet and faux elastic laces for that sporty look. It’s also an instant outfit maker with vibrant hues and creative designs. So whether your little one is rocking jeans and a tee or a fancy dress, these kicks will take their outfit to the next level.

These booties feature flexible rounded soles, a dual-fit system, and memory foam footbeds for enhanced comfort. The translation? They’re built to last through all those epic adventures your little one has in store.

Toddler Parker Sneakers – Cat & Jack™

Toddler Parker Sneakers - Cat & Jack™

These camo sneakers’ breathable cotton lining provides all-day comfort to your mischievous explorer. It has an easy pull-on tab at the back and a hook-and-loop closure that makes getting dressed a breeze – no more drama before your grocery run or trip to grandma’s. They also pair easily with any of your baby’s casual-cool looks – shorts, tutus, cargo pants, or sundresses.

The low top and no heel design are perfect for those little feet raring to hop, skip, and run. And the cherry on top? These sneakers come from a blend of cotton and polyester, with a TPR (Thermoplastic Rubber) and polyester outsole for durability that lasts.

Nike Flex Runner 2

Nike Flex Runner 2

Keeping those little feet snug and secure is a crucial part of your toddler’s development. These kicks’ stretchy bootie design, midfoot strap, heel strap, and leather sides ensure your baby’s feet stay locked in place no matter how much they zoom around. This lace-free pair makes them super quick to slip on and off. Because let’s face it when you’ve got a toddler with ants in their pants, every second counts!

The flexible foam sole has grooves to make every step feel natural, while the pattern on the sole provides traction on any surface. Plus, the foam around the heel creates a wing-like shape for extra stability when your little one is darting in every direction.

See Kai Run, Ryder II FlexiRun Active Sneakers for Kids

See Kai Run, Ryder II FlexiRun Active Sneakers for Kids

A minimalist momma will love this shoe’s design and almost weightlessness. The breathable mesh,  padded tongue and collar, and soft lining can keep tiny feet cool and cozy for hours on end. Its outsole is flexible and cushioning, so your little one can navigate the world around them with ease.

These sneakers are also machine washable for easy cleaning – say goodbye to those stubborn mud and orange juice stains. Plus, it has the Seal of Acceptance from the American Podiatric Medical Association under their belt so you know they’re good for your baby’s precious feet.

Tips in Buying Shoes for Your New Walker

Here are some tips in choosing the right shoes for your active toddler. 

  1. Measure your child’s foot before heading to the shoe store to ensure they fit perfectly.
  2. Research on shoe sizing for toddlers. Although it may appear complicated initially, a little knowledge will help you choose the best pair for your child. 
  3. Avoid letting your child wear second-hand shoes for your child. Their feet should have a new start with unworn shoes. 
  4. Pick a pair that allows for natural movement and comfort rather than ones that are extremely rigid or inflexible. Your new walker should be able to move and bend with their feet. 
  5. Purchase shoes that are right for their size to prevent pain and injury to their tiny feet, rather than getting larger shoes for them to “grow into.” 
  6. Relax and accept that you must replace your child’s shoes more often than you expected. It’s all a part of the experience of seeing them develop and learn about their surroundings.
  7. Make sure the front of the shoe has some space for growth. Unbelievably, a baby’s tiny feet grow quickly. To keep them comfortable and content, give them a little additional room.

Shop for the Perfect Walking Shoes for Your Baby

Let’s discuss your shoe game for your little walker – finding the right kicks is critical to their growth and comfort. We’re talking about a pair that fits just right, offers support, and flexes with every tiny step.

Now it’s your time to shine, moms and dads! Drop your favorite shoe brands in the comments below. Let’s swap shopping secrets and tips for raising our toddlers in style!

I know every little milestone your kiddo hits is worth the hoopla. Here’s to finding the best designs for your babies strutting their stuff with confidence, comfort, and flair.

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