As your baby begins to crawl and eventually take their first steps, it's time to think about their first pair of shoes. With so many options available (a lot being very poor choices), choosing the right pair can feel overwhelming.
To help you make an informed decision, here are the three essential features you should look for when shopping for baby/toddler shoes:
1. Flat and Supportive: A flat shoe without a heel is crucial for your baby's foot development. Babies have softer, more flexible bones and joints than adults, and a flat shoe will help support their natural foot shape. Additionally, flat shoes help babies maintain their balance and coordination, making it easier for them to learn to walk.
2. Flexible Sole: A flexible sole allows your baby's feet to move and bend naturally, which is important for their overall foot health and development. Look for shoes with soft, pliable soles that mimic the natural movement of your baby's feet. Avoid stiff or hard soles, as these can restrict movement and hinder your baby's walking progress.
3. Wide Toe Box: It's essential to choose shoes with a wide toe box that match the natural look of a foot. This will give their toes plenty of room to spread out, promoting proper foot development and preventing any discomfort or pressure. A wide toe box also helps prevent issues like bunions or ingrown toenails from developing later in life.
4. Breathable Material: Baby shoes should be made from breathable materials, such as canvas, leather, or mesh. Breathable shoes help keep your baby's feet dry and comfortable, reducing the risk of blisters, rashes, or other skin irritations. Additionally, breathable materials can help prevent foot odor, ensuring your baby's feet stay fresh and clean.
5. Cute and Age-Appropriate Designs: There are plenty of stylish options available, from classic sneakers to trendy sandals, so you can find the perfect pair to match your baby's personality and wardrobe.
6. Easy Fastening & Deep Tongue: A secure fastening system, such as Velcro or adjustable straps, is an added bonus to consider. This will help ensure the shoes stay on your baby's feet, preventing them from falling off and potentially causing injury. Easy fastening and a deep tongue also make it more convenient for you to put the shoes on and take them off, making the process less stressful for both you and your baby.
When shopping for baby shoes, remember to keep these three key features in mind: a flat and supportive structure, a flexible sole, and a wide toe box.
But above everything, give your child as much time as possible BAREFOOT. At home, in the grass, in the sand, and on any other safe surfaces. This allows their muscles to be used fully, to develop properly, and even allows their nerves to activate in ways not possible with shoes on!
Here are links to some of our favorites for babies!
Here are links to some of our favorite brands for walkers!
Jack and Lily
You can also find shoes that match this criteria at places you normally shop- like Old Navy, H&M, and Target (although you just have to be more diligent in your efforts!)
Still want to learn more about Barefoot shoes (for your baby OR yourself? Check out this episode of the Podcast on iTunes or Spotify and Visit the Anya's Reviews Website- Anya shares everything you need to know about barefoot shoes and will answer all of your questions!)
L E T ' S B E F R I E N D S!