It’s tempting to purchase your first pair of infant shoes for those super cute pictures. But, it definitely isn’t recommended for the development of your baby’s feet.
Of course, purchasing those cute, hard-bottomed shoes for a mini-photo shoot is okay. However, there’s a common misconception that wearing shoes daily will help strengthen your child’s feet before they start walking. This is wrong.
Kendra Gagnon, physical therapist, and blogger of kendrapedpt.com explains why shoes are not beneficial:
Barefoot is best. When babies are crawling, pulling to stand, cruising around the coffee table, and even starting to take those first few steps; they need to be able to flex their forefeet and toes. They also need as much sensory input as they can get in order to feel the floor underneath their feet and know where their feet are in relation to their body. A hard-sole shoe just doesn’t allow for that.
If you’re concerned about flat feet or a lack of development in the strength of their feet, then don’t worry.
Flat feet are normal until age 6 or 7.
As your child continues to grow, they’ll develop strength in their feet and ankles, which will form the arch on its own.
It is recommended to keep your baby bare feet as much as possible. Walking barefoot strengthens the muscles and ligaments of the foot, increases the strength of the arch, and contributes to good posture.
If your child is a new walker and may need to wear shoes while at daycare or on the playground, then here are some cute and comfortable shoes for your little one. Before you run out to the store, read this shopping guide for the best shoes for your baby.
Infant Shoe Size Chart
Infant Crib Shoes
Freshly Picked Moccasin
Perfect for crawlers and new walkers, Freshly Picked includes durable stitching and thick quality leather that ensures long lasting comfortable wear. These soft sole moccasins have an elasticized top line for easy wear and come in so many fun colors and patterns, moms really get both the look and comfort of this shoe.
Robeez Crib Shoe
This crib shoe has a flexible, breathable leather lining that helps little feet to stay dry and cool. It has a elasticized ankle, which makes it easy to slip on and has the American Podiatric Medical Association Seal of Acceptance.
Infant Walking Shoes
Vivo Barefoot Primus Kids Shoe
Vivo Barefoot has the most well-thought shoes for the whole family. Their Primus kids shoe has breathable mesh and thin light weight that’s durable for maximum underfoot sensory. It’s perfect for long wear in an outdoor setting.
Stride Rite Baby Walker Shoes
Stride Rite shoes are my personal favorite! The sensory response technology improves balance and helps children to develop a natural, healthy gait and the means to walk. This was my little one’s first hard sole shoe, and I’m really impressed by the support it provides for new walkers.
Infant Water Shoes
CROCS Swiftwater Sandal
This light weight and supportive sandal have a water proof mesh with sole-protective padding. Sizing is roomy to accommodate different feet sizes and allow for growing feet. There’s a non-slip suede sole to help protect your child from slipping. Lastly, it is approved by the American Podiatric Medical Association.
Keen Water Friendly Sandal
Keen’s water friendly sandal is quick-drying with durability both in and out of the water. I personally love the closed toe as well as the elastic laces, which make it easy to slip on and go.
Infant Dress Shoes
If you’re looking for a cute dress shoe, Little Things Mean A Lot has perfect satin and cotton shoes made ideal for a Christening. For over 30 years, Little Things Means a Lot has manufactured the highest quality apparel and clothes. Their soft sole shoes are perfect for any special occasion.
Other Infant Shoes Brands & Stores
Happy Little Soles
Happy Little Soles is a UK based family business committed to the importance of the right footwear to allow children feet to develop naturally. IT’s mission is to promote and make barefoot shoes available more widely. They have a great selection of cute shoes that are specially created to maintain healthy foot development both short term and long term. They carry select styles from a variety of brands to ensure there is something to suit every foot type and supportive need.
Soft Star Shoes
Manufactured in Oregon, USA, Softstar makes minimal shoes for happy, healthy feet. Not only are they hand crafted, but are environmentally friendly. Their core values include excellent quality, customer service, a minimal footprint and an open, honest atmosphere. Another great feature is that they’re completely handcrafted after you order. You can customize your own unique paid to your liking.
Vivo barefoot is a great company that believes in maintaining the natural function of your feet. They’re more importantly huge advocates of the development of children’s feet. Also, bringing awareness of keeping the strength in their feet to prevent complications later in life.
We hope this guide will help you to find the perfect shoe for your baby’s tiny growing feet. We tend to overlook our feet when it comes to our own health. For our little ones, a well designed and comfortable shoe is the key to proper feet development and walking. Happy shopping!