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Baby Walking Shoes for Babies On the Move

Stephanie Glover
June 11, 2015

Whether you have an early walker or not, having baby walking shoes can help support your baby's motion.

Watching your baby attempt to take his first steps is an exciting milestone -- but then a whole new set of worries crop up. What are the best baby walking shoes? As your baby's feet begin to develop, a soft and pliable shoe is essential for providing foot protection and mobility, all while allowing the foot to properly form.

What Should I Look for in Baby Walking Shoes?
You've got a lot to think about when shopping for baby shoes, and these considerations go far beyond just style. "Baby feet have many developing muscles that get quite a workout when walking on the floor, carpet, dirt and grass," says Margaret Rice, a pediatric physical therapist.

"The feet react differently to each surface, causing the muscles to strengthen and stretch when barefoot. If baby feet are placed in a stiff shoe, the muscles cannot react to the subtle changes in balance. In addition, when babies are in direct contact with the ground it can help them to develop a better sense of touch and body awareness."

But when your baby does need shoes, what should you look for? "A parent should look for a shoe that is soft and flexible, in order to be as close to barefoot as possible," says Angela Hanscom, a pediatric occupational therapist and the founder of TimberNook. The American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society has more information regarding the best types of shoes for kids of certain ages, allowing you to make informed decisions about which style is the best for your little one.

While the best type of baby walking shoes is actually no shoes, there are times when baby's feet need to be covered. "If a baby is going to be heading outdoors in extreme temperatures, hot or cold, the feet should be covered," suggests Rice. Hanscom agrees. "Babies can start wearing shoes when they start walking around town, on streets and in buildings such as malls, restaurants, etc. Otherwise, at home they can go barefoot both in the house and outdoors," she says.

What Are the Best Baby Walking Shoes?
You can find tons of cute, supportive shoes that help your little one as she learns to walk. Here are five of the best options that definitely deserve some attention.

  1. Stride Rite Riff Sandal
    Stride Rite has been one of the leaders in children's footwear for over a century. They have shoes available for the littlest babies on up through grade school. Options like the Riff are the perfect example, as they're easy to wear, dry quickly and offer plenty of flexibility for growing feet.
  2. Pediped Originals
    Pediped designs its shoes with your baby's feet in mind. Made out of premium leather with flexible soles and a wide toe box, they have many beneficial qualities that promote foot health. The Pediped Original line, for example, is designed specifically for babies learning to walk.
  3. Robeez All Stars
    This brand carries baby shoes that are soft and pliable, allowing children to feel the bumps and contours of the floor underneath them as they navigate the terrain. "This helps to build strength in the arches of their feet," Hanscom says. "It also builds strength in the ankles since there is a lot less support there." Pairs like the All Star feature non-slip material to keep baby safe.
  4. Momo Baby Sandals
    Momo Baby sandals are not only supportive but easy to wear. They are made of genuine leather with a fan-shaped toe box. This allows your baby's foot to breathe and move freely. With the help of adjustable straps, you can slip baby's shoes off and on easily.
  5. Graham by See Kai Run
    See Kai Run are sophisticated shoes that also promote healthy little feet. The brand is podiatrist-approved for babies, and the footwear is made from natural materials that hold up to daily wear and tear but are also flexible for your baby's developing feet. Check out the Graham style for your little one, as it is easy to slip on and off without sacrificing comfort or safety.

Now that you know what to buy, what size does your baby need? Learn more with Baby Shoe Sizes: What You Need to Know.

Stephanie Glover is the author and photographer behind A Grande Life. When she doesn't have her camera in her hands, you'll find her with a cup of coffee.

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