This week, little Mae got her very first kicks. Sporting those neon teal and pink sneakers, she had a blast (giggling the whole time) in the beautiful summer weather. Through mud, scuffs, falls, grass, rocks and fun little puddles I held her two little hands as she smiled from ear-to-ear.
Not knowing what to expect, last week, I had taken her out around our complex to walk in some soft crib shoes. She stumbled in them and tore them up quickly on the concrete. That’s when the light bulb flickered on…soft shoes = bad for walking outside.
I had overheard two moms talking at the Children’s Museum (I promise I’m not always a weird eavesdropper) about how it’s important to buy a good pair of walking shoes. I was curious.
THE BEST BABY SHOES, FOR BABY’S FIRST STEPS
Why it’s important to buy a good pair of walking shoes
Your baby is developing his or her gate and walking pattern. A bad pair of cheap shoes will alter those steps and may inhibit their development. A.K.A. they may learn to walk weird.
This means you should skip out on flip-flops, wedges, boots, sandals with loose straps, and basically anything with a heel.
What to look for (from experience!)
TOUGH ROUNDED SOLES
When learning to take their first steps, little ones will scuff the crap out of the front of the sole. Make sure you buy shoes with tough rounded soles.
The shoe needs to be structurally sound, not soft, loose in odd places or shaped uncomfortably.
Having the ability to easily remove the shoes is essential. I have to remove them every time we get in and out of the car and go in or outside because Mae will put them in her mouth! Make sure you can secure the straps snugly.
A DARK SOLE IS BEST
You can choose whatever sole color you want but keep in mind that your little one’s shoes will most likely be covered in black on her very first adventure.
Sizing is key
Mae is one week shy of the eleven month mark and her tiny little feet measure at 4.25 inches. She fit into a generic size 3.
Below is a handy measuring tool for you if you are ordering offline but trying them out in person is always best. Each shoe company fits a little differently. Don’t keep the shoe if the measurements or any other factors are off. Return them!
Keep in mind that your baby’s shoe should be at least one pinky finger’s width (your own) longer than his or her big toe. This allows your child’s foot to grow uninhibited.
DOWNLOAD THE STRIDE RITE MEASURING TOOL HERE
What shoes I recommend
Since your toddler’s very first walking shoes are the most important pair, you want to look for a pair that allows her to move naturally, as if she is barefoot. The brand that I recommend has shoes especially made for baby’s first steps with shoes that are soft, flexible (so toddlers can feel the ground beneath them) and durable. These shoes also have those awesome rounded soles to help with stumbling. Below are just some of the super cute styles from Stride Rite’s soft motion™ line, made especially for first steps. Check out all of Stride Rite’s soft motion™ shoes here.