The Best Shoes for Your Infant and Toddler

Baby just started standing, and soon they’ll be running! We’ve found the best shoes to support your baby’s development from crib shoes to their first pair of sneakers.

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The Best Shoes for Your Infant and Toddler

 

 

 

 

Your baby is quickly becoming a toddler, and the days of cute, but flimsy, baby shoes are over. They’re learning to support their body weight, and they’re starting to learn how far their feet can take them. Your baby isn’t just scooting across the floor anymore, they’re tearing through the house like a tiny t-rex. They’re learning how to balance, move their bodies, and become more aware of the space around them.

Now that your baby is on their feet, let’s talk about protecting those toes. As your baby is taking their first steps around the house, it’s important to let their bare feet feel the surface they’re standing on. This will help your baby’s balance, strength, and coordination. If the floor is cold, find some flexible, soft-soled socks or booties with grippers. This will feel more natural on your baby’s foot and will help to prevent slips.


What to Consider When Buying Baby’s Shoes

Once you and your baby start exploring the outside world on foot, you’ll want to look for more durability and protection. Here are the two most important things you should keep in mind when shopping for baby shoes:

Function Not Fashion

  • Your baby’s development is more important than the totally adorable baby-sized Chuck Taylors, heels, basketball shoes, and cowboy boots. They’re cute for pictures, but consider more practical, shoes that are built for baby feet.
  • Look for flexible materials, so baby’s feet can move as naturally as possible.
  • Avoid plastic and other tough materials found in cheap shoes.
  • Opt for leather or mesh, so baby’s feet can breathe.
  • Keywords: lightweight, flexible, traction

Size Matters

  • We know how fast babies grow, but don’t be tempted to buy shoes to “grow into.” This can affect your baby’s development and how they learn to walk.
  • Measure your baby’s feet every couple of months to make sure their shoes are fitting properly.
  • Companies tend to vary in size charts, so finding a few brands you like that fit baby’s feet well will help in virtually eliminating sizing issues.

Invest in a child’s shoe sizer to save the hassle of going to a a shoe store to get baby’s feet measured over and over again.


 

Don’t be afraid of wrangling your little one into shoes! We’ve got some great options for comfortable, fun footgear that will have your baby growing and going in the best way possible. We selected some of the best infant and toddler shoes on the market this year, and we made sure to pick shoes you and your baby would be excited about.

 

Ready. Set. Go!

 

Best Shoes for Toddler:

 

See Kai Run Dane Sneaker

Best for Age(s): 1-4 years 

Why we love them: 

  • See Kai Run is owned and operated by a fellow mommy!
  • Super durable, flexible and light weight
  • Fully lined with natural, breathable materials
  • Color variety

Product Information:

  • Rubber sole
  • Built in rubber toe cap
Pros

Fits wide feet
Comfortable
Easy to take on and off
Easy to clean

Cons

Sizes run small
Rubber scuffs easily
Lacks arch support


 

Bay Deer High Top Leather First Walker

Best for Ages: 1 – 4 years

Why we love them:

  • Cute, classic look
  • Excellent ankle support
  • Super durable

Product Information:

  • 100% leather
  • Crepe sole

Pros

Ankle support
Easy to clean
Non-slip

Cons

Sizes run large
White is only available color
Price


 

Stride Rite Soft Motion Amos Sneaker

Best for Ages: 6 months – 2 years

Why we love it:

  • Easy to get on and off
  • Rounded edges for improved balance
  • Fun colors!

Product Information:

  • Leather
  • Flexible, rubber sole
  • Super flexible to enable baby’s natural movement
  • Anti-microbial treatment in lining reduces odor
  • Hook and loop closure for easy adjustability
  • Memory foam insole
Pros

Easy on-and-off
Very durable
Easy to clean
Wide/extra wide size options

Cons

Sizes run small
Some users reported more stiffness than expected


Wobbly Waddlers First Steps Martin Boy’s Leather Boots

Best for Ages: 18 – 30 months

Why we love them:

  • They’re fashionable and functional!
  • They come in black, grey, and brown
  • Stable Foot Technology to ensure proper foot placement, better balance, and better development

Product Information:

  • Premium leather insole and uppers
  • Supportive, flexible rubber soles
  • Built in arch and ankle support
Pros

Flexible rubber sole
Handcrafted
Excellent quality
Fit wide feet
Variety of colors

Cons

Sizes run small
Some users reported difficulty putting on
Price


 

Tsukihoshi Child01 Euro Sneaker

Best for Ages: 1 -4 years

Why we love them:

  • Tsukihoshi collaborates with orthopedic specialists to ensure health, safety, and protection
  • Color variety
  • Easy to clean

Product Information:

  • Rubber sole
  • Super flexible
  • Ultra lightweight
  • Antibacterial insole for moisture and odor control
  • Heel stabilizer and arch support
Pros

Easy on and off
Barefoot-like comfort
Machine Washable
Split-tongue design for ease and comfort

Cons

Price
Sizes run large
Some users reported soles damaging easily


 

 

Best Shoes for Infants

 

Kuner First Walkers Shoes

Best for Ages: 6 – 18 months

Why we love them:

  • Designed specifically for babies’ growing feet
  • The sole curls around the toe to give babies extra toe traction for transitioning from crawling to walking
  • Perfect for new walkers

Product Information:

  • cotton
  • rubber sole
  • durable velcro
Pros

Excellent grip
Easy to get on and off
Wide
Breathable and light weight

Cons

No arch support
No ankle support
Some users complained about shoes’ width


 

Petit Marin Leather Baby Shoes with Suede Soles

Best for Ages: 0 – 24 months

Why we love them:

  • 40 different adorable designs!
  • Pediatrician recommended
  • Elastic ankle ensures they’re baby-proof

Product Information:

  • Leather
  • Suede sole
  • Flexible support
Pros

Lightweight
Breathable
Elastic security keeps baby from pulling them off
Price

Cons

Narrow
Some users reported high elastic
Some users reported dye fading


 

Robeez Slip On Soft Soles

Best for Ages: 0 – 12 months

Why we love them:

  • Adorable animal print and neutral designs
  • Approved by the American Podiatric Medical Association
  • Non-constriciting elasticized ankle

Product Information:

  • 100% leather
  • Full suede non-slip sole
  • Flexible and non-constricting
Pros

Snug but flexible fit
Baby-proof
Easily adjusts to 3 different heights (as your baby grows)
Easy to get baby in and out of

Cons

Not built for rain or snow
Not machine washable
Sizes run large
Wear easily


 

Carter’s Every Step Stage 2 Standing Shoe Finn

Best for Ages: 6 – 18 months

Why we love them:

  • Nautical themes in grey, brown, and navy styles
  • Sensory pods at heel and forefoot for better ground feel
  • Designed specifically for baby’s balance

 

Product Information:

  • 100% manmade
  • Synthetic sole
  • Thin sole to protect sensitive feet
  • Seamless linings for comfort
Pros

Super soft and flexible
Fits chubby feet
Adorable design
Designed for comfort and balance

Cons

Confusing sizing
Hard to keep on
Sizing runs large


 

ikiki Squeaky Shoes for Toddlers

Best for Ages: 6 months – 2 years

Why we love them:

  • The soles are color coordinated, so each shoe is on the proper foot even if you’re in a hurry!
  • Recommended by physical therapists and pediatricians
  • The character associated with each shoe has a name and a backstory
  • Demi-hightop offers ankle support without constriction

Product Information:

  • Fabric and synthetic
  • Soft, non-slip soles
  • Squeaker has an on-off switch
Pros

Seven cute designs
Soft, flexible, non-slip soles
Pediatrician  recommended
Easy, but secure, on and off
Enough room for orthotics or inserts

Cons

Baby can easily activate squeaker
Sounds stop working
Squeaker requires heavy impact to sound
360 turning seat is a little stiff (may take some time to ‘break in’)


 

Comparing the Best Shoes for Baby and Toddler

Product NameImagePriceKey FeaturesRating
See Kai Run Dane Sneaker$$Super durable
Flexible + lightweight
Easy cleaning



Baby Deer High Top Leather First Walker$$Classic
Durable
Ankle Support
Stride Rite Amos Sneaker$$Rounded edges for improved balance
Wide + Extra Wide options
Very durable
Wobbly Waddlers First Steps Martin Leather Boots
*EDITOR'S CHOICE*
$$$Stable Foot Technology
Arch and ankle support
Premium leather insoles and uppers
Tsukihoshi Child 01 Euro Sneaker $$$Antibacterial insole for moisture and odor control
Heel stabilizer
Arch support
Kuner First Walker Shoes$Rubber sole
Durable velcro
Extra toe traction
Petit Marin Leather Baby Shoes with Suede Soles$Pediatrician recommended
Flexible support
Elastic ankle for security
Robeez Slip on Soft Soles$$100% leather
Full suede, non-slip soles
Flexible and non-constricting
Carter's Every Step Stage 2 Standing Shoe Finn$$Designed for baby's balance
Seamless lining
100% manmade
ikiki Squeaky Shoes for Toddlers$$Ankle support
Adjustable squeaker
Recommended by physical therapists and pediatricians

 

If you found this article helpful, check out the posts below for more:

Best Baby Jumpers

Choosing the Best Baby Stroller for Your Lifestyle

Best Child Safety Locks for Cabinets and Drawers

 

 

 

 

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