Shopping for your baby’s first shoes can be full of joy and excitement, but a bit overwhelming if you don’t know where to start. Sole shoes, crib shoes, shoes for special occasions. When are they all good to use?
In this guide, we’ll show you different types of baby shoes, and which are the best for each phase and age, so you can easily decide what shoes are the best to protect their small, delicate feet, and support their flexible bodies when they’ll adventure for their first steps!.
Let us show you what to look for when you when in search of the perfect pair of baby shoes and what will you need from when they’re in the crib, crawling and learning to walk, to finally when they start walking and running around like a little bee.
When is the best time to get baby shoes, anyway?
Although getting your baby first pair of shoes could be exciting, don’t hurry to go shopping just yet. Even though baby shoes are important in protecting the baby’s feet, they are not necessary for the early months when the baby is in the crib or the stroller. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, babies' feet can develop just as well without shoes.
Babies will need their first pair of shoes when they will start walking. Until then, you can just put your baby a pair of socks to keep their feet clean and warm when needed. However, when you take your baby out in the world, you can give him a pair of soft soles for extra protection!
Baby shoes are not bad for babies - just not completely necessary at the beginning of their development. When your little one still crawling, leaving him barefoot and feeling the floor can help develop his balance, strength, and coordination. Crawling shoes are just a way to keep him extra safe.
If you choose to buy them shoes, make sure the pair is made out of a breathable material, such as leather, cotton or canvas. Steer clear of plastic shoes - these can make your baby’s feet sweat, which can lead to lots of nasty issues, like fungal infections.
The best types of baby shoes
The best baby shoes are the ones that your baby likes to keep on and in which he enjoys playing, running around and which he does not want to get off all day long. They have to be waterproof, comfortable and easy to pun on.
Here are the 3 types of different shoes, each a must have for a specific phase of your baby’s life:
Crib baby shoes (From 0 to 9 Months)
It’s necessary for my baby to wear shoes as a newborn? This is the most common question asked by parents. In the first months of life, it’s best to keep your baby barefoot. But sometimes, in the colder periods or when your baby is outside, crib or pram shoes and booties are a good choice.
Crib and pram shoes are almost the same kind of shoes. They are both newborn shoes, made of a soft bottom and they are meant to keep the babies’ feet warm and not touching the ground. Also, they are seen as a fashionable thing since babies still can’t walk. The pram shoes are usually worn when a newborn is out in a pram or chair walker.
If you find these shoes necessary or if you like them, pick a pair that is as comfy and light as possible. Also, look for crib or pram shoes to have elastic around the opening to be easier to get on and more likely to stay like that.
For your baby girl or boy, you can choose a pair of soft sole shoes or booties for a newborn. These shoes are soft and light, crafted to offer comfort and freedom to your baby’s feet.
Soft sole shoes
Soft soles are the perfect choice for preemies or for babies who haven’t yet adventured on their own. They are delicate with tiny feet and are often made from cotton or leather.
Leather baby shoes
Leather is a good fabric if your baby crawls around the house or he hasn’t yet started the adventures on his own. Soft and comfortable, they protect kids’ feet and are barely felt.
Crawling baby shoes (From 9 to 12 Months)
There is an intermediate phase when your baby wants to explore the world, but he can’t stand on his own feet. This doesn’t mean that he won’t be very agile. Make sure this time doesn’t take you by surprise and he has all he needs to explore the surroundings in your arms. He might even make some shy steps around 9 months.
Crochet baby shoes
Both adorable and comfy, crochet shoes are a great selection for those who spend time with their family inside the house.
Casual baby shoes
If you want your little bundle of joy to feel as if his feet are bare, buy footwear who make him free. In this period you need to know that there aren't any shoes that can help your baby stand or walk. Though, the protection and traction of the feet are really important. So the perfect shoes are the pre-walkers or baby cruisers.
Baby cruisers are best for crawling - they are made out of soft materials and have a bendy sole, with elastic around the ankle that makes them easy to take off.
When there are no obstacles in your baby’s feet way, let him stay barefoot or just wearing some socks, for as long as possible. This way the feet can properly breathe and stretch.
Walking baby shoes (12 to 18 Months)
The best walking shoes for babies? When should you get your baby's first walking shoes?
There is no right or wrong answer, as it depends on how your baby develops and starts walking. As a general rule: the baby's first shoes would be best suited for kiddos who already spend some time on their feet. So when your little one will take his first steps, he will need to be protected.
Hard bottom baby shoes
His first encounter with the nature on his own feet might be overwhelming, but with a little encouragement and with the help of a good pair of shoes, he’ll be just fine. Try to get him used to hard bottom shoes and he’ll love spending time outdoors.
Special occasions shoes
If he can walk without holding hands, he might want to explore the surroundings as much as possible. If you’re going to attend a special event, buy him shoes that not only or classy but ones that can help him wander around the place all day long.
Baby walking shoes are different from the normal newborn crib or cruise shoes, which are often crocheted, or extremely soft, and resemble socks or slippers. This type of shoes will have a good grip (possible with velcro), a lot of ankle support, but are also flexible, non-skid sole (oftentimes made of rubber) and a substantial upper. Their main role is to protect the baby' feet outdoors (and even indoors!) and on any surface that could be dangerous.
The best walking shoes are flexible ones that support the baby’s ankles and encourage natural foot movement. Soft, non-skid soles help beginning walkers feel the floor, move indoors and keep their feet under them. So babies will gain more confidence when walking.
How to buy: What to look for before getting baby shoes
Shopping for your baby for the very first time is a new experience for both of you. If you go to a mall it can be truly exciting, but your baby might start fuss or cry if he’s in a crowded place for too long. That’s why you have to be fast and to choose from proper shoes.
If you shop online, there are also some things you should look for before adding the products to your shopping cart. We’ll tell what to avoid and what to focus on.
Even though shopping for cute baby outfits or shoes might be exciting, don’t buy him things with many months in advance because you’ll find yourself in the situation of having summers shoes for a baby whose feet are bigger or smaller than you’ve anticipated.
We’ve put together a useful chart so that you can have a big picture of his growing sizes. Of course, be cautious and measure his tiny feet every time you want to purchase a pair of shoes.
What size shoes does a baby wear
Babies grow fast, especially their feet. So you have to pay attention to that and re-measure your baby’s feet size to be able to buy them the right shoes or socks. Whether at home or in a shop, it is recommended to measure your baby’s feet by these simple rules:
2-6 weeks - measure once a month
6-12 weeks - measure once every two months
12 months and above - measure once every three months
Functional baby’s shoes are better than trendy ones. But there are some occasions when you can mix both style and comfort. For special occasions, a pair of “formal” baby shoes that are not only comfy but also stylish will make a great pair with a cute outfit.
Your baby’s shoes shouldn’t be too large or too tight so they don’t bother or damage the baby foot in any way. So when buying shoes for your baby, make sure to check the fit.
To check the length, try to press your finger above each shoe at the end of your baby’s longest toe. You should be able to feel about one finger-widths space, which will give your kid space for wiggle and growth.
Babies usually have fat little cherub feet or chubby feet. So check the width by going along each side of the shoes with your hands. You shouldn’t feel any pressure or bulge.
Don’t forget about the heel. While your baby is sitting, lift one foot up and hold the ankle with one hand. With the other grip the heel of the shoe and look for the shoe not to slide too much, but neither be too tight. Also, ask your child to stay still. You should be able to squeeze your pinky between the shoe and kid’s heel.
If your baby is already walking, it's good to also test the shoes in this way. Make sure your kid is not slipping off the heel and he can walk with no struggle, in a natural way.
New or second hand?
Baby shoes can become quite expensive, as you have to change them fast, as your little one grows. So a lot of parents are tempted to find cheaper solutions. For example, some prefer to give the baby their bigger brothers or sisters’ shoes or buy them from second-hand shops.
The big problem here is that baby shoes are usually made to fit a single user. For the second user, these shoes will not provide the right support and it’s hardly possible to fit perfectly. Over time, second-hand shoes can seriously affect the feet’s healthy development. With that said, we wisely advise you to buy new shoes.
Trendy or functional?
If you are a more fashionable parent then you want your little one to also wear trendy clothes. So you'll probably buy him outstanding outfits and cool shoes. Nothing bad in that, as long as any trendy show will not affect your baby’s health.
When you go shopping, pay attention to the things that we pointed out in `the fit` section above. Your baby’s feet need to be as comfortable as possible. When your baby is already a toddler, he will probably reject the shoes that are bothering his feet. Put quality above everything.
Types of baby shoes for girls
If you’ve just welcomed a baby girl, you’re probably filled with joy and you want to give her the best you can. Every little princess always needs her pair of shiny shoes. So why not choose the right shoes for the right occasion?
Baby Girl Soft Soles
If your baby girl is still a newborn, but you have to take her at some special events, put her in some cute, but also comfy shoes. Some pinky adorable soft soles with a tutu will melt everybody.
Also, it is a great idea to give your baby a pair of moccasins. For a more fancy look, choose some leopard print soft soles shoes. They’re not only soft and comfortable but are also perfect for photo shoots or parties.
Baby Girls Boots
Whether it’s raining, snowing or all sunshine, your baby girl has to be ready. When the colder season approaches, choose her a pair of warm boots. Soft and cute, colorful and stylish, booties fit well with pants but also with a nice skirt.
Baby Girls Summer Shoes
If it’s warm outside, then your baby doll has to shine! Complete her summer outfit with some cute sandals. Tan crochet slip-on will suit perfectly, as well as a pair of leather white sandals. Be sure they have a soft sole, for your baby’s best comfort.
Baby Girl Dress Shoes
For a special occasion, your little girl has to look like a star. Of course, the right shoes don’t have to miss. Choose some shoes with a festive bow, a pair of moccasins or a gold patent upper shoes. She will look perfect for any photo shoots
Types of baby shoes for boys
Shoes for baby boys come in different shapes and styles. So read below some suggestions that will make your little one’s outfit stand out!
Baby Boy Soft Soles
For your newborn boy, soft soles are a perfect choice, for when you go to a family reunion or a fancy party. Give him some delicate shoes made of cotton sateen for a classic style. You can also opt for a pair of champagne silk dupioni shoes.
Baby Boy Boots
To protect your baby boy from rain, put a pair of boots that are just right for downpours and rainy days at the beach. For an anniversary or a party, you can give your little one a pair of cowboy boots that are also cute and comfy.
Baby Boy Summer Shoes
In the summertime, sandals are just right for your baby boy. His outfit will look pretty cool with a pair of navy leather sandals.
For playtime, give your boy some fisherman sandals, that not only look good but are also comfortable and give protection.
Baby Boy Special Occasion Shoes
At special events, make sure your baby boy looks special too. Pick him some cute leather shoes with a diamond pattern. If he is already a toddler, you will not go wrong with a pair of black dress shoes matching an elegant look.