If you read my last blog post, I recommended two shoe brands as the favorites for early walkers. The past few days I have been looking at shoes for Oliver and noticing how many shoe brands are TERRIBLE for little children's feet. I wanted to take a quick second to expand on what you should be looking for in an infant's shoe and why that is important.
There are 3 regularly used categories when it comes to children's shoes: Crib shoes, Early Walkers, and Children's shoes. Most early walker shoes are sizes 3-5 with some brands starting their children's shoes at size 5 rather than 6. Here are the differences:
Crib Shoes have soft soles. They are meant for kids who are not yet walking. These would be for parents that want their kids in shoes because it is cute! Some people let their early walkers walk around in crib shoes (moccasins are a popular example of that right now), but I would prefer my walker in something with a harder bottom.
Once children start walking they should be in early walker shoes. Not every brand uses that term or even makes shoes specifically for early walkers, but for this article, early walkers will be sizes 3 and 4. These are the shoes you want to use when you baby is teetering around but not full blown running yet. You can tell a good early walker shoes by their rounded bottom, flexibility, and lack or pronounced tread.
Kid and Toddler shoes would just be mini versions of adult shoes.
What irks me is when brands don't made their size 4 shoes any different from their size 7s 8s and 11s. The way that an infant walks is much different than the way a kindergartener runs around. It is so important to have your early walker in the correct types of shoes.
Here are the most important things to look for in shoes for early walker.
I am not talking about does the tip bend over to the laces. The entire shoes should be able to bend in half. You want your infant's feet to bend the way they naturally would walk if they were barefoot.
2. Rounded Bottom:
In line with #1. you want your baby to be able to roll their feet rather than walking flat footed like a big foot with shoes 2 sizes too bit. shoes with a rounded bottom and tip will offer them that natural walking ability.
3. Lack of heavy tread:
You might think that a thick tread is helpful for an early walker, but it is too unnatural for them. This the reason moccasins have become so popular with young kids. They don't have that heavy tread found in tennis shoes and allow the baby to almost feel barefoot.
Look at the treads in these pair. This is fine for a solid walking toddler but not your feeble stepping 10 month old. I'm not saying don't buy cute nikes, just wait until you have a solid walker to introduce these types of shoes.
Here are some brands that make great early walker shoes. Make sure you can recognize what makes a good shoes for your infant before making any purchases.
1. Stride Rite SRT Soft Motions
2. Surprize by Stride Rite at Target
3. Carters Every Step Stage 1 and 2
4. Oshkosh B'gosh
6. Nike Kids Sunray Protect (most Nike's are not good for early walkers but this one is)
7. Genuine Kids at Target- Grip n Go
8. Umi Kids- Weelie
9. Native Shoes
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I am 25 years old with a 2 year old son and a wicked handsome husband living in Birmingham, Alabama.