There are not many things cuter than admiring a tiny pair of baby booties. You imagine the tiny little feet and the tiny little person who will fill them and it just warms your heart!
And who doesn’t love a good accessory to dress up your baby?
Sure, said shoe might turn into a teething toy before it ever gets on your baby’s foot. But this is a small price to pay for an adorable photo opp.
Eventually though, there will come a time when that once bonus item becomes a necessity.
If your little one is scooting, crawling or pulling up, it’s time to get ready. Baby walking is right around the corner.
How to Find the Best Baby Shoes
Shopping for that first pair of baby shoes is a little scary. How and when you cover brand new baby feet will actually have lifelong effects, so choose carefully.
Maybe you’ve heard that a strong, firm shoe with lots of support helps shape your child’s foot. Or that a pair of corrective shoes can fix or prevent any foot concerns you have.
And what about helping your child get used to shoes that will, at first, feel too heavy and bulky?
The market for a first pair of baby walking shoes is overwhelming. Parents are left scratching their heads after carefully sifting through too many heavy duty options.
Not to mention they end up spending way too much on shoes that are really not practical.
In the end it turns out that all the problems these bulky shoes are supposed to solve don’t actually exist.
Your baby gradually learns to pull up, stand on their own and walk. There’s a process to how they start to move around and adjust to new abilities.
What they really need are shoes to protect their feet and grow with them through this process.
Barefoot Is Best
There’s this myth that says children need footwear as soon as they start walking. The idea is that early shoe wearing helps train them to get used to the feeling and even assists in shaping the foot.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the best way to support growing feet is to keep them barefoot¹.
Can you believe that? It’s actually way easier than we thought!
Bare feet, as we know, are naturally slip resistant on clean floors. Plus, they shape up all on their own. There is no need to throw in shoes that claim to do the job. All we have to do is leave them alone.
The AAP goes on to say that it's actually the bulky and hard shoes that cause long term foot damage.
So take a deep breath and step away from the baby shoe section.
Your baby will learn through kicking and wiggling and rolling around how these floppy feet get them places. Being barefoot is light and easy, giving them freedom to explore. All while strengthening their feet the right way.
Soft Sole Baby Shoes to Start
There is one catch to all this. You’ve got to keep those little piglets safe, warm and clean somehow.
That’s the only role shoes have at this point anyways².
While bare feet may be best, it can’t take your baby everywhere. When it’s time to venture out to the playground or it's just a little bit too chilly, be ready.
A soft material, protecting curious feet, adds a layer of warmth without getting in the way of your child’s growth.
Depending on your outing, you might go anywhere from a pair of cozy socks to a pair of soft baby moccasins.
But as your baby takes on more of the world, consider a good pair of soft sole baby shoes that stay put. These will protect toes without adding the unnecessary heaviness that a sturdier shoe has.
If your baby is even close to using their feet to explore, then any foot covering has got to include grips of some kind.
A newly walking toddler is already balancing different moves and seeing their home in an entirely new way. All that excitement is enough to throw them off. Help them stay on track with socks and booties that grip.
Same goes for trips to the grocery store and strolls around the block. You probably won’t ditch the stroller just yet, but it’s nice to have the option to let your energetic mini get some exercise.
Having a warm pair of booties with grips is the perfect way to be prepared.
Looking for the Best Starter Shoes? Try HARTS!
For prewalkers and those who have already started stepping, we recommend a pair of HARTS Bootees.
Not only is sizing incredibly easy but each pair is 100% machine washable for those messier outings. No need to skip the playground after a nice rainfall.
HARTS are soft, so feet are free to move and grow, just like the AAP recommends. All while protecting your baby from slips with a textured sole that helps them keep their balance.
Available in three trendy must have colors, your little walker will be moving in style!