There’s something irrationally cute about little shoes, they get us every time. However, despite the cute-overload, it can be a bit of a minefield knowing which shoes they should be rocking at what stage of their development. With shoes in our footwear category from first soft soles to trainers for preschoolers adventures, we've put together a handy buying guide to help you pick the right thing for your little one. Remember, each brand has its own handy size chart too - we are helpful like that.
ONE FOR THE BABES
Baby feet are not only tiny, but also super delicate too. That’s why experts advise that you avoid shoes of any sort of shoe for the first 3 months. Barefoot is best, but if you’re taking them out, a pair of socks or booties are all you need.
FOR CRAWLERS AND PREWALKERS
When they hit the 3 month mark you can start to consider shoes, but, pick ones that have been made to help foot development. Babies who are sitting up, crawling or cruising are using their feet - but just not in the same way as us adults. Those little muscles aren’t yet developed so you’ll need a pair of kicks made to help them at the stage.
Bobux and Toms make a range of prewalkers. These are soft soled shoes, that support kids’ supple feet while still letting them develop, flex and strengthen. They’ll also protect them from little catches and knocks as they learn to walk.
They’ve taken their first steps. Bye bye crawling, hello toddling... It may be super tempting to get them into their first trainers, but hold those horses (and credit cards). First walkers are still learning to walk confidently and their feet are still growing and developing every day. What that means is (get ready for the biology bit) their feet are still not fully developed from a muscular point of view. Their arch and achilles are also still growing, meaning chunky soles won’t help with mastering those first stable steps. When finding shoes at this stage be sure to measure their feet properly. Shoes should fit, but also have a little room to grow and move.
Look out for first walker styles as these are specifically designed for their stage and offer flexibility. We stock the Bobux Step-Up range, designed to fit first walkers to a T.
If they’ve been toddling confidently for a while in their first shoes then that means the shoe world is now your oyster. As their feet are now developed you can take your pick of styles, from boots and sandals, to trainers and sliders - anything goes. Fit is still super important here; a good fit will not only mean they’re more comfy, but also that they are more stable on their feet. And don’t forget to consider those fastenings. If you want them to be independent, Velcro is the easiest for them as they master their coordination, like the stylish trainers by Veja and pumps by Igor. Got a kid that pulls off their shoes and socks off? Buckles or laces may do just the trick and help keep them on. Oh and don’t forget, the general advice is to measure their feet every 8 weeks for the first few years - especially during the stages where they can’t yet tell you if their shoes are tight.
We’ve got a whole range of brands that stock cool walker shoes, so head on over and take a look. All of these come in larger sizes (up to UK size 10), so they’ll take them all the way up to pre-school.
Our IDEAS articles are based on our own experiences as parents & a need to find gorgeous, genuinely useful stuff for baby. That’s why you’ll always find our fave picks below our tips. Yes, we’re good to you ;)