Baby’s First Shoes: When to buy and what to look for.

By Jennifer Riesmeyer, DPT

A common question I hear is, “When does my baby need shoes?”

The short answer: when they start walking outdoors and need a protective covering for the foot. Most pre-walking babies are sufficiently supported with bare feet, in sock feet with rubber treading on the bottom, or moccasin-like shoes that give little to no support, like Robeez or a generic version. (It is important to note that I am not paid by anyone to endorse any particular brand but I have found these to be great!) My daughters wear versions from Target that work great. And in this situation, you can find knock offs that work as well as the name brand.

This baby is wearing soft moccasin-like shoes as she is learning to stand.

After your baby starts to master independent walking, you are really looking for them to strengthen their feet on their own.The typical baby foot in standing looks similar to the one below. It is flat because there is a fat pad in the arch of the foot that won’t disapper for a few years. So you shouldn’t expect to see a foot with an arch similar to an adult’s. However, some babies feet turn in more than this one and may need the additional assistance of a shoe earlier than walking outdoors. For those special situations, I encourage you to discuss this with your pediatrician or physical therapist.

This 15-month-old is an independent walker and primarily walks with bare feet indoors and shoes outdoors.

When your little one is ready for shoes, you want a shoe that gives some support, but isn’t stiff. It should have the flexibility to bend the sole of the shoe both directions fairly easily. A good example of a first shoe is below. Another point to notice is that these shoes are leather. You want breathable shoes made of canvas or leather that will again, provide some support but not too much. Avoid plastic if at all possible. Finally I highly encourage a visit to your local children’s shoe store where your child can be properly fitted for shoes. It makes a big difference if your child is in the correct size or not.

Baby’s First Shoes!

Good luck!

Discover how our autism treatment services can help you

Discover how our autism treatment services can help you

Get Social With Us

Related Posts