Trying to find shoes for your infant? Many parents of newborns worry about whether their new baby is ready to wear shoes.
We know it might be too soon, but we also want our kids to look good, and wearing stylish little shoes might be the only way you can keep them still for a family photo or even just a quick trip to the park or groceries.
When it is time for your baby to wear shoes?
Babies start wearing shoes at some point, right? Right. But don’t worry about it too much because many babies will never need shoes and won’t start wearing them until long past the age when they walk on their own.
If you live in an extremely wet and cold climate and your baby is always outdoors then it may be worth buying a pair of winter boots for them to keep their little feet warm and dry—but that’s about it.
The only time you really need to worry about shoe size is when infants begin walking. As soon as your baby starts cruising around on his or her legs (about 8-9 months of age) select a pair of infant walking shoes.
A good rule of thumb is to buy shoes a half-size larger than your baby’s foot. This will allow their feet room to grow and keep them from outgrowing them right away but is still the correct length for safety reasons.
How do you measure your baby's feet?
Make sure both of your baby’s feet are flat on the ground when measuring his or her shoe size. Place a piece of paper or colored tape on the floor and have your child stand on top of it with his or her heel against the wall.
Draw around their entire foot and collect two measurements: one from big toe to heel in centimeters (CMS) and another in inches (US). If any part of this process seems too hard then please take him or her to a professional shoe shop for their measurements.
How do you measure infant shoes?
When purchasing a pair of infant shoes take the same measurements as you would for regular baby sneakers, but apply them to a size 0-3 only. Shoes should only be worn when they fit securely and comfortably with fastenings that cannot easily be pulled off or undone by your child.
This means you'll need extra help until your tiny tot starts developing motor skills in his or her fingers.
What size will fit a newborn?
Your baby won't need shoes until he or she goes outdoors (and some babies wait even longer than this), but you can check the fit of your infant's first pair of shoes before they start walking—most brands fit up to a month or two before then.
Once they do start toddling around, you'll need to pay more attention because their feet will grow a lot faster and a little too big is better than a little too small for safety reasons.
All of our advice about shoe size is simply what we've learned from experts and parents over the years, but ultimately your child's foot size will be determined by genetics so it’s best not to fuss about it too much unless you have good reason to believe that something is going wrong.
It’s a good idea to talk to a doctor or a podiatrist if you have any concerns about your baby's feet.
Types of baby shoes
When it comes to infant shoes, you can choose between “walking” and “riding” styles. Walking shoes (also called infant sneakers) are the most popular choice for infants who are beginning to explore their world beyond crawling or standing within arm's length of mommy and daddy.
A good pair of walking shoes will provide your baby with traction for slippery floors, but protect their feet from harmful surfaces such as hot sand or salt on the roads from winter weather. Riding boots are a great alternative to those living in colder climates because they often have rubber soles that help prevent slipping on smooth surfaces like sidewalks, tiles, and wood floors.
Mittens, sneakers, or tiny socks?
As with most parenting choices, it is really up to you. If your baby tends to like pulling things off his or her hands (like my personal favorite toy) then mittens may be the best choice for you. For those who live in colder climates, then socks are the obvious choice-but make sure you choose something with a bit of stretch and that will not fall off easily.
Socks with elastic bands at the ankles are great options for babies learning to stand on their own two feet because they have just enough grip on the floor to keep them from slipping but are not so tight as to constrict the movement of their legs.
The right materials matter too!
Just about any material used for making shoes today can be found in an infant or baby shoe. If your child is destined to be a future fashion icon then you might consider spending extra money on something that not only looks nice but has the right style and materials for your lifestyle.
For example, leather shoes may look sophisticated and last longer than other kinds of infant footwear, while fabric can feel more comfortable and resilient. Laces are often easier to manage since they generally cannot be easily undone by little hands with nimble fingers.
Your child’s feet will grow quickly in his or her first year of life-so try to take into consideration how often he or she will need new shoes during this time when making your purchasing decisions.
What about comfort?
Even though many infants wear socks most of their early lives, it is possible to find shoes that allow your little one has bare feet. Make sure any shoes you purchase for your child are comfortable with plenty of room to grow since infants’ feet tend to swell during the day and can feel stuffy in too-snug footwear.
Most children's shoe sizes fall within a few inches of each other over time, so purchasing larger ones now will help keep your infant comfortable later on. As he or she grows into their toddler years, you should purchase shoes that are wider but still snug enough not to slip off easily.
Shoes are an important accessory for your baby’s developing body-so do some research before buying them! You might even consider taking him or her along with you to help you make more informed decisions about what is best for their feet!
How to choose a pair of good shoes?
You should consider:
- Nonslip grip: good shoes have a good grip. It is easier for babies to wear shoes with sneaker-type soles.
- Colour and design: colorful designs are more attractive to children; buy some soft pairs that can be changed every day.
- Flexible support: good shoes have flexible, comfortable support.
- Comfortable insole: it should be more cushioned and wider than the exterior of the shoe.
- Easy to put on: choose one with Velcro straps or laces made from an elastic material so your child can get them on more easily.
What shoes to avoid?
- Padded shoes.
- Stiff soles (it is more difficult for your child to walk).
- High heels, pointed toes, or other features that make the shoe look like women's or men's shoes.
- Shoes with ties too tightly wrapped around the ankles (babies will not be able to walk well).
What is the best choice for walkers?
If your child has already started walking, you should choose shoes with good impact shock absorption. Make sure the shoes are shockproof, with a soft rubber or foam surface on the outsole to reduce wear.
- The sole is flat for constant contact with the ground and flexible to allow natural foot movement.
- The upper part of the shoe is relatively firm to provide support.
- The heel counter is not too tight so that your child can walk comfortably.
Do babies need socks?
It really depends on what kind of environment your baby will be in most often and how sensitive she/he is feet are to temperature changes (you never know!). There are also plenty of options available for keeping baby's feet warm without putting them into socks!
Some people feel comfortable with socks, others do not. For babies who are mobile, you will have to consider if they are more likely to pull off their own socks or shoes before they injure themselves on something else. You may want to opt for slip-on shoes instead of those with shoelaces, which can be difficult for children under three years old to use by themselves.
Is it too cold for the baby's feet?
Some parents choose not to put socks or shoes on their child because they feel their little one is too young and the temperature is too cold. However, there are plenty of other ways you can keep your baby's feet warm! Shoes are not necessary unless your child is walking outside regularly. They may only need a few pairs of soft cotton socks for indoors.
Feet need fresh air & space to grow (and breathe!)
Although you might find it cute to see your little one with socks on their hands or feet, they don't really do much to keep anyone warm and can even be dangerous. Instead of using socks as mittens, you should choose options that are more practical for outdoor wear like breathable shoes and water-resistant coverall over suits.
Although infants go through many changes in the first few years after birth, it is best not to interfere too much with what nature intended for their foot growth! For example, wearing shoes that are too tight will prevent the toes from growing normally leading them to become deformed later on.
Let your decide how his/her feet should look later in life by having them wear well-fitting, flexible shoes. "It is the little things that matter when it comes to your child's feet."
Newborns need a doctor's note for special needs
If you have special concerns about your baby's feet, talk to your doctor or health care provider before bringing him or her along with you to buy shoes. If they have certain medical conditions that require a doctor's note, take the prescription and their foot measurements so you can get a specially made pair of shoes.
This will ensure that they are comfortable and fit properly! Treating a problem early helps prevent further complications down the road; if your little one has diabetes, make sure their size does not change more than half a size!
Are shoe sizes the same as socks sizes?
No, generally baby shoes are sized differently than socks. Shoes tend to be larger than the average sock size so your baby can grow into them. In fact, some shoe manufacturers make shoes in a range of sizes meant for children from 0-4 years old!
As a guideline, you should purchase a new pair of infant shoes when:
- Your baby has outgrown the largest part of his or her foot (When the heel hangs off the back).
- Your baby's big toe is half an inch away from the end of the toe box before you move up a shoe size. If your child's feet are long and narrow then they may need bigger shoes even sooner though.
Laces or Velcro?
Velcro straps are preferable to laces because they are easier for you to fasten and unfasten, but once your baby becomes more independent in putting on shoes himself or herself, he or she may prefer laces.
Velcro closes with a single touch of the hand while pulling up on shoelaces can require both hands. Lace shoes tend to be adjustable at the ankle which makes them fit better when feet swell during wear time.
How to put on shoes for the first time?
- Wash your baby's feet.
- Apply baby powder to his or her feet to reduce the moisture of the foot and help you insert your child's feet more easily into shoes.
- Put white cotton socks on your infant’s feet inside the shoes. This will keep little toes warm, prevent rubbing and encourage putting on shoes for the first time.
- If the shoe has laces tie it loosely so they don't feel uncomfortable when wearing them for a long time