Correctly selected footwear affects not only the comfort, well-being, and mood of the baby, but also forms the arch of the foot, posture, gait, coordination, and healthy development of the musculoskeletal system. Wearing uncomfortable baby first walking shoes can lead to flat feet and scoliosis, while poor-quality rough materials can cause corns, fungal diseases, and other dermatological problems.
To choose the best baby walking shoes, parents should pay attention not only to design and price but to the reputation of the manufacturer and functional characteristics. Nowadays, there is a huge selection of high-quality kid’s shoes in a wide price range — from budget options to branded luxury items. Choose footwear only from reliable manufacturers that specialize in the production of goods for children and teenagers. Do not hesitate to ask the seller for a quality certificate.
Top-5 Criteria of Choice
When choosing the baby or toddler walking shoes, one should pay special attention to the following criteria:
A feature of the baby’s foot is the combination of a narrow heel and fan-shaped toes. Tightness or compression can result in poor circulation. It is very important that the forefoot is not tight and the toddlers can move their toes freely. Since the fullness of the legs is different for all children, you should pay attention to the presence of details that allow you to adjust the fitting.
Good walking shoes for baby should be made of natural breathable materials with thermoregulation properties. For summer and demi-season footwear, it can be natural, micro-perforated or eco-leather, nubuck, cotton, linen, and other bio-adaptive materials. For winter, natural sheepskin, wool, polyester, holofiber are good. The texture should be soft and flexible so that the foot can remain mobile during any type of activity.
The sole must be flexible, and also have amortizing properties that provide a comfortable moving from heel to toe. Bend the shoe in your hands, applying some effort to check how flexible it is. For winter shoes, an anti-slip coating is required — this will protect the child from accidental falls and injuries. Meanwhile, the heel of the shoes should be firm enough to hold the feet securely, preventing them from twisting and swinging from side to side.
The supinator helps to form the correct arch of the foot, preventing the development of flat feet. Check the inside surface of the shoe — there should be a light orthopedic pad at the inner edge of the sole to provide comfortable support for the foot. Children under 3 years old do not need shoes with a supinator. The role of the supinator is performed by a natural fat pad, which protects the foot from loads. The presence of a supinator in toddler first walking shoes can lead to a thinning of the fat layer and weakening of the foot protection. If the toddler has clubfoot, the instep support is contraindicated until the defect is corrected.
This element is often a controversial issue when choosing baby girl shoes. Little women ask their parents for high-heeled shoes and boots. Do not follow the wishes of the kids. It is necessary to explain to the girl that it threatens her health. It can lead to the curvature of the foot, varicose veins, improper posture, lumbar deflection of the spine, and even difficulties with childbirth. Until the full formation of the foot, the size of the heel should not exceed 3-4 cm. For boys, the heel side of the sole should be 1-1.5 cm above the toe.
Do not use shoes from an older child. Wearing someone else’s shoes can disrupt the physiological features of the foot structure and lead to various kinds of deformations.
How to Choose a Shoe Size
Parents have to buy walking shoes for baby quite often since the feet grow quite quickly. Up to 3 years of age, the foot increases by 2-3 sizes per year on average. Then, this process slows down depending on the individual development of the baby by 1-2 sizes. Up to 3 years old, the foot should be measured every 3-4 months.
For example, if you buy baby boy shoes “size-to-size”, the baby will feel uncomfortable very soon, since his toes will be tightened. If you choose baby walking shoes with a large space, even high-quality shoes will seem heavy and uncomfortable for the child. The foot will slide, leading to falls, and other types of injury.
To choose the right shoe size for a kid, you should remember the general rule: the inner space should not exceed 1.5 cm of foot length. For winter shoes, it may be increased by 0.5 cm. To know the exact size of the child’s foot length, it can be measured with from thumb to heel.
How to Correctly Fit the Shoes
If you visit the store for fitting the payless baby walking shoes, we recommend doing it in the second half of the day, when the baby’s feet are increased in size due to the received load. Be sure to try on both shoes, since the feet may grow unevenly. Make sure that the baby is comfortable, and also pay your closest attention to the gait: if it has changed in particular.
If you have a “footprint” of a baby, you can buy shoes even without trying them on. Trace the foot along the contour on thick cardboard and cut out the template. When buying, do not forget to take into account the rule of optimal growth gain. You can also buy the footwear online without any troubles by measuring the baby’s foot and choosing the relevant size on the website.
Now, you know all the details of choosing the footwear for babies and toddlers. When buying it in the online store, you can choose out of a huge selection of high-quality shoes for boys and girls from birth to teenage years. By following the above tips you will make the right choice. Good luck!