Your little one has finally made his or her first steps alone, which means rather than crawling everywhere, they'll be running everywhere. Before they hit the ground running, make sure you buy the right shoes for toddlers learning to walk. Your initial instinct is to buy them the most adorable baby shoes in stores right now, but before you do that, there are a few things to consider. Your son or daughter has just taken his or her first few steps; not exactly a professional at walking, they should have footwear that accommodates the inexperienced walker.
Children's feet grow quickly, especially within the first few years of their lives, so the shoes you pick at this critical point in their lives are important. For children still learning to walking, it's actually more beneficial for their balance and development if they walk barefoot as much as possible. For those moments outside of the house though, your son or daughter will need shoes to protect their feet and practice balancing themselves. Buying baby's first shoes is an exciting time for both you the parent and your child, whether or not they realize it.
While you may want to buy those cute sandals or canvas shoes that look exactly like their adult counterparts, consider these few tips when buying your baby or toddler's first pair of shoes. First and foremost, make sure the shoes you buy are lightweight and flexible. Your toddlers feet still has the padding of baby fat to cushion her or her arches and putting their delicate feet in shoes with hard soles and hard upper material restrict foot and ankle movement, which would only make it difficult for your little one to maneuver. Flexible shoes usually have soft leather or fabric soles, which conform to your toddler's feet, making it almost feel like they're walking barefoot. Square or oval shaped shoes are the most ideal shape for the novice walker when walking outdoors, but slipping on a pair of slipper sock shoes are also acceptable.
The shoes’ fit is just as important as flexibility for the beginning walker. It can be tricky to find the right fit for baby's shoes, but there are simple solutions to finding the right pair of kids' shoes. Use the thumb test and feel the front of the shoe with your child’s foot inside. There should be enough space between the toe and the front of the shoe similar to the size of your thumb. Since these early years are the critical years to children’s body growth and development, it’s best they have room to grow, literally, within their shoes. They might not be tall orders to fill, but filling out shoes happens faster than you’d think. The heel of the show should also be comfortable; it shouldn’t pinch but it shouldn’t be big enough for the foot to slip out.
When shopping for shoes for toddlers learning to walk, it’s recommended you go later in the day, when your child’s feet are expanded and at their widest size. As the day goes on and kids have the opportunity for their muscles and feet to warm up, their feet expand and you’ll get a more appropriate shoe fitting for your little one. Your baby and toddler’s foot doesn’t act like an adult’s foot yet and requires as much support as possible to their soles and ankles. Once you find the right shape and fit to your baby’s first pair of shoes, style will fall into place. Your kids’ footwear will be just as cute as them.