How to choose the best baby walking shoes
Most babies won't be able to tell you if shoes feel comfortable or not, so picking out the right size and style of shoes is key. Price, style, and durability area also things to consider.
Choose laces or Velcro. Velcro fasteners make it easier to get shoes on and off, and you won't have to worry about retying laces all day long. But a child may figure out how to remove his shoes and take them off when you wish he wouldn't! If you get shoes with laces, make sure they're long enough to tie into double knots, so they won't come undone as often.
Go for a breathable, lightweight material. Soft leather or cloth is best. Avoid stiff leather, which can hinder foot development, and synthetics, which don't breathe.
Shop later in the day. Babies' feet swell and are often bigger at the end of the day. Shoes purchased in the morning might feel tight in the evening.
Look for problem spots. Your baby's shoes shouldn't need any breaking in. Let your child toddle around indoors wearing them, then take them off and look for irritated areas on your child's foot. Make sure you can feel your baby's toes through the top of the shoes, and that they're not pressing painfully against the front.
Give them a twist. Baby shoes should be flexible; twist them this way and that to make sure.
Watch your child walk around. Does he drag his toes or heels? Do his feet slide around in the shoes or do they look bunched up and uncomfortable? Do the shoes seem to be hampering his gait in any way?
Important safety notes
Buying shoes is, and should be, low stress because there aren’t many safety issues. However, children’s sandals and shoes have been recalled in recent years due to decorative items or fasteners that can detach and pose a choking hazard, or sharp metal parts that can cause laceration hazards. Check product recalls from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to make sure your child’s shoes aren’t on the recall list.