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- Best infant shoes: Hudson Baby Fleece Bootie
- Best baby shoes for crawlers: Freshly Picked City Mocc
- Best shoes for babies learning to walk: Stride Rite Soft Motion Jamie Sneaker
- Best baby shoes for winter: Ugg Bixbee
- Best baby shoes for special occasions: Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Low Top Shoe
- Best budget-friendly baby shoes: Meckior Infant Shoe
- Best baby shoes for wide feet: See Kai Run Stevie (First Walker)
There is something so special about tiny baby shoes. They are hard to resist when you see them in a store.
If you are looking for a pair of baby shoes, you may be wondering how to choose the perfect one. We have all the information you need to make the right decision, as well as links to some of our favorites.
“If babies aren’t walking yet, they don’t need to wear shoes.”
According to the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA), it’s actually best for babies to go barefoot so their feet have room to move, stretch, and breathe.
Once your baby starts walking (!!!), you’ll want to have a pair of shoes available to protect their feet from getting hurt by the rough ground outside. However, before they’re strolling around, socks and booties may be a better fit.
Once your baby is walking, they should have at least one pair of shoes for exploring the outside world.
Toddlers who love to climb and play outside are definitely suited for shoes — although they’ll grow out of them quickly, so it’s best not to break the bank buying a closet full of toddler kicks.
If your baby is crawling or still in arms, they can certainly wear shoes, but it’s not typically necessary or beneficial.
You should consider whether a pair of shoes will fit your baby.
- Soles. The best type of baby shoe has flexible nonslip soles. This will allow your baby’s feet to stretch and move more freely, while also keeping them protected from spills if they do start testing out their walking skills.
- Padding. Padding around the back of the heels and the ankles can help prevent rubbing or blisters. While it’s important to have a flexible sole (see above for why), a little extra padding can help make shoes more comfortable.
- Closures. You’ll want a pair that’s easy to get on and off and secure. We totally get it, laces look amazing — but Velcro and zippers are typically a lot faster to close quickly with a wiggly baby on your lap.
- Size. Always be sure to consult the manufacturer’s size guide before buying as they’re not always the same. Your child’s feet will likely be growing a lot during their first year of life, so check to make sure your baby hasn’t outgrown their first pair.
- Fully covered. Shoes that fully cover feet offer a greater degree of protection from splinters, stubbed toes, and other injuries. While there’s certainly a time and place for sandals, you might not want to always have your little one in them.
We thought about the things that mattered most when selecting the best baby shoes.
- Getting on and off is easy.
- The option of size.
- The price point.
We took into account what other parents had to say.
- $ = under $15
- $$ = $15–$30
- $$$ = $31–$50
- $$$$ = over $50
Best infant shoes
- Price: $
- Pros: include grips on the bottom for stability, machine washable, fleece keeps feet warm
- Cons: not waterproof, won’t protect feet on tougher surfaces
Our favorite shoe is a bootie. The snap on and stay put are easy to use and the grip on the bottom ensures that your child has enough traction for their scooting around. They are made of fuzzy fleece that will keep their feet warm, and they come in a number of colors to match any outfit.
“The clean-up should be easy because Hudson Baby booties are machine-washable. These aren’t waterproof and won’t protect your baby’s feet from rougher ground, but they will be bigger and ready for a bigger pair of shoes by the time they need protection.”
Best baby shoes for crawlers
- Price: $$$$
- Pros: rough sole offers traction, elastic opening helps keep them on baby’s feet, lots of color/pattern options available
- Cons: not the most budget-friendly option; some parents say they struggled to get little feet in them
Freshly Picked moccasins are a fan favorite. They are made of soft leather and suede with a rough sole for traction.
“These are great for babies just starting to crawl as they are very durable. Some parents say that these shoes can be difficult to get on baby’s foot.”
Best shoes for babies learning to walk
- Price: $$$
- Pros: three width options, rounded nonslip soles, memory foam insoles to prevent skin rubs
- Cons: not as close to walking barefoot as other shoes, some reviewers say the shoes ran small
Parents tend to be huge fans of Stride Rite shoes due to their range of sizes (including three different width options!) and the comfort of knowing that they have a seal of acceptance from the APMA.
The rounded soles of these shoes make them less likely to slip. They have memory foam that can help prevent skin rubs. They check off a lot of the key safety and comfort criteria when they choose a shoe.
Best baby shoes for winter
- Price: $$$
- Pros: machine-washable, textured bottom for traction, fabric keeps feet warm
- Cons: not waterproof, won’t protect feet on rough ground
“It’s a good bet that your baby needs something to keep their feet warm during the winter. The machine-washable fabric of these boots will take care of that.”
The fabric soles are great for flexibility, and they have a texture on the bottom that makes them easy to walk on. Any attempt to stand or walk in these booties should be done indoors.
Best baby shoes for special occasions
- Price: $$$
- Pros: lots of color and design options, full range of sizes (up to adult!), Velcro straps allow for easy on and off
- Cons: rigid bottoms aren’t great for developing feet, not the cheapest option (especially for only special occasion wear)
There is nothing cuter than a pair of tiny sneakers. The sneakers mimic the adult style, which means that you and baby can match, no judgement, we love it!
The shoes are not ideal for small feet and should only be worn for a short time. They are great for playing dress up for a bit, with the option of Velcro straps and lots of cute colors and patterns.
Best budget-friendly baby shoes
- Price: $
- Pros: budget-friendly price, available in a variety of colors/patterns, stay on feet well
- Cons: don’t last as long as some other shoes, best for special occasions instead of walking
Fans of Vans slide-on sneakers will love Meckior’s slip-on infant shoes. Not only are they a steal at their low The price point., but they come in a bunch of adorable colors and patterns to match any outfit.
“Some people say that they are better for the occasional event than crawling or walking, because they don’t last all that long, and some people say that they are better for the occasional event than crawling or walking.”
Best baby shoes for wide feet
- Price: $$$
- Pros: roomy toe box for wide feet, seal of acceptance from the APMA, tough enough sole to protect feet during outside play
- Cons: not the most budget-friendly option, don’t offer a barefoot feeling
The shoes offer a lot of protection and padding, so they work well for walkers. You can feel confident that these have a seal of acceptance from the APMA.
Kai Run Stevie sneakers are the best for babies with wide feet because of their roomy toe box. They have the ability to add inserts, which can make it easier to fit a wider foot inside a shoe.
You should first consider whether your child is walking yet.
Before your baby is walking, shoes are mostly just a fashion statement and a way to keep toes warm on really cold days. You will want to look for it.
- Your little one can feel like they are barefoot with the soft sole shoes.
- traction to help keep your child from slipping while standing up
There is no need to spend a ton on shoes for a baby who is crawling and cruising, because bare feet or a pair of cute socks are more than enough. You will only need a pair for special occasions.
You want to make sure your little one is comfortable. The best shoes for new walkers.
- It is flexible.
- soft-soled. However, if you’re letting your baby roam outside, you’ll want something firm enough to protect their feet.
- skid-proof. New walkers are prone to stumbles, so you’ll want to make sure the shoe has sufficient traction to help avoid slips.
Since life can be messy for toddlers, machine-washable shoes are worth an extra look. You should consider the price tag and the fact that a pair of shoes may not fit for long.
How do I keep my baby’s shoes on their feet?
“Babies are more likely to keep their shoes on if they fit. Make sure that the shoes don’t pinch and that there’s enough room for their feet to breathe. If your child is prone to be pulled off shoes with thick soles, you might want to consider more lightweight styles.”
How do I measure my baby’s feet for their size?
“You should extend your baby’s foot and lay it flat to make sure the toes don’t get curling under. You will measure from the back of the foot to the front. You should use the longer of the measurements when choosing a shoe. If their feet measure differently, that is fine. That is typical.”
How do baby shoe sizes work?
“Baby shoe sizes don’t come in a gender-specific way. They are sized by foot length. If you want more information on this measurement, check out the answer above.”
Since children grow differently, and there can be a wide range in shoe sizes for any given age, you should always check the number of inches of the shoe itself.
How should I store my baby’s shoes?
Adult shoes are more difficult to misplace than baby shoes. You want to keep them in the same spot so you know where to look for them.
“You can keep baby shoes in your child’s closet or drawer because they aren’t worn all the time. If your child has a large shoe collection or you have limited space, you may want to consider a hanging shoe organizers that can be hung in the closet or over a door.”
How do I clean my baby’s shoes?
The manufacturer has directions for cleaning. Some baby shoes are machine-washable and can be washed in the washing machine. Others will need to scrub with a toothbrush or cloth.
They are not very long and should not be worn often, but if you have a baby, they might look better with some shoes on.
If you do choose to put shoes on your baby for special occasions, make sure that they have flexible nonslip soles, are well-padded, will stay closed, and are the right size.
“Don’t worry if your baby doesn’t have a lot of excuses to show off their shoe collection just yet! Once they start walking, there will be many opportunities to wear them.”