Your little one may be ready for their first pair of shoes if they have begun walking
independently the majority of the time, are not progressing to independent steps after 4-5
months of furniture cruising, or are hesitant to stand over 12 months of age. When provided at
the right time, a good pair of shoes can increase your child’s confidence with walking and help
them meet motor milestones. There are several factors you should keep in mind when
shopping for a pair of shoes for your child.
- Firm But Flexible Sole: Look for a sole that is unable to be easily folded or twisted in
half, but that is able be bend near the toes. A shoe should provide good support, but not
- Wide Toe Box: The toe box is that part of the shoes where your child’s toes go. A wide toe
box means that the end of shoe does not narrow or have a pointed end. A wide toe box
provides room to allow your child to scrunch their toe. Toe scrunching is a small but
important movement that children do as they learn to balance.
- Ankle Straps: A strap at or close to the ankle helps keep your child’s foot in place. Bonus
points if the strap is Velcro or adjustable to make it easy to customize the fit to your
little one’s foot.
- Sturdy Heel Cup: Like an ankle strap, a good heel cup helps to keep the foot in place to
promote increased balance and stability. A good heel cup should not collapse and will
provide some resistance when the sides are pinched together.
- Good Traction & Breathable Material: Traction and material will play a huge factor in
the comfort and tolerance of shoes. An uncomfortable material or poor traction can
make kids more susceptible to blisters and cause more slips, trips, and falls. Not only
does this pose a safety hazard, but it can also decrease your child’s confidence in