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Your guide to buying baby shoes

If you’re beginning to think about buying your baby shoes, it’s probably around the same time that they’ve became a little more adventurous and on their feet. Once your little one can get around on their own, you need to consider what they will need to be comfortable when outside. One of these items are a pair of comfortable shoes.

Buying baby shoes can be a really difficult task if you’ve not done it before. How are you meant to know what size your baby is? When you do finally find what you think is their right size, how do you know if they actually fit properly. There’s plenty of questions just like these surrounding the subject of buying your baby shoes. This applies to both their first pair and pairs of shoes after that.

To give you more of an understanding into what you need to do when buying your baby shoes, we’ve written a guide with popular questions asked by parents. We hope that after you read our guide, you should have plenty of your questions answered.

baby shoes

Can babies wear shoes?

Before your little one starts walking, there are still shoes available to buy. These shoes aren’t designed to be walked in and are instead, just for fashion purposes. However, there are some things to consider before you purchase some shoes for your baby – are they actually worth it?

Baby shoes do not bring any benefits to your child and can actually bring the opposite instead. If you purchase shoes that are too hard or are not flexible enough, it can restrict your baby’s movement. It’s important that your baby is left comfortable after you get them dressed and it’s essential to check if the shoes you are putting on them are worth it just because of how cute they look. Your baby will not require shoes before they start walking and instead can just wear some thick style socks. 

So yes, babies can wear shoes, it’s just whether you decide to use them or not. Think about your baby’s comfort when buying new items. 

When your little one takes their first steps, there’s still not much need to buy your child their first pair of proper shoes. If they won’t be walking around outside, they won’t need to be protected. Allowing your little one to walk around the house barefoot will help with their balance and can allow them to get the hang of things more quickly.

Of course, once your baby is confident enough and can start walking around outside, you will need to purchase shoes for the protection of your little one’s feet. Don’t just go straight to big brands because they look nice. Find a pair of shoes that are comfortable and won’t cause your child any discomfort. 

baby shoes

When do babies need shoes or boots?

We covered this slightly in our last question, but you still may be confused as to when the best time is to buy your little one their shoes. You may think it’s the best time once they begin to take their first steps – but this doesn’t mean their instantly ready to go to start walking around outside with you.

It’s important that your baby gets their balance indoors properly before they start exploring outdoors on their own. As long as they are on a safe surface which won’t cause any damage to their feet, you can let them walk around the house barefoot when learning to walk. Putting baby shoes on sooner than you need to can cause implications with growth as well as movement. 

If you have hard floors which can be slippery, you may want to use baby shoes inside of the house too. This is completely fine but should not be worn all day as it’s important for your baby to be able to stretch out their feet. In this case, you will end up buying baby shoes slightly earlier. If you are waiting till your baby can walk confidently outside, it will be a little longer. 

Once you can see that your baby is taking steps without falling over and can walk on their own with little assistance, they will now be able to start exploring outdoors. It’s important that your baby grasps walking before you take them outside with little help as if they fall, surfaces could be rougher and can hurt your little one. Your baby will need shoes when they are outdoors as they can be exposed to sharp materials as well as hot or cold surfaces. 

Remember that if you want to buy baby shoes before they need them, make sure they are extremely flexible and soft for your baby. It may be better to buy thick socks that look like shoes to protect your child’s feet.

baby shoes

How to measure kids and baby feet for shoes or boots

When it comes to finding out which size shoes your baby needs, it can be a little difficult. However, there are people to help you with this. In most shoe shops that stock younger children’s shoes, they offer a foot measuring and fitting service so that you can find out what exact size you need to go for. This ensure that the shoe will be comfortable for your little one and won’t be too tight or loose. They use a foot gauge in which your child puts their foot on and then is adjusted to see what size they need. This can be done for babies as well as toddlers, depending on when your child needs their first pair of shoes.

You will probably need to get your child’s feet measured every 6-8 weeks to ensure that their shoes or boots do not get too tight in this timeframe. Your child will grow very quickly during their younger years and it’s important to keep on top of this. If you find that your baby’s shoes are too tight after you have bought them in the correct size, you can always go back and get a re-size to make sure they are perfect.

Assistants will help you choose a suitable shoe for your little one. The main things to look for are something comfortable, and something that fits well around your baby’s foot.

If you cannot get to a shop for a foot measuring service, you can also do this yourself at home. There are some easy ways to do this. Some parents choose to just hold a tape measure or ruler up to their baby’s foot to get a measurement. However, doing it this way isn’t the most accurate as your child’s foot may be slightly scrunched up.

The best way of doing this if you choose to do it at home is to have a piece of paper, a pencil and a ruler or tape measure ready to go. Stand your little one up with at least one of their feet on the piece of paper. Try and relax your baby to make sure their foot is completely relaxed and not arched at all. Once you are confident that their foot is flat, you can put a pencil mark at the heel of their foot and at the top of their big toe. Take this measurement in centimetres and make sure you get to the closest millimetre possible.

Once this is done, you can measure how long your child’s foot is and have a good idea of what shoe size to choose. We do advise getting a professional to do this as they do have the correct tools to carry out the job. However, this way is just fine if you’re struggling to get to where you need to go.

baby shoes

How to choose baby shoes or toddler shoes

There are some things you need to look out for when buying your baby shoes. A lot of people go straight to the big, well known brands as they think they will offer the best comfortability. However, this isn’t always the case. Whilst some of these higher priced shoes may offer comfort, it doesn’t mean less expensive pairs will feel cheap or lacking in quality. 

We’ve listed some important things you need to look for when you’re buying your baby’s shoes…

  1. Light weight. Once your baby is up on their feet, they’re not going to want to stop running around to make the most of their newfound freedom. If their shoes are lightweight, it means they will be able to lift their feet comfortably and there will be less chances of them tripping up. A lightweight design also makes it more comfortable for your little one.
  • Choosing the right sole. If you’re buying shoes for your little one who doesn’t walk yet, you will be able to choose a softer sole as they won’t require as much support on their feet. However, once your little one is up on their feet, whether that be sometimes or all of the time, they will need a sole that is slightly harder. This won’t make it uncomfortable for your child, instead, it will offer support for their bottom of their feet and also protect them from any hard or sharp materials they may stand on when outside.
  • Flexibility. This is essential as if baby shoes are not flexible, they are more likely to cause irritation like rubbing and blisters. It’s important that your baby’s shoe moulds around their foot. This is only possible if the material is flexible. When your little one is running around, you need their shoe to bend and stay on their foot to prevent any accidents. If you notice your baby’s shoe is coming off the back of their sole, you may need to look into this. This can be caused by either the shoes being too big or not being flexible enough to bend. 
  • Easy to put on and take off. Your little one may not be able to put their own shoes on at first, but it’s a great time to teach them every time you go out. To make this easier for them to get the hang of, choose shoes that are super easy to put on. These can include Velcro or slip on shoes. Buckles and zips (mainly for boots) can be a little bit more difficult for children to understand. 
  • Breathable materials. Remember, your child will wear their shoes throughout all different seasons, including the summer when they may begin to sweat. To avoid your child’s shoes getting smelly, you should look for a breathable material. This will ensure that air can travel into the shoe to keep it well ventilated.
  • Rubber soles. The last thing you want to happen is for your child to slip and fall over because of the shoes their wearing. The soles of your child’s shoes will need to be made for all kinds of different surfaces. Although they will be on slightly rougher surfaces when outside, smoother surfaces can cause your little one’s shoes to slip. Make sure there is plenty of grip before you purchase them!
  • Will they last? Your baby will really put their new shoes to the test. Whether they’re rolling around on the floor or running back and forth, you need to make sure the shoes you buy will last through all of this. As we said earlier, your baby’s feet will grow quickly, but you only want to be buying new shoes when you really need to. If you’re unsure of what the best shoes are, you can ask for recommendations or look at reviews online to find out how good they are.
  • Use them with every outfit. It’s not ideal buying a pair of shoes only because you know they will work well with one outfit you have. Make sure the shoes you buy are perfect for everyday wear so that you can really get the use out of them. It’s fine to have specific pairs of shoes for different outfits, but you should wait until your little one stops having a growth spurt before you do this. You don’t want to spend money on shoes only for your little one to fit into them twice!
baby shoes

How much are baby shoes?

Like everything, baby shoes range depending on the brand and quality of them. Buying baby shoes doesn’t have to be expensive, it’s just important that you take in comfortability for your baby before you purchase a pair. If you’re looking at a branded pair of shoes, they can range from £20 to £30 depending on the brand. However, if you choose a standard pair of baby shoes that you can find in a shoe shop or store, you can usually find these for £10 to £15 – sometimes lower depending on where you’re looking.

You don’t have to break the bank when buying your baby shoes. Shop around and look for any offers that may help you save a few pennies. It’s also fine to want to spend a little bit more on baby shoes if you want to. It’s great to treat your baby!

How long do baby shoes or boots last?

How long shoes last really depend on how they’re treated. In most cases, you don’t have to replace your baby’s shoes because of the condition they’re in, it’s because your baby will outgrow them. If you’re thinking of keeping your baby’s shoes for your next child or to give them away to family or friends, you probably won’t have any issue.

We hope our blog has helped you answer some of your questions you have about baby shoes. Remember that there are plenty of people around that can help you when it comes to buying your first pair. As long as they are comfortable and supportive for your little one, you’re going the right way.

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