Learning to Walk: The Best Shoes for Your Baby’s First Steps

It seems like just yesterday that your baby was coming home from the hospital, bundled tightly in their car seat and looking oh so tiny. And now – well now they’re on the verge of learning to walk! Time flies and soon your tot will, too. Check out the tips below to make sure you’re setting your toddler up for walking success and outfitting them in the best shoes for little walkers! 

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Image via Flickr/ Joseph Novak

Nothing beats bare feet 

When your baby is learning to walk, being barefoot is best for skill development. When babies walk on bare feet they are able to learn how to use their muscles to balance themselves and move forward. While you’re out and about you probably want your baby's feet covered. But, when you’re at home, do your best to give baby lots of shoe-free time. 

Look for soft soles 

Soft-soled shoes are the next best thing to bare feet for babies who are learning to walk. Hard-soled shoes can be tough for little walkers as they interact with the ground or floor differently than babies are used to. Hard soles also force babies to use their feet differently than they do when they’re barefoot. 

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Put function above looks 

Maybe you’ve found some adorable mary janes or cool mini basketball sneakers. But you should consider the shoe's function above looks. Once your baby has mastered walking, you’ll have plenty of time for beyond-cute shoes. For now, focus on selecting shoes that will help your baby learn! 

Remember that kids feet grow quickly 

Don’t spend a fortune. Nothing grows faster than the baby you just brought expensive shoes for. As you shop for your baby, don’t spend a fortune on something they’ll only wear for a few months (at most). 

{ MORE: New Kicks: Give Old Shoes New Life }

Enjoy seeing your little one learn to walk (and run)!

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Learning to Walk: The Best Shoes for Your Baby’s First Steps

Julia Pelly has a master's degree in public health and works full time in the field of positive youth development. Julia loves hiking after work, swimming during the summer and taking long, cuddly afternoon naps with her two sons on the weekends. Julia lives in North Carolina, with her husband and two young boys. You can find more of her work at JuliaPelly.com ... More

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