baby wearing shoes to walk with mom


Is your baby getting ready to take their first steps? Do you already have a bonafide cruiser on your hands? If that’s the case, you’re probably wondering what exactly they should be wearing to protect their adorably chubby little feet. Finding the best walking shoes for your baby’s feet is essential to their health and development, so we consulted the experts to get the lowdown on what parents should be looking for before they invest in a pair of adorable kicks.

Best Baby Walking Shoes

    What to Consider

    Depending on the brand of baby shoes, you can expect your child to grow out of them in 3 to 6 months, with some lasting as long as 8 months, thanks to their adjustability. If you’re buying a soft leather shoe like a Robeez, they will cost a bit more, but their wear time is longer — about 6 months. Less expensive loafer and sneaker styles tend to need to be replaced more often. But no matter which kicks your kids will strut in, getting the right fit is the biggest hurdle.

    Dr. Leann Poston, a pediatrician at Invigor Medical in Kennewick, Washington, tells Best Products that there actually aren’t a ton of guidelines parents need to follow when looking for their baby’s first pairs of shoes. She says that first and foremost, “Parents should look for shoes that are well-fitting and flexible.” Alas, the stiff baby Jordans that my kids both wore before they became walkers would not fit into this category. They were adorable, though.

    Poston says that the shoes “should not change the way the child walks and should only protect their feet from getting hurt.” Translation? Their shoes should fit well and keep their feet protected from danger but not inhibit the natural movement of their feet. As far as movement with fit goes, she notes that “Shoes should have a large enough toe box for their toes to move,” which means that you may need to test out a few pairs to see which fits best, but thankfully, most baby shoes have very adjustable fits that hug the feet.

    Thanks to Dr. Poston’s helpful insight, we found the best baby walking shoes available for your little one right now. We considered fit, style, quality, and, of course, budgets of all sorts — all of which will have your baby walking in style in no time. On your mark, get set: Go, baby, go!

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Special Occasion Soft Sole Slip-On

For some reason, there’s just not a ton of gender-neutral baby’s first walking shoes. This is really one of the few on the market, but it’s a really good shoe. It’s made of soft, durable leather bottom with a canvas upper material and elastic back and sides to give a better fit.

More: The Best Baby Products for All New Parents



Baby Girl’s Stevie II

Apart from being just about the sweetest baby walking shoes on the planet, these were awarded the Seal of Acceptance from the American Podiatric Medical Association. That’s a huge deal. My own kids loved See Kai Run and only lost them occasionally.


Best for Cruisers

Stride Rite baby boys Soft Motion Kylin Sneaker

When your cruiser really gets going, these sneakers from Stride Rite will keep them steady as they navigate their new world. The flexible rubber sole and washable canvas upper make for a sturdy, baby-friendly design that your kids won’t get mad wearing.


Best Machine-Washable

Stride Rite Boy’s Theo First Walker Shoe

Say it with me: “machine-washable.” I mean, what? Hello, and yes please! The sole is flexible, the top is washable, the strap adjusts wonderfully, and look at how cute they are. They’re like, business baby shoes.


Highest Quality

Ryder II FlexiRun Active Sneakers for Kids

A sneaker that looks like a sneaker for grown-ups or older children but performs like a baby shoe? Sign us up. This shoe from See Kai Run is a newer version of the ones my own children wore. Plus, they’re so flexible and fashionable that you can easily pass these down to multiple children — they’re that good.


Best Budget Pick

peggy piggy Baby Shoes

If you’re looking for a great budget option, I have just the thing. These come in multiple colors, wash like a dream, and the bottom is flexible and sturdy. They’re a real win for the price.


Cutest Design

Baby Walking Shoes

I don’t know about you, but I’m getting real “royal baby” vibes from these baby shoes. They’re just so prim and proper. They’re lined with soft cotton for extra protection and warmth, but because they’re all-natural, they’ll still breathe and support your baby’s feet.


Best 100% Leather

Lambskin Leather Soft Sole Shoes

Sweet pink ears and little whiskers make this pair of baby walkers special. And these are some of the best-made 100% leather baby walking shoes on the market. They’re snug without being tight, and the designs are just sweet.


Best Transitional Bootie

Minnetonka Braid Bootie

All the comfort of a bootie, but slightly less warm. These are transitional booties for your baby and are every bit as high-quality as you would expect from Minnetonka. Leather all around, with deep, even hand-stitching, these booties are designed to hug your baby’s feet comfortably.


Robeez Soft Soles Boots

Are you looking for a first walking shoe that will keep your baby’s toes super cozy? Look no further. This pair from Robeez has leather soles and a warm leather upper with faux fur on the inside. These are going to be the shoes your baby never wants to take off.

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