When Does my Baby Need Shoes?


With so many styles and sizes of children’s shoes on the market from newborn and up, it can be confusing which ones to buy and when to buy them!

When does my baby need shoes? What is the most important criteria when choosing them? Is a good fitting pair of shoes really that important? Read on and all will become much clearer.

So when does my baby need shoes?

Some people chose to put shoes on their young children to help encourage them to walk or because they’re of walking age but are they really necessary? Let’s clear this one up straight away; your child doesn’t need their first pair of proper shoes until they start to walk which can vary from approximately 8-18 months.

Putting shoes on your child’s feet before this time is entirely up to you but it won’t make them start walking any faster.  When the time does come, it’s best to get your child’s feet measured properly by a trained person i.e. in a children’s shoe shop. Not only can they properly measure the size of your child’s foot but also advise you what size and style of shoe they should be wearing.

Keep in mind the size they are and the size they need aren’t necessarily the same. The reason being is that children’s feet need room to grow; about half an inch to be exact so you’ll more often than not go up half a size or so.

Why is it so important?

Good question. You see, after nine months in the womb, babies’ legs and feet are a bit curved and it takes time for these limbs to straighten out. By the time your cherub is waddling on two feet they’ve straightened out quite a bit. The straightening out will continue until they are about three years old so a good pair of well-fitting shoes at this stage will help in this process. They also help with balance when walking; In short, they’ll help the feet to develop properly.

Baby’s first shoes should have a flexible sole, not restrict the toes or encourage them to curl. The heel should sit securely against the back of the shoe; if it has too much room to move, the shoes don’t fit properly. It’s important to remember that the nerve endings in a toddler’s toes aren’t fully developed yet so make sure those precious little feet aren’t cramped. Your little one may not notice or feel any discomfort so it’s up to you to keep checking every few weeks.

What about the cute shoes in the cheap shops or second hand shoes?

It can be tempting to just buy cheap shoes or just let them wear hand-me-downs as you know your child will grow out of them in six months however, keep in mind that birth to three years is an important time in children’s growth. Well-fitting shoes allow for the proper development of kids’ feet as they move from flat footed little creatures to pre-schoolers with defined foot arches. The importance of good shoes can so easily be overlooked but making sensible decisions can only help you out in the long run.

Thankfully there are shoes out there for all budgets and tastes so with a little time and effort you’ll find the shoes that fit your children’s feet just right!

Avatar of Fiona Edwards

An expat, mum of one with a thirst for knowledge; Fiona writes honestly & openly and likes to ask questions! She's no stranger to travelling with a toddler, is obsessed with pineapples and has a life long hobby of trying to keep fit!

1 Comment

  1. Avatar of Blossom

    Even before 3 y.o. if you notice your child isn’t walking on her feet properly after a couple of months, please get them checked. I was very flat footed and initially didn’t even get the soles of my feet dirty. Fortunately my Mum only waited about a month before she took me to the Dr. I had physiotherapy on a regular basis for for about 7 -8 years. Had she waited too long I would have disabled to the point that I would have had to wear callipers to be able to walk without straining the muscles in my feet and possibly my legs too. Mum had to buy me good quality shoes that the sole below my ankle had to be removed and an extra support put in to support my feet and tilt them ever so slightly to the angle they should be at, gradually adjusting them accordingly. It always took about a week before Mum could collected my shoes after they were adjusted. Each night after tea I had to walk up and down our passage doing my exercises. It was a long haul but well worth it.

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