When it comes to buying shoes for you your baby or toddler it’s always wise to make sure you buy the right shoes with the right feet. It is, however, easier said than done. A lot goes into buying your babies first pair of walking shoes and even more goes into it when its winter shoes. So what are the things you need to watch out for when you are buying Baby Booties for the winter season?
Find a Good Fit:
Pick brands that are made specifically for toddlers and for the winter. Good shoes for little walkers are somewhat flexible and made of lightweight materials, such as leather or high-quality mesh. To check the fit, insert your pinkie into the heel so your finger feels a little snuggly and to the point where the shoe meets the ankle in order to rule out stitching that could cause blisters. Then, feel the shoe’s tip while your child’s standing to make sure there’s about half an inch of space between the big toe and the tip. Once you find a shoe that you think fits well, have your kid toddle around in the store. Watch for a loose, slipping heel when he walks and any red marks on his feet after you take the shoes off.
Two features you don’t have to worry about are arch and ankle support. Flat feet are normal for toddlers whose arches are still developing. Plus, your kid’s ankles need to be free to build muscle and prevent injuries. Pediatricians don’t recommend high tops for kids anymore as they have a higher chance of ankle injuries when a toddler or walking baby falls in them.
Monitor the Fit:
Toddlers’ feet grow rapidly, often sizing up every two to three months. If your kid has been happily wearing the shoes for months and suddenly starts taking them off, hobbling around, or rubbing her feet, those are late signs that she’s ready for a new pair.
Avoid Used Shoes:
Kids’ shoes can be pricey, especially since you have to replace them every couple of months. But resist the urge to give your child hand-me-down shoes while she’s still trying to master motor skills such as walking, running, and jumping. A new shoe will better adapt to your toddler’s growing and developing foot. No two feet are the same, and buying something new ensures that the inside isn’t molded to someone else’s foot.
What should you look for in baby walking shoes?
Mesh or leather material for breathability. Find a good quality, soft leather or cloth-topped first walking shoe for the baby that allows airflow for your baby’s sweaty little feet. Stiff materials hinder the growth and development of your baby’s feet.
Lightweight and flexible to easily allow natural movement of the feet. Pinch the top of your baby’s walking shoes while the shoe is on; the shoe may be too tight if you cannot grab any material. Flexible materials mimic your baby’s bare feet to allow natural movements during their walk.
Traction on the soles to prevent sliding or slipping. Your baby’s first shoes should have grooves on the bottom to help your toddler learn to walk more proficiently. Many hard-bottom baby walking shoes have to rubber non-skid soles with ridges that give great traction to your wobbly walker.
The Shoe Test
The first baby walking shoes that you buy should protect your little one’s developing toes with comfort and flexibility. Babies have lots of fatty padding on the bottom of their feet that makes them relatively flat-footed; so unlike slip-on baby shoes, walking booties and shoes should be tested for the right fit before purchase. We recommend that you invest some time to shop at an actual shoe store to get some assistance from trained staff who will take measurements for the right fit. However, here are two tests you can do yourself to ensure the right fit for your child:
Once you get the shoe on your little one’s foot, press your thumb sideways at the very tip of the shoe. There should be roughly half an inch—or a thumb’s width—of space between the tip of the shoe to your child’s longest toe.
A comfortable but tight fit is what you should be looking for—the heel should fit snugly against the back of the shoe. Pinching of the heel means that the shoe is too small, while a heel that easily slides out means that the shoe may be a size too big. You can confirm the right fit for the best baby walking shoes by inserting your pinkie into the heel; it should feel snug when your baby’s toes are pushed to the front of the shoe.
In conclusions, always remember these do’s and don’ts of baby booties.
Do pick something comfortable, as comfort is the most important aspect in finding the best pair of baby’s first walking shoes. If your toddler is either limping or tipping, that may mean that the shoe is uncomfortable. After all, a young baby cannot tell you whether their shoes are fitting correctly, so observation is your only option.
Don’t buy used walking shoes for babies because they have likely molded to the feet of the original owner of the shoe. It can be harmful to the development of your baby’s feet to wear hand-me-down shoes. A baby’s first walking shoes are critical in form and fit, and footwear fits every child differently.
Do pick an ankle-cut or high-top first baby walking shoe secured with laces, snaps, or Velcro. Low-cut or slip-on shoes make it easier for your rambunctious toddler to kick off or remove the shoes. You want to look for good baby walking shoes that are easy to put on but hard to slip off, not only for your sanity’s sake but for the safety of your child, who may trip over loose shoes.
Don’t shop early in the morning. Try to shop later in the day when your baby’s feet swell and are at their biggest. Parents have found that baby walking shoes purchased in the morning have a tighter fit later in the evening.