When it comes to Baby's first shoes, it can be overwhelming to figure out which ones to pick. With so many adorable choices out there, what should parents be looking for (beyond super-cute fashion)?
NYC podiatrist Dr. Suzanne Fuchs explains that when it comes to little baby feet, barefoot is actually best for your early walker! But when you leave the house and aren't so keen on letting Baby walk around a public area with their sensitive soles, there are some rules of thumb for those first walker shoes.
When it comes to keeping those tootsies warm and protected, soft, flexible and wide shoes are best, because they help feet to develop naturally, Fuchs says.
"When kids' feet are put into stiff, narrow and confining shoewear, this can lead to feet conforming to the shape of shoes and becoming deformed — think bunions, hammertoes, curled toes and pigeon-toe gait," she explains. "If you think your child might have a foot condition, take them to a qualified podiatrist for assessment. Don't assume that certain shoes are better without seeing a professional."
Fellow NYC podiatrist Dr. Rebecca Pruthi offers a few key tips for picking out shoes:
- Don't buy shoes too early. Wait until after Baby starts to walk (10-18 months).
- Get a shoe that fits. The shoe should fit, shape and mold to a child's movement.
- Try on shoes with socks and at the end of the day, when your child's foot is most swollen.
- Babies are naturally flat-footed, so avoid arch- and ankle-support shoes like hightops.
- Replace shoes frequently, when your child first shows signs of outgrowing.
Looking for some good picks for your first pair? Here are some that meet the criteria!