10 Best Baby Shoes for Boys & Girls Reviewed

Being a parent can be one of the toughest jobs around because you’re never off-duty, especially with a toddler just learning to walk. It’s an all-day struggle to make sure your child has the very best of everything and this includes footwear. Meeting all of their needs includes ensuring they have on proper footwear that allows their feet the room to grow naturally. 

Best-Baby-Shoes-Baby-Footwear

It’s up to you to you to decide what is right for your child, but you may not have the time to do extensive research to find the best shoes for them. We’ve made it simple and comprised the top rated into one easy list, so you don’t have to spend hours looking through extensive info.

Last Updated: May 14, 2017
by Sergio Bettiol :

The recent update covers the updated criteria we used for the evaluation of 2017’s best baby shoes. Additionally, we incorporated the Frequently Asked Questions regarding babies’ feet and baby shoes.

Featured Recommendations

Nike Baby Flex Run
  • Nike Baby Flex Run
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Hook-&-Loop Closure
  • Price: See Here
Stride Rite Soft Motion Kellen
  • Stride Rite Soft Motion Kellen
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Round Edges Prevent Falls
  • Price: See Here
Converse Chuck Taylor First Star
  • Converse Chuck Taylor First Star
  • 4.5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Easy Slip On/Off
  • Price: See Here

One of the most amazing things about being a parent is seeing your kid grow up right before your eyes. It’s important for you to make sure your kid’s shoes are able to allow that growth. Your child requires a great pair of shoes, but not just any pair, the very best! We took the feedback from parents that have tried, tested and approved these shoes to ensure these are in fact the highest rated around. They are also stylish and cute.

 

10 Best Baby Shoes

 

1. Nike Baby Flex RN

One thing's for sure, Nike never misses a beat when it comes to making some of the most durable, yet comfy shoes around and that’s exactly what the brand has managed to do with the Baby Flex 2015 RN's. This baby shoe is incredibly lightweight with just the right amount of support.
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Quality
The Baby Flex 2015 RN’s lightweight upper is made of mesh which optimizes breathability and support. This feature is just fantastic for an infant trying to take their first steps or even more advanced walkers who enjoy running around outdoors.

Comfort
The lightweight cushioning is phenomenal compared to other infant shoes due to Nike’s one-piece foam midsole/outsole. Additionally, this model also incorporates a hook-and-loop strap that helps to secure the overall fit.

Cost and value
The Baby Flex 2015 RN's run between the low forties to around sixty dollars, which places this infant shoe at a higher bracket compared to other's on this list. Fortunately, many love this shoe and can’t seem to get enough of its comfort and quality.
Pros
  • Extremely Lightweight
  • Midsole provides a great deal of motion and flexibility
  • Easy to put on and to take off
  • Cushioned footbed enhances comfort
  • Super Comfy
Cons
  • Considered a bit pricey
  • Runs a bit wide

2. Stride Rite Soft Motion Kellen

Here’s a durable play shoe that can be worn practically anywhere from the playground to the home environment. The Kellen is entirely wrapped in suede and has a style that can go with any outfit. They're Super comfy for everyday wear and especially easy to put on quickly when your child is ready to play.
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Support
The Kellen comes with a rounded sole, perfect to improve balance and to add support. Additionally, its memory foam inner adds a much-appreciated degree of comfort to every step.

Quality
If you've ever had trouble with putting your infant’s shoe on, look no further because the Kellen comes with an oversized opening for easy on access. It also includes fitting closures to make sure that the foot is always held securely.

Cost and Value
At such a high value, the Kellen is priced in the low forties on Stride Rite's website. Not too high in price for a shoe that guarantees support and durability. Not too mention, parents love them, and they've received gracious feedback.
Pros
  • Very flexible for natural movement
  • Easy to put on and to take off
  • Super comfy with memory foam footbeds
  • Velcro closures that help to secure fit
Cons
  • Some wished the shoe were more affordable
  • Not waterproof

3. Converse Chuck Taylor First Star

Super soft padded insoles, outsoles provide a non-skid grip and well, the name is a classic…..Converse! Your baby will just love their first designer pair of sneakers. The support may not be the same as most other infant shoes, but you have to admit it’s a fun tom-boy like option for infant girls. The extra cushioning gives it a more sock-like feel that can’t be beat.
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Design
Durable canvas upper creates a sleek design and easy is easy material that can be cleaned. The durability is phenomenal and perfect for infants that are learning to crawl. The canvas is very fashionable as well and smudge proof.

Support
Great for parents who have trouble and find it difficult to take their baby’s shoe on and off. Converse Chuck Taylor First Star cones with a pull-tab on heel that helps with taking the shoe on and off. No more struggling with each foot. For once, a shoe that does it all.

Cost and Value
According to the official Converse website, these cute Converse Chuck Taylor First Star are only $22 and worth every penny.
Pros
  • Super cute and stylish
  • Very comfortable insole
  • Reasonably priced
  • Easy to clean
Cons

4. See Kai Run Arthur

These classy little numbers screams style, comfort and classy. See Kai Run comes in tons of adorable colors perfect for a walk outside or a few steps indoors. A perfect range of styles for boys. This nautical themed shoe is great for any activity and keeps feet so comfy.
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Breathability
This navy boat shoe is made of leather with a touch of top stitching, giving them a sharp classy look. The leather boat shoe has a full leather lining as well as very comfortable insole with a great deal of breathability. Plus, since they are leather, no need for a messy clean up, the shoe is super simple to clean with just one wipe.

Fit
The rubber outsole is great for all-day play for busy babies that are always on the go. And you just can’t resist the hook-and-loop strap that provides custom adjustability and a secure fit that help to prevent any falls.

Cost and Value
According to See Kai Run’s official website the Arthur shoe runs around $45 which isn’t bad for an all leather shoe. For a shoe that is designed to help with developing baby’s feet. Their value is uncanny. Any shoe that has a generous toe box is just right for toes to develop natural and move freely.
Pros
  • All Leather Upper
  • Generous toe box that allows toes to move freely as well as develop naturally
  • Comfortable insoles
Cons
  • Somewhat considered high priced

5. Pepiped Originals Adrian

Established in 2005, Pepiped has been known for having over 120 styles of stylish shoes. Moms love these shoes because they are considered the “next best thing to bare feet.” Being that they are mom’s favorite they do not miss a beat when it comes to comfort, durability and class.
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Design
Pepiped Originals Adrian Sneaker has a classic design. The shoe is very breathable with comfort and easily wearable with Velcro closure. Great for babies’ feet developing. This soft suede shoe has breathable mesh panels and a slip-resistant leather sole.

Comfort
This infant’s Adrian crib shoe is very roomy and provides a cushioned insole, perfect for those wiggly tiny toes to move freely. Super cute with just about anything: overalls, rompers, miniature jeans and corduroys. So I guess you can say the Adrian crib shoe is very fashionable.

Cost and Value
Most of Pepiped shoes are $39.95 and this reigns true for the Adrian sneaker. Mom’s love everything about the Adrian sneaker and deem them to be of great value. Plus, you can choose from different styles and colors, so you won’t be disappointed.
Pros
  • Ultimate flexibility and lasting quality
  • Slip resistant soles
  • Perfect for beginning walkers
  • Comfortable, breathable leather lining
Cons
  • Not as durable as expected
  • Definitely not scuff-proof

6. Robeez Dino Dan Flats

If you’re looking for a slip-free, comfortable, supportive shoe that is a lot lighter than most infant shoes than Robeez shoes are perfect. These super adorable Dino shoes are very comfy with slip-proof soles. Your little ones will just love them.
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Quality
First off, these Robeez Dino Dan flats are made of 100% leather which means they are super durable and easy to care for after wearing them. Not to mention the outsoles are made of suede so it helps prevent slips while promoting good balance and providing great protection.

Protection
These adorable shoes have elasticized added ankle straps that protects the foot from sliding out and makes the shoe easier to stay on and to put on. Robeez Dino Dan flats are best for indoor wear and if worn outside the activity should be light.

Cost and Value
Robeez Dino Dan flats are only $26 based on the Robeez official website and for a basic crib shoe the price is just right. You can’t beat the price for a shoe that is all leather, comfortable and good for all stages of a babies’ development.
Pros
  • 100% leather
  • Perfect shoe for babies, infants, pre-walkers and toddlers
  • American Podiatric Medical Association Approved
  • Accommodates different feet sizes
  • Provides extra protection
Cons
  • Not good for outdoor use
  • Suede sole doesn’t provide much support

7. Umi Weelie

In a nutshell, Umi Weelies are great for an ideal walk outside. They are very outdoor-friendly with a more European-inspired look to them. With such a refreshing color palette the shoe comes in a good selection of colors and a great degree of durability.
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Durability
The Weelie is so durable and perfect for everyday use. They are just wonderful for monumental first steps for any infant. The patented anti-bacterial removable footbed makes for a chemical-free walking experience.

Breathability
With breathable soft genuine leather uppers and linings makes the Weelie a perfect infant shoe. The shoe is not just soft in feel, but they are easy to put on and off, thanks to the secure hook-and-loop strap closure. Also, this shoe has extra stability and comfort due to the contoured rubber outsole.

Cost and Value
Umi Weelie runs around $55, so for most parents they consider the Weelie to be a bit pricier than they would like, but since all styles and stages of UmiBaby are approved by the American Podiatric Medical Association they are completely worth it. Remember that when buying infant shoes you want to go with quality over quantity.
Pros
  • Easy to put on and take off
  • Chemical-free with a patented anti-bacterial removable footbed
  • Contoured rubber outsole provides added comfort and stability
  • Made of genuine leather for a breathable and soft walking experience
  • Comes in a ton of refreshing colors
  • Super comfy and lightweight
Cons
  • A bit pricey

8. Tsukihoshi Baby Glitz

Tsukihoshi Baby Glitz in one word FUN! With some many styles and colors to choose from Baby Glitz offers a bright synthetic look with a lace-up closure perfect for everyday wear. These Glitz sneakers are very girly and sweet with just the right amount of comfort perfect for play time.
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Quality
One thing you need to remember is that Tsukihoshi Uppers are so very easy to clean. Yes, they are machine washable so no more messy clean ups! The upper is made of nylon mesh and machine-washable synthetic leather. Plus, it has an antibacterial insole made with natural Green Tea extract that helps to kill germs and odor. Absolutely no chemicals. An all-around great shoe that’s eco-friendly.

Comfort
Glitz sneakers offer a wide toe box, so they are super comfortable. In fact, many are advised to order a half size down because they run a little on the wider side. But this is great for babies’ feet who seem to not want to stop growing. It gives the infant more time to grow into the actual shoe.

Cost and Value
According to Tsukihoshi’s official website, these Baby Glitz sneakers are $54.95. A good value for a sneaker that are podiatric approved with its long counters, removable insoles and child specific patterns
Pros
  • Extremely Lightweight
  • Midsole provides a great deal of motion and flexibility
  • Easy to put on and to take off
  • Cushioned footbed enhances comfort
  • Super Comfy
Cons
  • Considered a bit pricey
  • Runs a bit wide

9. New Balance Baby KV888V1

New Balance has always been dedicated to creating shoes that designed to fit. New Balance Baby KV888V1 is living proof of this. These shoes are every mom’s dream who have babies that have extremely wide feet. If this is so, New Balance Baby KV888V1 are just what you need.
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Comfort
These infant running shoes are very simple in design with its split suede and mesh upper. The rubber outsole and advanced heel cushion support makes this shoe the very best in comfort. Definitely a shoe that your baby will love to wear every day.

Secure Fit
New Balance made sure that these shoes were easy to put on and to take off, and with the hook-and-loop closure it works wonders.

Cost and Value
New Balance Baby KV888V1 are not as pricey as most other infant running shoes. They range in price below $45. For most parents, they are worth every penny and enjoy that the shoe is best for playground play. Not to mention, the come in tons of fun and bold colors.
Pros
  • Great for everyday wear
  • Provides classic comfort
  • Reasonably priced
  • Comes in lots of vibrant colors
Cons
  • The shoe is not ideal for narrow feet as they run wider than most infant shoes

10. Livie & Luca Petal Mary Jane

Livie & Luca is such a great overall baby brand and their shoes are nothing short of genius when it comes to cute, fun, stylish comfortable shoes. The shoes are handmade, extremely durable and simply delightful in every way.
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Comfort
For the most part these shoes are very soft in touch and comes in a ton of colors. Your baby will be able to glide with ease thanks to the soft, protective toe and nude leather lining for added comfort.

Traction
The Petal Mary Jane sole is comprised of suede and recycled rubber pads for the tread that help with traction as your baby begins to walk. Plus, its padded elastic collar provides a more tailored fit making the shoe oh so comfy.

Cost and Value
The price is reasonable. The Petal Mary Jane is priced just below $40. A great price for a handmade shoe perfect for when your baby learns to stand and walk.
Pros
  • Very comfortable with its nude leather lining
  • Easy to slip on and off
  • Equipped with rubber grip pads to help with traction
  • Comes in lots of colors
Cons
  • Not very supportive at all
  • Runs a bit narrow. Not true to size at all

 There are absolutely no aspects in a baby’s footwear that supersede’s quality comfort, support, protection and the room to keep up as your baby’s feet grow. It’s a process that we as parents can’t prevent. Keep in mind, children are constantly growing. It is important to get them the shoes that will assist them throughout every stage of their development. We hope this review has helped you in selecting a  perfect shoe for your little one!

 

Criteria Used in Evaluation

 

Comfort

Our little buddies must be comfortable at all times. At first sight, it may seem like comfortability isn’t something a baby would notice. However, it does have a huge impact on the performance of the shoe. The comfortability plays an important role when it comes to practicing their walking. Babies with uncomfortable shoes are likely to have a hard time learning to walk. Interactive shoes, such as light-up shoes, make the experience much more enjoyable for the baby.

Best-Baby-Shoes-Toddler-Baby-Putting-On-Shoes

A comfortable baby shoe will not only make the walking experience less troublesome but also safer for the long term. When a shoe bothers the babies’ feet, they’re likely to develop incorrect forms of walking. This is due to their unconscious attempt to make the shoe more comfortable by modifying the position of the feet. Uncomfortable baby shoes contribute to internal or external foot tilts during the process of learning to walk.

Multiple factors affect the comfortability. For instance, the materials of the shoe make a major difference, especially if the baby has no socks. Look for delicate materials that don’t harm or irritate the feet of the child. Keep in mind that having no socks increases the chances of irritations from friction with the internal materials.

We looked for shoes that include baby-friendly materials to provide the best walking experience. It’s important to check all of the materials and details both inside and outside the shoe. Any defects in the internal part of the shoe can make it very uncomfortable for the little one. Keep in mind the socks also play a big part in this.

There are some clear signs that babies are uncomfortable with their shoes. One of them is having odd walking habits with a particular pair of shoes. If babies show unusual walking patterns, change their shoes to verify if that’s the reason. Babies will also try to remove their shoes in discomfort regularly. They might do this for no reason at times; they’re babies. But, it might be a signal if it becomes a repetitive habit.

 

Protection

Protection is one of the most important aspects that must be present in every baby shoe. A child can’t lack protection on their feet. The overall foot is very delicate during early ages, especially the toes. The best baby shoes must be able to protect the feet from falls, trips, and any activity a baby might perform. Sandals and crocs are in no means protective for baby feet. We do not recommend them for outdoor activities.

Best-Baby-Shoes-little-kid-kicking-ball

Materials once again play a significant role. Baby shoes must be made of resistant and durable materials without becoming very bulky. The most important part of protection is to have the right materials for the respective activity. Babies can’t just have a single pair of shoes for all occasions, especially if they’re going to play any sports. Their feet should be equipped with shoes that are relevant to the activity they’ll perform.

Though some baby shoes might all look similar, they certainly aren’t. There’s a complete lack of protection if the baby is going to be playing soccer with shoes that don’t support such activity. They might seem perfectly able to kick the ball because the shoes won’t stop them from doing it. However, their feet, especially the toes, will be paying the price later on.

Look for shoes that protect your baby from the water. By this, we don’t necessarily mean water-proof shoes. However, it’s important that things such as humidity and odors are not present in your baby’s shoe. A good shoe should prevent water from leaking into the inner side. Keep in mind that mesh builds usually allow some water to go into the shoe. However, a decent insole will prevent any odors from accumulating.

Fit

Baby shoes are a particular case when it comes to the fit. Shoes can be a size bigger or so, providing enough space for the baby’s feet to expand. However, they can’t be a size shorter. Shoes that compress too much can harm the toes and the feet in general. Like we previously said, baby feet are delicate. Any strong compressions and tightness can, and probably will result in irritation or harm.

Best-baby-shoes-baby-putting-on-adults-shoe

A baby shoe should have enough space for the toes and feet to move freely. Some slipping is not critical, as the baby won’t need a perfect fit for walking. The toe box should be big enough for the baby to move their toes without any difficulties. You can verify this by pressing the outer sides of the toe box. If you feel the toes on the sides are too tight, go a size bigger. If the baby touches their toes too much, it might be a sign that the box is tight.

Believe it or not, the fit can have an enormous impact on the way your baby’s feet develop. A shoe that is too tight will prevent the feet from growing naturally. Instead, it’s likely that they’ll develop some irregularities. Proper development is a priority during these early stages of their life. Any foot symptom might extend in the long-term growth of the baby’s feet.

To secure the fit, we recommend buying shoes with a Velcro closure. Velcro makes the process of putting shoes on and taking them off much easier. It also provides a more firm fit, as the closing pressure is distributed equally through the whole upper. Plus, shoelaces are not exactly the babies’ best friend. They might pull strings on their own, and in some cases step on them. Though, laces are good as long as they don’t hang from the sides of the shoe.

 

Flexibility

The best baby shoes must be able to flex in a natural manner. When babies are learning to walk, it’s important they have a natural and flexible gait. The flexibility, along with other aspects in this list, will have an impact on the way your baby learns to walk. Most importantly though, flexibility must be there when the baby starts running.

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When buying baby shoes, you should be able to bend the tip about 40 degrees at least. This way you know your baby will obtain enough flex to run naturally. If you have to press too hard for the tip to bend, that shoe is not flexible. Even if you can flex it with your hands, your baby won’t be able to flex it with their gait. The flex of the shoe should be soft and natural. If the shoe is right, you’ll be able to bend the tip with two fingers without much effort.

When the baby tries the shoes, hold their feet and imitate a gait as if they were running. Keep the tip of the foot to the ground and gently lift the rest of the foot (up to the heel). Then flex the foot forward and see how the build of the shoe reacts. The flex should not only be natural and soft, but the shoe should also remain intact as it flexes. If other parts of the show start shrinking or wrinkling as it flexes, it’s not okay.

 

Weight

As we previously mentioned, baby shoes can’t be bulky. The weight of a baby shoe might have no difference for us, as it will be minimal despite the design. However, the little buddies do notice the difference. Not them, but their feet. Baby shoes should be as light as possible to assist them in walking or running with no effort.

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Once again, this factor can affect the way in which babies develop their motor skills. A baby shoe that is too heavy will prevent the baby from walking effortlessly. Babies will have to make an additional effort in moving their feet, which often results in drag. The heavier the shoe is, the more likely the baby is to dragging their feet. Instead, a lightweight shoe allows the baby to lift the foot off the ground as much as they need.

The materials of the shoes are mostly responsible for the weight. Thick, bulky materials will only add weight to the build without actually adding any benefit. Thick materials might be more protective at first sight. However, technology has allowed synthetic materials to provide protection without adding almost any weight to the shoe. This not only applies to the upper build, but also to the midsole and outsole.

Outsoles made of conventional rubber, for example, are a thing of the past. Today, we have access to synthetic types of rubber that are not only lighter, but much more resistant and durable. These synthetic materials are used to optimize every part of the shoe. However, baby shoes don’t need to be totally made of them.

Keep in mind that synthetic materials are chemically made to be more efficient and resistant. Thus, chances are they’ll be more expensive than conventional materials.

 

Cushioning

This factor might not seem critical during the early walking stages. The truth is cushioning is just as important as any other factor. This applies to all babies, even those who don’t run yet. A baby shoe needs cushioning just like it needs flexibility to optimize the walking experience.

Best-Baby-Shoes-Baby-taking-first-steps

Babies don’t walk properly from the beginning. Some step too hard, some take steps too long, and some raise their feet too high. For these reasons, the shoe cushioning must be able to keep the baby in comfort (and safety). If the shoes are not adequately cushioned, the baby might receive heel damage because of their delicate feet.

Keep in mind that babies are in current development of their motor skills as well. When running, despite how short the distance is, the feet should be adequately protected. Babies often jump as part of their motor development, which makes cushioning a need. It might seem it’s not necessary. At the end of the day, they don’t run that much or jump that high, right?

Wrong.

Their efforts might seem tiny, but so is their body. Babies get sore feet too – and their heels hurt just like ours when the shoe is not cushioned. In fact, their heels are much more sensible, susceptible to soreness, and easier to harm. You want your baby to get used the walking, running, and jumping. Of course, that won’t happen if such experiences are uncomfortable or painful to them.

When looking for the best baby shoes, use your thumbs to check the cushioning. Press the heel part of the insole, padding, and cushioning. This will help you measure the quality of the cushioning and know if it’s adequate for your baby. Usually, snickers are properly cushioned.

 

Outsole Quality & Slip Prevention

As you can probably guess, decent baby shoes won’t allow babies to slip around. There are many reasons of why baby shoes should provide a stable walking/running/jumping experience. The first and most important one of them all is pretty simple. It’s hazardous. Nobody wants their baby slipping on the street and potentially hitting themselves.

Best-Baby-Shoes-baby-walking-on-trail

Babies eventually fall no matter what; it’s a part of the learning process. However, there’s a difference between tripping and falling on their knees or hands and slipping. If the outsole is always slipping, the chances of the baby falling on their side or back are much bigger.  Outsoles should help babies stay on their feet, not increase their chances of tripping.

There certainly are surfaces where babies shouldn’t be running regardless of the shoes they have. However, a sturdy outsole must allow babies to grip properly to regular surfaces. Hardwood, concrete, and pavement, in general, should never be an obstacle to a baby learning to walk or run. We recommend choosing outsoles made of rubber variations or other non-slip materials when looking for the best baby shoes.

External patterns on the outsole provide some extra grip. These patterns shouldn’t lift the outsole off the ground; just enhance contact between the outsole and the floor. Nowadays every sports shoe comes with some pattern on the outsole, well, it’s no coincidence. Aside from being an aesthetic design, these models actually improve the grip of the outsole.

 

FAQ

Q: How many shoes should a baby have?
A:
We would recommend buying at least 2-3 pairs. One pair of sneakers and one pair of casual shoes are a must. Don’t stock up on them, remember sizes will change constantly.

Q: When should babies start wearing shoes?
A:
As soon as they’re confidently walking at home get them shoes and let the outdoor practice begin. Before that, they shouldn’t wear any. They need to feel the surface while they’re beginning.

Q: How much are baby shoes?
A:
Baby shoes can go anywhere from $10 the cheapest to $45 the most expensive. It all depends on the brand and kind of shoe you’re buying.

Q: How often do baby shoe sizes change?
A:
Each baby is different. Some need a replacement every 4 months, while some others hold the same size for a year or over. Constantly check if the baby has outgrown the shoe.

Q: How do baby shoe sizes work?
A:
Baby shoe sizes go from 3 1/3 inches to 6 2/3 inches. US sizes run from 1 to 11 and EU sizes go from 16 to 28.

Q: Where to buy baby shoes?
A: We recommend buying baby shoes at the store. This way, you can get a good grasp of the materials and verify the shoe on your own before buying. Though, many people like to buy them online.

Q: Where to buy baby shoes online?
A:
We recommend buying them from Amazon in case you’re buying online. Return policies and guarantees are flexible in most cases if you get a wrong size or the shoe doesn’t work for the baby.

 

Smelly feet? No problem.  Check out our guide on how to deal with foot odor for good.

Need to clean your shoes? Take a look at our complete guide for that!

Sources

  1. Care, Baby Shoe Size: What You Need to Know, Featured Article,
  2. WhatToExpect, Your Go-To Baby Shoe Guide, Shoe Information Guide, Nov 29, 2016
  3. KidsHealth, Is My Baby Ready for Shoes?, Baby Shoes FAQ, Oct 05, 2014
  4. MadeForMums, Buying Your First Baby Shoes, Online Publication,
  5. BabyCentre, When Should I Buy Shoes for my Baby?, Expert Q&A, Jul 14, 2014