Shoe Guide for New Walkers

Navigating the early stages of your child's walking journey can be both exciting and a little daunting. One common question parents have is: when should my child start wearing shoes? The general recommendation is to keep your child barefoot as much as possible when they're learning to walk. This allows them to feel the ground and gain crucial sensory feedback through their feet. 

Once your child has been walking confidently for about six weeks, it's a good idea to start introducing shoes, especially when they begin walking outside or in public places. There are exceptions to this rule. Depending on the walking surface or weather conditions, you might need to have your child wear shoes earlier to protect their feet from rough terrain or extreme temperatures.

What should you look for in shoes for new walkers? 

When purchasing shoes for new walkers, it's important to consider several key qualities to support their developing feet:

Firm but Flexible Sole: Look for a sole that is lightweight and flexible near the toes to allow natural bending of the foot.

Wide Toe Box: The shoe should have a wide toe box to accommodate the natural shape of your child's foot and avoid squishing their toes.

Firm Heel Cup: Ensure the heel cup is solid and cannot be easily squished, providing necessary support.

Minimal Toe Rise: A slight toe rise is okay for beginners but should be minimal as your child gains walking confidence.

High vs. Low Top: For children whose feet/ankles roll inward, high top shoes may offer additional support. 

Shoe Recommendations from a Physical Therapist

Choosing the right shoes for your new walker is essential for their comfort and development. Here are some great options:

Ten Little Everyday Original Shoes: A good all around tennis shoe. 

Little Kid's Bare Steps H2O Sneaker: A waterproof shoe for the summer.

Wonder Nation Unisex Baby Two-Strap Adaptive Shoes: Both budget and orthotic friendly. 

Wonder Nation Toddler Girl Fisherman Sandals: Budget-friendly sandals. 

Stride Rite Taye 2.0 High Top Sneaker

Does your little one need some extra assistance? Here are some brace-friendly shoes: 

Billy Classic D-R High Tops: Has a zipper that fully opens the shoe to allow for easier ability to get braces in/out.

Glacial Refraction Squeakerless Toddler Shoes: Has a Large and flexible opening.

Excursion Mid Rainbow Sherbet Kids' Shoe: Has a zipper that opens the shoe to allow for easily access to get braces in/out.

DynaSoft Reveal v4 BOA: Has adjustable straps and a flexible opening to accommodate braces easier.

These options often feature zippers or flexible openings, making it easier to put on and take off the shoes while accommodating braces.

Learning to walk is a big moment for both the parent and the little one, and CP is here to help every step of the way!

Featured Expert:

Sara Messner, Physical Therapist here at CP strives to provide a comprehensive and individualized plan for clients and families to help them meet their goals while making therapy fun and engaging for all clients so they are motivated.

Learn how we can help work with your child and find success.


Popular Posts