Run, Jump, Walk, Splash—These Are the Best Toddler and Baby Shoes for New Walkers (2023)

These first shoes for babies and toddlers provide essential protection from the elements—in style!

Published on May 4, 2023

We independently evaluate all recommended products and services. If you click on links we provide, we may receive compensation. Learn more.

Run, Jump, Walk, Splash—These Are the Best Toddler and Baby Shoes for New Walkers (1)

It’s a bittersweet feeling: One minute, you’re baby-wearing your bundle of joy, and the next, they’re racing you down the street. To protect tiny feet for those few steps in between, you’re going to want a solid pair of baby walking shoes. The best shoes for new walkers provide support, feature breathable material, and give feet room to move and grow without restriction.

In the early months of infancy, babies’ feet develop best when barefoot to promote natural growth. Once they start walking, they’ll need protection from the outdoor elements. Baby feet grow fast, so their shoes won’t be with them long, but they’ll safeguard them in the meantime. Look for baby and toddler shoes with non-slip soles to keep your busy bee steady. Check the fit of your child’s shoes approximately once a month to ensure they’re not too tight. The AAP says it’s better for children to have no shoes at all than shoes that are too snug.

In order to find the best toddler and baby shoes for new walkers, we studied the design and features of more than 30 shoes. When reviewing products, we considered size range, design, cleaning instructions, materials, fit, flexibility, and overall value. From athletic baby shoes to booties, we’ve included various styles of toddler and baby shoes for new walkers to help littles put one foot in front of the other confidently.

Our Favorites

Best Overall: Ten Little Everyday Original Shoes

Run, Jump, Walk, Splash—These Are the Best Toddler and Baby Shoes for New Walkers (2)

Mom-developed shoe company Ten Little aims to provide parents and caregivers with everything they need to get toddlers off on the right foot. Not to mention, the shoes are made sustainably with vegan leather. These shoes are American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) approved for their rounded-toe and flexible, flat-sole designs. They’re also kid-approved because they come with stickers that allow little ones to customize their shoes. Use the site’s “fit finder” to get an accurate gauge of your child’s size, and then sign up to get reminders to measure for a new pair later.

Price at time of publication: $44

Best Budget: Sofmuo Anti-Slip Sneakers

Run, Jump, Walk, Splash—These Are the Best Toddler and Baby Shoes for New Walkers (3)

Buy on Amazon

(Video) Walking Shoes for Babies

Buy on Walmart

Equip your kiddo with these stylish (and budget-friendly) baby shoes. We love the non-slip rubber sole and double hook-and-loop closure to support unsteady feet. Plus, they're available in nearly a dozen color options to match casual or dressy outfits.

Price at time of publication: $11

Best Bootie: M&F Western Kids Cassidy Casual Shoes

Run, Jump, Walk, Splash—These Are the Best Toddler and Baby Shoes for New Walkers (4)

These faux-suede booties have such an outdoorsy look. They’re padded and feature a small amount of rubber grip for security but remain light and flexible for little feet.

Price at time of publication: $32

Best Athletic: Robeez Ro + Me Alex Athletic Sneakers

Run, Jump, Walk, Splash—These Are the Best Toddler and Baby Shoes for New Walkers (5)

Robeez brand shoes are recognized as one of the best walking shoes for babies. They even have the APMA seal of approval. These “athletic” shoes also have the advantage of being reasonably priced.

Price at time of publication: $25

Best Sandals: Carter's Unisex Roman First Walker Shoe

Run, Jump, Walk, Splash—These Are the Best Toddler and Baby Shoes for New Walkers (6)

Tiny feet will look adorable sporting these Carter’s sandals, which are available in two color options: gray with blue and yellow accents, and white with pink, blue, and yellow straps. The adjustable velcro straps allow parents and caregivers to find a proper fit quickly. A flexible rubber sole aids in wobbly steps for sizes 2 to 6.

Price at time of publication: $34

Best Casual: Carter’s Just One You Emily First Walk Sneakers

Run, Jump, Walk, Splash—These Are the Best Toddler and Baby Shoes for New Walkers (7)

These have a bit more of an outsole for tots who are ready for a sturdier shoe with more protection. Still, the rounded toe allows for the movement littlest walkers need.

Price at time of publication: $20

(Video) Why does Cristiano Ronaldo refuse to get tattoos?

Best Boots: Lioraitiin Ankle Boots

Run, Jump, Walk, Splash—These Are the Best Toddler and Baby Shoes for New Walkers (8)

We’re suckers for babies in “work” gear, and these vegan-leather ankle boots sure look like a pair of rugged Timberlands. Pay close attention to the sizing chart to determine which is right for your baby.

Price at time of publication: $12

Best for Water: Crocs Unisex Kids' Classic Clog

Run, Jump, Walk, Splash—These Are the Best Toddler and Baby Shoes for New Walkers (9)

The Crocs Kids’ Classic Clogs are splish-splash ready. The flexible foam material is lightweight and helps shed water while keeping feet comfortable. There are more than two dozen colors to choose from, and they all include a heel strap for a secure fit.

Price at time of publication: $35

Best Slip-On: Simple Joys by Carter's Casual Slip-On Canvas Shoe

Run, Jump, Walk, Splash—These Are the Best Toddler and Baby Shoes for New Walkers (10)

A slip-on style like this Simple Joys by Carter’s pair is what adults truly want most of all in kids' shoes: They're simple to put on and to take off. The rubber sole gives babies and toddlers plenty of security, while the textile canvas upper is casual for everyday wear.

Price at time of publication: $19

Best Style: Timatego Non-Skid First Walker Shoes

Run, Jump, Walk, Splash—These Are the Best Toddler and Baby Shoes for New Walkers (11)

(Video) Boy uses umbrella to prevent elevator door from closing, causes free fall

We're obsessed with the dozens of pattern options of the Timatego Non-Skid First Walker Shoes. From fish to cats, each style comes in sizes 6 months to 2 years with a breathable lining and cushion for comfort. The rubber sole contributes to sturdy traction regardless of where your favorite tootsies go on their next adventure.

Price at time of publication: $14

Best Sneaker: Nike Air Force 1 Sneaker

Run, Jump, Walk, Splash—These Are the Best Toddler and Baby Shoes for New Walkers (12)

Though your kiddo may be in more of the roll-the-ball-and-put-it-in-mouth phase of sports interest, they can still look the part of a baller in these Air Force 1s. Unlike the originals, these have a wide, flat base for those new to standing, let alone walking. And don’t worry about those laces—they’re elastic slip-ons.

Price at time of publication: $45

Best Moccasin-Style: BirdRock Baby Moccasins

Run, Jump, Walk, Splash—These Are the Best Toddler and Baby Shoes for New Walkers (13)

The genuine leather on these moccasin-style shoes is soft, durable, and a beautiful tribute and reminder of indigenous culture. A lightweight and flexible sole help promote natural foot movement and development. They are individually crafted in 30 color and pattern options and have a lifetime warranty. For every pair purchased, BirdRock Baby donates money to feed a child in need for a day.

Price at time of publication: $30

Our Research Process

We chose the best toddler and baby shoes for new walkers by studying the design and features of dozens of products on the market. We spoke with parents and caregivers, researched reviews from customers and competitors, and monitored shopping trends to bring you the best and most up-to-date offerings on baby and toddler shoes. We also reviewed guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics on what to look for in baby and toddler shoes. In addition, we considered size range, material, cleaning instructions, fit, and overall value when reviewing products.

Who We Are

Katrina Cossey is a commerce writer, enthusiastic shopper, and devoted mom. She spent several years in broadcast journalism but found her true passion in writing about the best products for families, pregnant people, and kids of all ages. She’s researched thousands of baby products, toys, gifts, and more and personally tested many of them. In her spare time, you’ll likely find her in the beautiful outdoors of Oklahoma with her husband and 3-year-old son. Katrina's preschooler wears the Ten Little Everyday Original Shoes (mocha brown, specifically) to church, the park, and outside at home. She loves how durable and high quality the shoes are—they've shown no wear and tear over months of use!

Was this page helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!

(Video) Kids dive for cover as gunman opens fire on Bronx sidewalk

Tell us why!


Parents uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. Shoes for active toddlers. American Academy of Pediatrics.

  2. Shoes for active toddlers. American Academy of Pediatrics.

(Video) Bobux Kids I-Walk Driftwood Sandal (Toddler) SKU: 9077498


What shoes are best for first walkers? ›

Try to get shoes with soft leather uppers for cool, comfortable feet. Choose shoes with lightweight, flexible soles to aid walking development. Most brands have pre-walkers, which are super-soft and actually fine for the first few walking months (according to parents we speak to). Look for fully adjustable fastenings.

Do new walkers need shoes? ›

Shoes aren't necessary for learning to walk, though. In fact, “the best way for a baby to learn to walk is barefoot,” says Dr. Tracey Agnese, pediatrician, mom and supporter of new parents. “The only reason for shoes while learning to walk is to protect their feet from harm when outside.”

What age do you buy baby walking shoes? ›

There is no particular age at which your baby will need shoes, but a good rule of thumb is to wait until they've learned to walk and show signs of wanting to be up and about. The general milestone guideline for when a baby begins to walk is: Between 6 and 13 months: crawling.

Which type of shoes are best for walking? ›

Opt for a shoe that supports your foot without being too restrictive and absorbs shock without feeling too heavy. You may find that road running shoes, trail-running shoes or hiking shoes can be worn comfortably for walking as well.

What are proper walking shoes? ›

How should a walking shoe fit?
  • Walking shoes should be comfortable right away. ...
  • Your feet should have room, but not too much room. ...
  • Your walking shoes should match your arch type. ...
  • Cushion and traction are important with walking shoes.
Jul 29, 2021

Which shoe brand is best for toddlers? ›

A few pediatric OT-recommended shoe brands for toddlers
  • Stride Rite Soft Motion shoes.
  • Momo Baby rubber sole sneakers.
  • Pediped Grip 'n' Go shoes.
  • See Kai Run First Walker shoes.

Do certain shoes help babies walk? ›

When toddlers are learning to walk, they should be in bare feet or a soft soled shoe as much as possible so they can feel what they touch with their feet and develop muscle strength. When toddlers have been walking on their own confidently for a period of time, they can progress to a firmer soled shoe.

Are Skechers good for toddlers feet? ›

Sizes: 4 toddler and up Well-cushioned and well-structured, Skechers are a just-right lifestyle sneaker that come in fun, flashy colors covered in sparkles, glitter, and light-up soles. Their whole range of sneakers get high ranks for being sturdy and comfortable and having excellent traction to guard against slipping.

Why are baby walkers not recommended anymore? ›

Walkers — devices with wheeled frames and suspended seats that let babies move around using their feet — are indeed a safety hazard. Walkers are a leading cause of injuries in babies, so health and safety experts strongly discourage their use. While in walkers, babies can roll into hot stoves, heaters, and pools.

What to look for when buying a baby walker? ›

Choose a walker that a stable and wide base for support. Ensure that the wheel of the walker has at least a diameter of 50 millimeters. Do not buy fairly used baby walkers that do not satisfy the recent safety standards for walkers. Upon sitting on the walker, ensure that your baby's feet make contact with the floor.

How important are first walker shoes? ›

Pre-walking baby shoes offer protection for little toes and feet against the hot ground or unsafe terrains. Wearing pre-walking shoes will help to keep their little feet clean and avoids cuts and infections.

Are Crocs good for babies learning to walk? ›

Peds unanimously agree that Crocs are especially bad for younger children's developing feet. When they can't feel the ground, children are not only at a greater risk for falls and injuries, but also neurological and intrinsic muscle impairments that can lead to foot issues later in life.

What ages are a toddler? ›

Toddlers (2-3 years of age)

What shoe size is a 1 year old? ›

Our Product Benefits
0 - 6 monthsup to 4 3/4" / 12 cm1
6 - 12 monthsup to 5 1/4" / 13.4 cm2
12 - 18 monthsup to 5 1/2" / 14 cm3
18 - 24 monthsup to 5 7/8" / 14.9 cm4

Are Skechers good shoes? ›

It's well worth investing in a pair designed specifically for walking, and fortunately you can count on Skechers for a wealth of high-quality options. A long-time leader in the walking shoe category, Skechers has styles for the casual stroller, the serious trekker, and everyone in between.

What is the difference between a walking shoe and a walking boot? ›

Walking boots are better for uphill walking across more treacherous uneven terrain, as most of them offer waterproof protection, ankle support and grip, whereas walking shoes are lighter shoes and more comfortable to walk in for lengthy distances on a flatter and more even ground.

Should walking shoes be heavy or light? ›

Choose a shoe that is light-weight and breathable. Don't let a heavy walking shoe slow you down. There should be a thumbnail's width between your toes and the end of your shoe, and the shoe should be wide enough to let your toes move freely. can move your toes.

Are Crocs good for walking? ›

The answer is yes! Crocs are actually quite comfortable for walking, thanks to their padded footbed and soft, flexible material. However, they may not be the best choice for long walks or hikes due to their lack of support. But overall, Crocs make great shoes for short distances and everyday wear.

Are zero drop shoes good for walking? ›

The bottom line. Unlike standard sneakers, zero-drop shoes are flat, with little to no cushioning. They may strengthen foot muscles and improve your balance and walking stride. But they might not be suitable for people with certain conditions, including Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, or flat feet.

Are vans a good walking shoe? ›

Yes. Vans shoes offer great support with a comfortable fit all day long. The ultimate combination of function and style, they are ideal for walking due to a sturdy rubber sole and flexible canvas construction.

What shoe size is best for a 2 year old? ›

Shoe Sizes
Approximate AgeAgeEUUSA
1 year20 - 215 - 5.5
2 year22 - 236-7
3 year24 - 258-9

How many pairs of shoes should a toddler have? ›

"You really only need one or maybe two pairs of shoes for your toddler," Cox says, "a play shoe like a sneaker and possibly a dress-up shoe."

What shoe does a 2 year old wear? ›

Average Children's Shoe Sizes By Age Chart
Kids' AgeUS Kids SizeFoot length
1 year3C4 3/8"
2 years6C5 1/4"
3 years9C6 1/4"
4 years11C6 7/8"
8 more rows

What age do babies start walking? ›

Babies usually start walking sometime between about 10 and 18 months old. Before walking, babies will usually have been crawling (between 7 and 12 months) and pulling themselves up to stand (usually between ages 9 and 12 months).

What size shoe do babies walk in? ›

The BirdRock Baby Shoe Size Chart
Baby Shoe Size (US)Foot Length (Inches)Age
34.125"3-6 Months
44.5"6-12 Months
5.55.0"12-18 Months
6.55.25"18-24 Months
5 more rows

Should baby walking shoes be hard or soft? ›

Generally speaking, it's recommended that babies begin wearing soft-soled or pre-walker footwear once they start walking around confidently (usually between 8 and 12 months). It is important not only as protection from slipping but also as support while learning how to walk properly.

Are Skechers approved by podiatrist? ›

Skechers Arch Fit

Discover the ultimate comfort solution with podiatrist-certified arch support developed using over 20 years of data. Footwear in our Arch Fit collection features a removable, supportive cushioning insole system for a more comfortable walking experience.

Is it OK to buy used shoes for toddler? ›

In general, it's not a good idea for you to pass used shoes to another child. Footwear molds to the foot of the child wearing it based on the shape and unique pressures of his or her lower limbs. The sole wears down in specific places for those reasons, too.

What shoes should toddler wear at home? ›

Choose a lightweight shoe since children use a lot of energy walking at this age. Toddlers can go barefoot in a protected environment such as indoors. Style and shoe fit is important for school-age children. At this age, they can choose from a variety of options, including athletic shoes, sandals, hiking shoes, etc.

Why don't pediatricians like walkers? ›

Children in walkers can get their fingers caught, pull things down on themselves, or grab dangerous things (such as sharp objects or hot liquids) that would otherwise be out of their reach. Children can fall out of walkers and get hurt — and have drowned when they scooted into a pool or spa.

What can I use instead of a walker? ›

Instead of a baby walker on wheels, the AAP recommends opting for an activity center with either a stationary, rotating or bouncy seat. Sturdy wagons or push walking toys are also acceptable, but you'll need to closely supervise when your child is using this item, as the wheels can increase the risk of injury.

Why are doctors against walkers for babies? ›

Children in baby walkers can:

Roll down the stairs—which often causes broken bones and severe head injuries. This is how most children get hurt in baby walkers. Get burned—a child can reach higher in a walker.

What month should I buy a baby walker? ›

Age: The recommended age is 6 to 8 months before your baby starts using their walker. Mobility: Your baby should have some level of mobility developed already. For example, your little one should be a good crawler and able to get around or have the ability to stand in their crib or on their own.

How do you know if your baby will be an early walker? ›

Pulling up to stand

Pulling up on furniture to stand is one of the first signs of walking readiness. This boosts babies' leg muscles and coordination — just think of how many squats they're doing! Over time, the mini workouts condition your baby to stand independently, and then, move ahead with a few wobbly steps.

What is the difference between and rolling walker and a standard walker? ›

Rollators include wheels on all legs (three or four, depending on the model), whereas walkers come without wheels or with wheels on the front two legs. A standard walker without wheels offers the most support but requires you to lift it with every step you take.

Do most babies walk by 1 year? ›

On average, children walk between 12 and 18 months . Some may walk a little earlier, while others may walk as early as 7 months.

How often should walkers get new shoes? ›

If your exercise routine consists of walking 30 minutes a day, or an average of 3 to 4 hours a week, consider replacing your shoes every six months. If you are walking 60 minutes a day or an average of 7 hours a week, consider replacing your shoes every three months.

Who should not wear Crocs? ›

Weiser recommends avoiding Crocs entirely if you're flat-footed. According to the Institute of Preventative Foot Health, being flat-footed can contribute to plantar fasciitis and other health conditions, especially if you don't wear shoes that support your arches. These conditions include: Achilles tendinitis.

What do podiatrists say about wearing Crocs? ›

Long-term wear of Crocs may also cause other serious foot conditions. “You're not thinking about it, but when you're wearing a shoe that wide, you're gripping with your toes, and when you grip with your toes to keep a shoe on, you can get tendonitis, plantar fasciitis and hammertoes in the long-term,” Dr. Barrow notes.

Do babies need ankle support shoes? ›

Some people think that shoes are needed to support a child's developing leg and foot muscles and bone structure to help prevent future problems with walking. Your child's feet will develop well on their own and don't require any special footwear.

What age is no longer a toddler? ›

The toddler age group starts at one year old, and while the end of the toddler age range is a little less definitive, it's generally thought to come to close when a child turns 3.

How long should a 2 year old be away from mother? ›

Making a custody schedule for a toddler

Your custody schedule should give your toddler frequent contact with both parents and provide both parents opportunities to feed, bathe, play with, read to, arrange playdates for, and put the toddler to sleep. Toddlers can be away from either parent for 2 or 3 days.

Is age 4 no longer a toddler? ›

Your four-year-old isn't a toddler anymore, but a full-fledged preschooler. Like many parents, you may be wondering what developmental milestones await you and your four-year-old, particularly as you anticipate kindergarten in the not-so-distant future.

What does the C mean in baby shoes? ›

A: C is child and Y is youth. These refer to child sizes, which is the 2T-3T, etc. sizing until you get up to 7-8, then move up to youth sizes which is more the small-medium-large spectrum.

What is the average size for a 1 year old? ›

As you'll see, there's now a much broader range of what's “normal” than there was at earlier ages. At fifteen months, the average girl weighs about 23 pounds (10.5 kg) and is almost 30.5 inches (77 cm) tall; the average boy weighs about 24.5 pounds (11 kg) and is 31 inches (78 cm) tall.

What size shoes do babies wear when they start walking? ›

From 3 to 6 months, a size 2 (3.75 inches) should get the job done. Around 1 year, many babies wear a size 4.5 or 5 (about 4.75 inches). Again, every baby grows differently — so be sure to measure those little feet often.

What size shoe would a 1 year old be? ›

Our Product Benefits
0 - 6 monthsup to 4 3/4" / 12 cm1
6 - 12 monthsup to 5 1/4" / 13.4 cm2
12 - 18 monthsup to 5 1/2" / 14 cm3
18 - 24 monthsup to 5 7/8" / 14.9 cm4

Why are walkers no longer recommended? ›

Walkers — devices with wheeled frames and suspended seats that let babies move around using their feet — are indeed a safety hazard. Walkers are a leading cause of injuries in babies, so health and safety experts strongly discourage their use. While in walkers, babies can roll into hot stoves, heaters, and pools.

Do good walking shoes make a difference? ›

You need walking shoes that offer stability. The American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine notes that good walking shoes and good running shoes both offer stability, cushioning and allow for a smooth stride. Here are four main differences to keep in mind when considering each type of shoe: The sole.

What size shoe is a 2 year old? ›

Shoe Sizes
Approximate AgeAgeEUUSA
1 year20 - 215 - 5.5
2 year22 - 236-7
3 year24 - 258-9

Do you need to wear a sock with a walking boot? ›

Adding a sock to the equation is a good idea for a few reasons: It will help reduce any friction between the brace and your skin, which can help prevent any chafing or blisters. Socks for walker boots can act as a buffer between your foot (and its sweat and dead skin cells) and the brace.

Are boots or sneakers better for walking? ›

In general, walking shoes are more comfortable than boots as they offer greater cushioning and allow more movement of the ankle. However, if you're looking for a shoe to help with impact then a boot might be a better choice.

Should you use a walker with a walking boot? ›

In essence, if the user is okay with gradual recovery from the injury and does not have a high pain threshold, wheelchairs and walkers are an ideal choice compared to crutches with walking boots. Moreover, walkers and wheelchairs can be employed with walking boots as well.

How often does a 1 year old shoe size change? ›

From 15 months to 2 years: from 15 months to two years, your infant's feet will grow half a size every two to three months. From 2 to 3 years: From the age of two to three years, a child's feet will continue to grow rapidly with a half a size increase every three to four months.

What size shoe does a 12 month toddler wear? ›

The BirdRock Baby Shoe Size Chart
Baby Shoe Size (US)Foot Length (Inches)Age
44.5"6-12 Months
5.55.0"12-18 Months
6.55.25"18-24 Months
85.75"2-3 Years
5 more rows


1. Backyard WATER GAME!! Weekend family routine, Navey Walking, Duck Park, Bear Breakfast & Swimming!
2. Bobux Kids I-Walk Play Knit (Toddler) SKU: 9355093
(Shop Zappos)
3. Trying to Steal Our UN-STEAL-able Motorcycle
(Bikes and Beards)
4. Logan Paul gets embarrassed in front of the entire world with Jake Paul just watching! #wwe
(Omar Raja - ESPN)
5. 5 Biggest Movie Mistakes You Missed
6. Claw Machine ! Elsa and Anna toddlers win prizes - Arcade game room
(Come Play With Me)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Maia Crooks Jr

Last Updated: 06/23/2023

Views: 5954

Rating: 4.2 / 5 (43 voted)

Reviews: 82% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Maia Crooks Jr

Birthday: 1997-09-21

Address: 93119 Joseph Street, Peggyfurt, NC 11582

Phone: +2983088926881

Job: Principal Design Liaison

Hobby: Web surfing, Skiing, role-playing games, Sketching, Polo, Sewing, Genealogy

Introduction: My name is Maia Crooks Jr, I am a homely, joyous, shiny, successful, hilarious, thoughtful, joyous person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.