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Confused about shoes!

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 

Our 18-month-old has always worn Robeez (basically slippers, with very soft, single-layer leather soles). We were at an event recently with a bunch of other kids his age, and everyone else seemed to be wearing "real shoes": with flexible soles, but still, definitely soles.

 

Is there a cut-off for moving your child to shoes with real soles? Google is giving me conflicting information, and shoe manufacturers (of course) all have their own agendas they would like me to believe are the one true way.

 

We live in California, with no real weather to speak of, so his shoes wouldn't need to protect him against cold or wet. Just form a protective layer between his tootsies and the sidewalk.


Thoughts?

post #2 of 32

From what I know barefoot is best as long as possible. Shoes are there to protect from cold and sometimes trash and glass on the ground. We kept our child as long as possible barefoot or thinsoled shoes. He is now 19months and wears very flexible soled shoes. The winter was too cold in New England to have him just wear robeez. Even I love walking around in barefoot shoes or better no shoes.

post #3 of 32
DS has worn regular shoes since he started walking -- but only when we're out & about. For some reason we always seem to be around things like broken glass so I feel that he needs extra protection in public! I know here (meaning on MDC) they say you should keep them barefoot/soft-soled as long as possible but I can't afford expensive shoes so I use whatever hand-me-downs we're given. I mitigated the effects by keeping him barefoot whenever we were in the house (or visiting friends' houses or whatever)... but lately he insists on wearing rain boots in the house lol.gif

It seems like most of my friends who went the soft-sole route switched to regular (flexible-sole) shoes somewhere around 18mos.
post #4 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post 
lately he insists on wearing rain boots in the house lol.gif

 

 

Definitely a hot toddler fashion trend lol.gif

post #5 of 32

I introduced SKRs when he started wearing holes in the robeez quickly (mostly once he was walking everywhere, parking lots, gravel, sand, etc) And even then we used stayed with Robeez for indoor playdates, running to the store and went barefoot in our house and yard. If your son isn't beating up his Robeez I wouldn't worry about switching.

post #6 of 32

I think the only issue is how quickly the soles would wear out and protection. My DD has recently insisted on walking places with me, so the soles could go really quick, but if that's not a concern, as long as his feet are protected, robeez are fine. I plan to get my DD some soft soled sandles just because I want her feet better protected at the play ground and I need something that can get wet.

post #7 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tattooed Hand View Post

I think the only issue is how quickly the soles would wear out and protection. My DD has recently insisted on walking places with me, so the soles could go really quick, but if that's not a concern, as long as his feet are protected, robeez are fine.


Just curious... since I hear everyone say that soft-sole shoes are best for new walkers -- it seems like a catch 22... So if they are wearing soft soles, they can't do much walking without destroying the shoes, but if they walk a lot they need sturdier shoes... what good do soft-sole shoes do if they're not actually walking in them??? (Sorry to be dense, just wondering!)
post #8 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Tattooed Hand View Post

I think the only issue is how quickly the soles would wear out and protection. My DD has recently insisted on walking places with me, so the soles could go really quick, but if that's not a concern, as long as his feet are protected, robeez are fine.




Just curious... since I hear everyone say that soft-sole shoes are best for new walkers -- it seems like a catch 22... So if they are wearing soft soles, they can't do much walking without destroying the shoes, but if they walk a lot they need sturdier shoes... what good do soft-sole shoes do if they're not actually walking in them??? (Sorry to be dense, just wondering!)


My child was running around barefoot at the early walker stage. Yes, he is allowed to walk barefoot outside, on the street, at the park, in the grocery store. I often walk barefoot as well. But they just don't walk that much early on. I myself have a softsole shoe and have been wearing it for over a year without having worn through it. 

 

The suede soles withstand quite a bit of wear, even when the walk a lot. My son needs new shoes every 3-4 months anyways, because he just grows quickly. 

One problem with suede soles is that they get very slippery when wet. Softstarshoes has some TRex soles that are phantastic even in wet conditions. 

post #9 of 32

My 2 yo wore Robeez until he out grew them this past winter.  He'd still be wearing them out & about if they fit.  He had a pair of fake fur lined bootie type and the classic ones.  Even with wearing them outside in New Englad they're in good enough shape the new baby will wear them when they fit her, too.  The only reasons we didn't buy the next size up is that we found cute, soft soled shoes for him for less than new Robeez and because the soft soled shoes give him better grip when he's climbing playground equipment. 

post #10 of 32

DS is 18 mos and still wears soft soled shoes mainly. He has a couple pair of 'real' shoes but seldomly wears them. I think around 2 is when we will quit doing the soft soled shoe thing.

 

My LOs have never worn through a pair of soft soled shoes, but I also rotate between a few pairs so maybe that's why... I get them second hand from friends, shops, etc. I can't fathom paying $30 for a thin piece of leather that will be outgrown in a couple months.

post #11 of 32

DD1 wore soft sole until after she was 2.  It worked out for us

post #12 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tattooed Hand View Post

I think the only issue is how quickly the soles would wear out and protection. My DD has recently insisted on walking places with me, so the soles could go really quick, but if that's not a concern, as long as his feet are protected, robeez are fine.


Just curious... since I hear everyone say that soft-sole shoes are best for new walkers -- it seems like a catch 22... So if they are wearing soft soles, they can't do much walking without destroying the shoes, but if they walk a lot they need sturdier shoes... what good do soft-sole shoes do if they're not actually walking in them??? (Sorry to be dense, just wondering!)


For me ,my new walkers don't walk outside. I have fairly early walkers, 9-10 m, so they would eat too much off the ground, be too slow to follow me around, and constantly trip and fall on uneven ground, and just in general not be safe.
So my new walkers use ss shoes mostly for warmth.
My dd2 has just moved to firmer shoes. Now it is basically surfaces are either safe enough for bare feet - homes, church or need Firm soles for parks, stores ( concerns for glass, pins, etc)
post #13 of 32

My son has been walking for about 9 months and currently has flexible soled shoes and a pair of Bobux.

However, he definitely walks best in the Bobux shoes (similar to Robeez). He rarely trips in them and it probably feels similar to being barefoot. 

He wears the flexible soled shoes though when he really needs protection from sharp objects, such as on the playground.

post #14 of 32

We got two pairs of hand me down robeez for DD (with DS he wore regular flexible soled shoes from 10 months on). One she is almost out of and they are in good enough condition I would hand them down again. The other she has another 6 months in them I'd guess. She walks in the park and down the sidewalk in them every day.  I mean she's 17 months so it's hardly like she's walking miles and miles a day...after about two blocks she's pretty much done.  So far they are not worn through.  She also has a pair of Pink Chuck Taylors that have a super flexible sole that she actually prefers to wear and they are flexible enough I don't think any real damage is being done when she puts them on every couple of days. 

 

As long as she's protected from the elements, robeez are great for the feet.  I wish they had them in grown up sizes.  I would so totally wear them.  They are so cute, too!

 

 

post #15 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by chel View Post

For me ,my new walkers don't walk outside. I have fairly early walkers, 9-10 m, so they would eat too much off the ground, be too slow to follow me around, and constantly trip and fall on uneven ground, and just in general not be safe.
So my new walkers use ss shoes mostly for warmth.
My dd2 has just moved to firmer shoes. Now it is basically surfaces are either safe enough for bare feet - homes, church or need Firm soles for parks, stores ( concerns for glass, pins, etc)

Ah ha! That makes sense I think. So you have the soft shoes just for indoors really. DS loved walking outside... and when he started walking full-time (around 11-12mos) he was pretty steady and all because he'd been taking steps since 7mos. So we let him walk as much as he wanted at that age... now, ironically, he usually prefers to be carried and often refuses to walk. eyesroll.gif
post #16 of 32

DD is just over 2 and still frequently wears her Robeez (we get ours secondhand, too, BTW) when we're out and about.  We live in an urban neighborhood, though, so when we're at the playground or walking down the street, there's a fair amount of broken glass and other sharp debris that requires slightly more foot protection.  (It drives DH crazy that I won't wear shoes in the same conditions, but I just point out to him that my feet are tougher than most shoe leather, so even walking on glass is pretty safe for me.)  My ped advocates barefoot toddlers as much as possible because it's best for their foot development; soft-soled shoes are definitely the closest to this.  We spent all winter walking at the mall -- she must have run miles in her little Robeez boots.  I love those things.

post #17 of 32

DS is 25 months and has been a steady walker (read, runner!) since he was 12 mos. I keep him in pretty soft-sole shoes even now and despite him not being an early walker. This year, we did Robeez soft-soles around the house, a thicker-soled Robeeze for outdoors as well as a pair of Stride-Rites. He has a pair of Pedi-Ped sandals that are a tiny bit more substantial than the Robeez slipper-soles but not rubber. I also just recently got him some cheapo flip-flops and croc imitations from Target for summer. I can tell a huge difference in his stability when he's wearing the thinner-soled shoes. I look around the park and yes, the other kids his age are all wearing "real" tennis shoes with gigantic, thick soles that have no flex to them at all. I wonder if this is one of the reasons DS is much quicker and seems more coordinated than other kids his age--he's not fighting with his shoe wear. We have never had any problems with his not being able to walk on a surface b/c of his soles being too thin.

 

Zulily has some pretty good deals on some of the more feet-friendly baby/toddler shoes if you keep an eye out.

post #18 of 32

I think we switched from roobeez to the Smaller line from See Kai Run around that time. She is really active and her feet where getting kind of bashed up at the park. Smaller or the baby line of pediped is great because it is collapsable but it a little more protective and shoe like.

post #19 of 32

Once my son mastered walking, I moved him out of the soft soles and into toddler shoes with soles- because he LOVES to run and play outside. I also live in CA where weather is less of an issue, but terrain is an issue- playground wood chips, etc. So he wears mainly See Kai Run shoes (I like these-they are rugged!)

 

When he is at home, he is barefoot, as that is the best!

post #20 of 32

My understanding is that barefoot or as close to it is best. We had to switch ds to a "real" shoes when he was 19 months because he simply has huge feet & I didn't have another choice. Even now though I try to let him go barefoot as much as I can.

 

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