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Best Shoes for a One year old Walker

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

I'm looking into buying a pair of shoes for my newly walking one year old. I have read a bit of information regarding the benefits of going shoeless or wearing shoes with minimal support so a little one can learn to walk more easily than if their ankles and toes are snug in shoes. Up until now, it's be great and my little one took to walking very quickly without much stumbling or tripping. Over the past few days, I've noticed my little one has toes turned in a bit when walking at times, more so in the right foot than the left. Obviously, I'm beginning to wonder if going shoeless is as good of an idea as the information I initially read suggested. Hence, the reason for buying shoes to wear around the house. 


I'm wondering what other parents have purchased for their little ones as they became full-time walkers? Were the the old-fashioned high tops, robeez/bobux-like shoes, or something in between the two. 


Also, did you find that your little one(s) had their toes turned in a bit upon taking those first steps too? Suggestions or helpful resources would be appreciated! :)



post #2 of 17

i do not think shoes are the answer to foot positioning, that is part of the reason they say to avoid them, with a few structural exceptions i think that barefoot walking will always produce the most balanced correct foot position. 


i happened to have had to wear braces when i was a small child because of turning my toes in. it was mostly worn when i slept, not when i was walking. (i am totally fine now and thankful that my mom caught it early and got to addressed properly or i would have had big problems.) if you are concerned with your childs structure or foot position, i suggest talking them to a physical therapist to get evaluated. i really do not think self treating with shoes will help or be the healthy thing to do, no info here but i can imagine cases where it could make it worse.

post #3 of 17

Intoeing is quite common. In about 90% of cases, it resolves on its own as the child grows. When the child is older, a more supportive shoe might help with pronation (the foot/ankle bending inward) that can make intoeing more pronounced, but (depending on your pedi) probably not for a young toddler. Still, it's never a bad idea to check in with your pedi to see if she'd recommend an evaluation by an orthopedist.

post #4 of 17
Originally Posted by jewel1288 


Also, did you find that your little one(s) had their toes turned in a bit upon taking those first steps too? Suggestions or helpful resources would be appreciated! :




In the first two years nearly all babies toe in.This is due to two conditions:

  • The normal bowing of the legs leftover from the fetal position in the womb.
  • Normal flatfeet. Babies seldom develop much of an arch until the age of three years. To compensate, babies turn their feet inward while walking, in effect to make an arch and better distribute their weight. The normal developmental timetable for feet and legs is as follows:
  • Bowed legs from birth to three years
  • Toeing out, ballerina style, when beginning to walk
  • Toeing in from eighteen months to two to three years
  • Walking with straight feet after three years


(SEE LINK for rest of article)


post #5 of 17

My son started walking about 10.5 months and still isn't the best walker, we use flexible rubber bottomed shoes when he absolutely needs them. At home he is barefoot most of the time, with socks on sometimes. Check out stride rite, they have great shoes for different stages of development. 

post #6 of 17
post #7 of 17

When my kids first started walking, it was barefoot or grippy socks at home and soft soled shoes like Robeez when out.  


At some point during their second year, they each got a pair of sneakers with very flexible soles, like Stride Rite SRTs or Pedipeds, for when they needed some more foot protection.  



post #8 of 17

+1 to Stride Rite.

My son started walking at 10 mos and we got him in Stage 2 stride rites.  Around 16 mos we switched him to Stage 3.  We live in the city, though, and have no yard, so every time we go out he needs some protection-- soft/leather soles weren't good enough on sidewalks with broken glass etc.  

post #9 of 17

I didn't do anything with "real" soles until DS was about 18 mos and really wanting to walk/run a lot when we were out.  The soft leather soles don't stand up well to a lot of wear on concrete.  I went with the thin rubber soles, the ones that you can still easily bend in half.  Not until he outgrew all of those did I move him on to the thicker soles, which was after 2 yo, and only because he needs a wide width.  And he still only wears them when we go out (maybe once or twice a week) - around the house is barefoot, because it really is the best for proper foot development. 

post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thanks so much! All of this has been really helpful. :)

post #11 of 17

I've tried a few different brands by now (Pediped, Livie & Luca, etc) and I keep returning to Soft Star shoes for my toddler. The classic style shoe (with laces) is amazing and she gets compliments on them every time we leave the house. At this point I'm planning to just keep buying her the next size up in that same shoe style until she asks for something different. They come in tons of great colors so I'm building a rainbow for her that she'll be able to pass down to future siblings :)


The soft soled moccasins (like Robeez) are also very comfortable. FWIW, we also live in a big city and do most of our walking on sidewalks around yucky stuff like broken glass, and I've found the Soft Star moccasin (with a suede bottom) to be perfectly fine at protecting baby's foot from all that gross city stuff. The suede on the bottom does wear down and get slippery - I think you could "rough up" the suede with a steel brush if it was an issue. They only seem to slow my toddler down when she's trying to climb up the slide at the playground. The moccasins are not waterproof, however, so if there is even the slightest puddle on the ground I make a point to put her in something with a rubber sole (the Soft Star classic style shoe or, for major puddle play, rainboots).


We have hardwood floors at home that can get rather chilly, and I've really liked the Swedish style moccasins for winter time around the house (sock with a leather/suede bottom, sold by Hanna Andersson among others). My main concern for her at home is warmth, so she's usually in socks unless it's summer.

post #12 of 17

I like the sole to be fully flexible until age four. Meaning, I should be able to bend it in half with one hand.


Robbeez are nice before they are super active. And the "real ones" wear much better than the cheaper knock-off kind. They can even be washed. The See Kai Run "Smaller" line is great too. Very flexible but looks more like a real shoe. http://www.seekairun.com/cgi-bin/commerce.cgi?preadd=action&key=CAMBRIE Stride Rite can be hit and miss. Many are too firm. But these are two I liked: http://www.striderite.com/store/SiteController/striderite/productdetails?catId=cat1530399SR&productId=8-129961&skuId=***8********BG40560*W030&stockNumber=BG40560&showDefaultOption=true&subCatId=cat1530650SR&subCatTabId=&viewall


At 2.5, I adore these little shoes: http://www.zappos.com/naturino-nat-7742-sp-11-infant-toddler-youth-navy-canvas?zlfid=111&recoName=zap_pdp_sub Very flexible.

post #13 of 17

I agree with the See Kai Run "smaller" line.  They're very flexible, like Robeez and other soft-soles, but have two no-skid pads on the ball and heel.  We use suede-soled mocs most of the time, except when it's wet, and if we're going to the park or spending lots of time outside we have Pedipeds.  I won't get the Pedipeds again...they're a really well-made shoe and have held up tremendously, but there's just way too much structure and they don't bend as easily as I'd like.

post #14 of 17

Another vote for Stride Rite.  My son's daycare spends as much time outdoors as possible (awesome!!) and he was destroying Robeez in a matter of weeks, so we moved up to Stride Rite which he's still in now at 20 months.  Their Stage 2 shoes have super flexible soles, you can bend them right in half.

post #15 of 17

Livie and Luca "hard" soled are rubber bottomed, but very flexible.  I can easily bend in half with one hand.  Cady has been wearing them since she started walking and does not walk with toes turned in at all and has very good balance.  The Ferris sneakers are what she's usually wearing.

ETA: she goes to daycare and they require hard-soled shoes for once they are in the "First Steps" (12-18 months) classroom.

post #16 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thanks mommas! All of your information has been super helpful.

post #17 of 17
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