Best Baby Shoes & Sneakers Reviewed
Criteria Used for Evaluation
At this stage of your child’s life, your main focus is to protect their little feet, and ensure proper growth, therefore a running shoe or anything that is made for jaunts, running etc is not suitable for your infant. Keep in mind that your baby’s feet are soft and precious and need plenty of space to grow, so a soft, slightly cushioned shoe is best.
When deciding on the types of shoe your baby needs think about when and where they will be wearing them and the use they will really be getting out of them. For the most part of their early stages of life, you will probably find yourself putting them in onesies that have their feet covered for you. Shoes only start to come into play when you need to properly dress your baby, go outside, or perhaps a special event.
On a day to day basis, basic slip-on moccasins work wonderfully; they are easy to slip on and because of their elastic band in the ankle area of the shoe they will stay on nicely. Your child is of course not yet mobile and so a nice soft sole that their feet can essentially mold to is perfect and will leave your child feeling comfortable throughout the day. Ensure that their shoes also are made with a nice breathable material so that they are not sweating and uncomfortable, especially during warmer months.
Your baby has finally reached the stage where it is time to put away the little baby socks and venture into the world of infant shoes. This can be a scary time if you are not sure what exactly your baby needs in terms of foot protection, and cushioning. You do not want to be splurging on shoes that either doesn’t work for their age range or are not functional, so it is important to first have an idea of the types of shoes your child is going to need for the next several months.
Your baby will go through shoes very quickly, so if you can plan ahead it can be very helpful. If you know there is a wedding or special event coming up in a few months, buy the size that will fit them then, and be prepared to not get too many uses out of those shoes. Baby shoes can be a bit of a catch 22, especially at the infant, pre-moving stage because of the rate at which they will outgrow them. You will want to buy good quality shoes that protect their feet properly, especially if they are cold weather shoes, however splurging on brand names, or trendy shoes and sandals that have no function can be a waste.
When it comes to baby’s shoes it’s easy to wonder if buying quality over quantity is an adage that actually rings true. You would want to buy quantity due to the fact that your baby is going to continually and rapidly outgrow most of their shoes, however, these are the most important years for foot growth and you want those feet to develop properly. Investing in quality shoes may seem expensive and unnecessary but it will pay off in the long run, plus quality does not only mean expensive, let’s find out why.
The first thought that comes to mind when you think of quality is money, name brands, and expensive materials but that is not always the case. Many brands create exceptional quality products for infants at affordable prices, and won’t leave your wallet hurting in any way. Firstly think about the material, and how it affects your child’s feet.
Any sort of synthetic or plastic material in a shoe is not only going to be uncomfortable but it will not allow for their foot to properly breathe or allow moisture to escape. Your baby’s feet will sweat a lot, especially during the summer so any sort of material that doesn’t allow for proper air flow is a big no-no. The easiest way to find a quality pair of shoes regardless of brand is to see if they are flexible, allow for breathability, fit nicely, and are durable. If you can find all of these qualities, the pair of shoes is a total keeper.
One of the most important things to always keep in mind when purchasing shoes for your infant are how they will fit and for how long they will fit. Shoes with a little bit of wiggle room, yet that still fit nicely are ideal because not only do they give your infant’s feet space to splay out correctly and comfortably, but they also will allow for a decent amount of wear time. You may feel like you are constantly buying shoes at this stage, however, you want your child’s feet, especially at this young age, to grow properly.
It is not recommended to buy shoes for your baby until they reach around 6 months of age, because of the rate at which their feet are growing and changing. After that 6 months, any shoe that is worn should encourage natural foot development, and fit just right. Always avoid trying to prolong the life of a pair of shoes by purchasing them in sizes larger than what fits your child, you are trying to encourage potential first steps, not have them wobble and slide around in shoes that do not fit.
How you can find the perfect pair of shoes for your baby that will fit just right:
The shape of the shoe should be similar to that of your child’s foot; no narrow, pointed toe shoes, always go for the square or oval shapes.
Your baby’s longest toe (generally big toe) should be around ½ an inch from the front of the shoe.
Any high-top styled shoe, such as booties will always be more secure on an infant.
Take the time to familiarize yourself with baby shoe sizes and how they work and you will be sure to find the right fit quickly. Your baby will be wearing up until a size 4-4.5 before they start being mobile, so the general guide is:
0-3 months = size 1
3-6 months = size 2 – 2.5
6-9 months = size 3 – 3.5
9-12 months = size 4 – 4.5
That is not to say your baby should follow this chart exactly, every child is different and so are different brands so always take the time to properly measure their feet, and check on the fit every month or so to ensure everything is good.
Your baby’s shoes should have absolutely no break-in period, these are not a pair of Louboutins, they should easily slide onto your child’s feet and feel comfortable immediately. If for whatever reason they pinch or cause discomfort that will not go away after a couple wears – you need a new size.
Your baby’s footwear, aside from fitting properly, and staying on their feet throughout the day, should be extremely breathable and flexible. Not only does this allow for optimum comfort, it will keep their feet nice and cool to prevent clamminess and sweating and it will also bend and move freely with their feet. If you can, always choose a canvas or soft leather shoe, as it is the easiest material to stretch and mold to your child’s foot.
Their shoes should be soft, or with a firm sole and offer a relatively decent amount of support. These shoes will not yet be supporting a toddler that is running around, so it is okay for them to not have thick soles and offer the most support, however, some cushioning on the bottom is nice for protection. If you are going for a more high-top style like booties, padding around the heel and collar are a nice added touch to further prevent any sort of rubbing or possible irritation.
At this age the most important purpose of shoes is to keep their little feet warm, so fuzzy linings and cozy snug materials are ideal, and will feel nice for them. Try to not focus on what you like, and what style you think is cute and keep the main focus on what will feel nice for your baby. Those gladiator sandals may look adorable, but will they feel comfortable, are they going to leave red marks all up your little one’s leg. You do not want your baby to feel anything but comfortable when wearing shoes because you are trying to get them used to the feeling.
If your child is constantly taking off their shoes, or at least attempting to, try to go through different pairs and see if maybe there is either a specific pair they like and find out why that is. Whether it is due to the fact they feel the nicest, or they like how they look, not struggling with your child to keep their shoes on all day is a plus.
Once your child begins to move, then it is time to start looking into different styles, different soles with all sorts of levels of traction etc, but for the meantime try to stay focused on the protection of their feet and what feels best for them. The period of time between being too young for shoes, and suddenly needing sturdy shoes goes by very fast, so enjoy it and focus less on style and more on comfort.
It is very easy to want to follow trends, or be tempted to buy the cute flip flops or strappy sandals at the store, these are not functional though and can make it very hard for your child who will soon try to stand up and take their first steps. The restrictiveness of these shoes can really affect the muscle development of your baby’s feet in the long run, and they are not worth it.
Where winter shoes are concerned, you do not need to worry about traction or the type of sole they have. As long as the entire shoe is waterproof, and properly lined to ensure the utmost warmth to your child, things like rubber soles and grip are not a concern because your baby’s feet most likely will not even be touching the ground when out in the snow. Try to always keep in mind, that regardless of how cute a pair of shoes may be; will they not only fit into your infant’s wardrobe and be used but how often?
You will find yourself going through shoes very quickly at this age, so finding a pair you love and know works well for your child is ideal. It is even better when the company continues to make that shoe is larger sizes, allowing you to continually repurchase it for your child without having to do further research each time your infant outgrows another pair.
10 Best Baby Shoes
1. BirdRock Baby Moccasins
These adorable moccasins not only come in a wide variety of colors and designs to match with any possible outfit, they also most importantly will stay on your child’s feet all day long. With their elastic back making them easy to slip on, and made of 100% leather these are very high-quality shoes. BirdRock also teamed up with a wonderful charity so you can feel even better about your purchase if you thought the price was a little high.
Giving Back Program
BirdRock not only makes adorable shoes for your children, they also believe in giving back to the community. With each pair of their shoes sold, they feed a child in need through Feed My Starving Children, so you can truly feel good about your purchase.
All moccasins are made with 100% genuine leather, so you can rest assured knowing that you are paying for a quality product. This soft, durable leather will not only last a very long time, but with wear it will gently mold to your child’s feet, ensuring the perfect most comfortable fit.
Cost and value
These shoes are very reasonably priced considering all it is that you will be receiving. Not only are you getting a high-quality product that comes with a lifetime guarantee, you are also contributing to a great cause. At the end of the day, you are not only gifting your child something great, you are also giving to a child in need.
2. Enteer Infant Snow Boot
Your infant may be too young to actually stand and play in the snow but that doesn’t mean their feet shouldn’t be just as protected from the cold outdoors. These snow boots will ensure that your little one's feet stay nice and toasty during the cold winter months with their faux-fur lining and easy but secure velcro closure.
As the winter months approach it is very important to have a couple of pairs of winter boots on hand. Although your child is not yet standing, having a boot that will provide them with enough warmth even during a quick jaunt in their stroller is very important. Most body heat is lost through our feet, so it is crucial to ensure the proper footwear for your baby. These fuzzy, fur lined boots provide the perfect amount of warmth to your baby’s feet and are incredibly comfortable that they won’t want to take them off.
Easy On and Off
It is important for your infant's shoes to be easy to take on and off… for you. If your child can easily remove their shoes and toss them, your outing will quickly go from fun to frustrating very quickly. These boots have a very secure velcro closure that opens right up to easily slide your child’s foot into them.
Cost and value
Depending on the color the price varies slightly, but overall regardless of color they are a very affordable option and considered a must-have for infants. They are not only easy for you to take on and off, but your child will feel warm and comfortable wearing them all day long.
3. JIASUQI Barefoot
Babies and toddlers love to play near the water as much as older kids and grown-ups. Going barefoot is an option in a wading pool but we know as well as you do that baby will also want to come out onto the sand, decking or grass, where their feet are more vulnerable. These little barefoot water shoes are great for baby both in and out of the water
The shoes have a rubber outsole which makes them lightweight and slip-resistant, for when a baby is running all over wet areas or trying to stand up in a wading pool. If you’re at the beach, the shoes will protect small feet from scratches and cuts from sharp objects as well.
The upper is made of a stretchy, thin material that fit more like socks than shoes. They have a smooth neck that won’t scratch sensitive skin while being worn and make them easy for Mom and Dad to put on and take off. The material is also wicking so baby feet won’t stay waterlogged when out of the pool.
Cost and Value
These shoes are priced in the low end of the range. For the money, you get a shoe that will protect your child’s feet while they enjoy the water. The shoes are very cute and come in 42 different color and design combinations. Soft, comfortable and secure, you get great value for the price.
4. Petit Marin Leather
Available in a variety of colors and styles with cute leather details sewn onto the top, these soft leather shoes are great for baby’s feet. These will allow your child’s feet to move naturally and will not hinder growth. Protective and adorable, these shoes will also stay on little feet.
With soft, flexible leather on top and a protective, non-slip suede sole, baby’s feet will move naturally without the risk of falls caused by footwear. The shoes promote normal foot movement and balance while protecting your little one on most surfaces.
The elasticized ankle on the Petit Marin leather crib shoe helps to ensure that the shoes stay on the feet. They cannot easily be pulled off by your inquisitive baby, keeping both sock and shoe in place. They should be purchased a little large to ensure your child’s feet are not cramped, making the elasticized ankle that much more useful!
Cost and Value
These are not expensive shoes. In the lower range of prices, the shoes are comfortable, secure and safe on little feet and come in 44 super cute designs. They come in four different sizes from newborn through 18-24 months and should be ordered a little bit large.
5. Lucky Love
These shoes that are easy to slip on are ideal for any infant who just needs their feet protected against the outdoors. These are not made to step in, although they have a slip resistant suede sole just in case. The flexible and breathable leather will form to the shape of your baby’s feet and feel comfortable rather than too tight.
Made with soft, breathable leather, these shoes are not only flexible and easily mold to the shape of your baby’s feet, they also will keep them nice and cool during the summer when their feet tend to get sweaty and clammy. You never want to purchase a shoe that doesn’t allow for airflow, unless it is for cold winter months.
Textured Suede Sole
These shoes are not made for moving about, however, they can be great for when your child is in the early stages of taking their first steps. They are comfortable and fit nice and snug, and because of their textured sole, they will not have your baby slipping and falling all over the place.
Cost and value
Lucky Love shoes are a more expensive option, and although still affordable, there are many similar shoes on this list that are more affordable. These are made of leather and are great quality however your child will be quickly outgrowing all shoes at this age, and you do not want to be throwing expensive shoes to the back of their closet within a month or so.
6. Zutano Cozie Fleece Bootie
Zutano’s cozy fleece booties are a great everyday shoe, made with a cozy cotton blend and easily machine washable there is no reason not to wear these daily. Their signature two-snap closure sets them apart from other boots and ensures they are securely fit onto your child’s feet.
The two-snaps ensure the best fit possible for your child, along with the elastic ankle. Not only will these shoes stay put on their feet they will also contour to the shape of your baby’s foot, ensuring the most comfortable fit, with plenty of wiggle room.
There is nothing more tedious than having to hand wash clothes, especially babies shoes that are constantly getting spills or dirt on them. The option to machine wash their clothes can make or break the purchase, in this case, Zutano recognized the importance of convenience and made these a breeze to clean.
Cost and value
Zutano does not make the most affordable baby shoes, however, they are amongst the highest rated on this list for a reason, they work. Zutano excels where comfort and fit are concerned and these are sure to not only feel great on your child’s feet but fit great as well. They are worth the extra dollars if you are in need of booties that will truly stay on, or if you are looking for a great baby shower gift.
7. Converse CT 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 beaten.
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.
Great for parents who have trouble and find it difficult to take their baby’s shoe on and off. Converse Chuck Taylor First Star comes with a pull-tab on the 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.
8. Carter’s Every Step
Uniquely designed for your crawler, your baby’s feet will be comfortable and protected while gliding over carpet and floors. Available in 10 different colors and styles, these cute little first stage synthetic leather shoes will take the baby from crawling to first steps with ease.
The shoes fit a little roomy so that nothing restricts your child’s natural muscle and bone growth. The crawling phase is an important phase for your child’s toes, feet and ankles to move well while remaining protected.
Baby feet will be very comfortable in this shoe that is both roomy and features linings that are seamless so there are no hot spots to rub against baby’s toes and sensitive feet. They can speed crawl all day and practice their first steps without irritation.
Cost and Value
These shoes are priced in the mid-range relative to the rest of the list. They still represent a great value for their comfort, protect toe and crawl-specific design. There is plenty of room for growing feet and 10 colors to choose from.
9. 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.
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.
These adorable shoes have elasticized added ankle straps that protect 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.
10. BenHero Candy Shoes
Soft, and easy to slip on when you’re rushing to head out the door, these shoes are the perfect addition to your baby’s shoe collection. The soft rubber sole is great for protecting their little feet, and once you see the wide color selection you won’t be able to buy just one pair.
Regardless of if your child is standing yet or not, it’s nice to have a little bit of cushioning or padding in their shoe just to ensure their foot is properly protected. These BenHero slip-on shoes have the perfect amount of cushioning to ensure a snug fit, yet still mold to the shape of your baby’s foot to keep them comfortable all day.
Baby’s go through shoes very quickly due to their rapidly growing feet, so finding a shoe that fits and feels great, and having the option to buy multiples in different colors at an affordable price, keeps things super easy and makes for a fun little wardrobe changes.
Cost and value
These super cute shoes are very well priced and a great value made with nice breathable materials and cushioned to ensure your baby’s feet are comfortable. There are so many fun colors to choose from and at this price, why not grab a couple pairs.