Once your baby starts to walk or stand up for an hour a day, it’s time to buy their first pair of shoes. The best place to start: with shoes that feel almost like going barefoot. The more a shoe bends, the better the chances are that a child’s arches will develop properly; wearing shoe that are too stiff can lead to flat-footedness. When you take your toddler shopping, follow these four guidelines….
Flex ‘em. The shoe should bend at the ball of the foot, not just the arch. When your child walks, their toes do most of the walking.
Let them wiggle their toes. Make sure your child can fit their thumb (lengthwise) between their longest toe and the shoes tip. And squeeze the sides at the ball of the foot; the shoe should buckle slightly at the top.
Feel the insides. Check the seams and lining for defects that could irritate.
Inspect the outside. Soles should have treads, but not thick or nubby ones, which can be challenging for new walkers.