best shoes for toddlers

A quick look at the best shoes for toddlers!

It’s both an exciting and scary time when your little one gets on the move! Not only do you need eyes in the back of your head but it’s the challenge of knowing what’s best to put on their feet to aid their development and help the natural movement of their feet. So let’s take a quick look at the options! 

best shoes for toddlers

Choosing the best style

You’ll find quite often if you come into store with your toddler to be measured and fitted, one of the first questions we ask is “how confidently are they walking?”, and there’s a good reason for this! 

Your child’s walking ability will determine what type of shoe is best for their feet, whether that’s a pre-walker (sometimes referred to as a cruiser) or a first shoe.


What’s the difference between pre and first walkers?

Ultimately, the main difference is the flexibility of the shoe. Pre walkers are designed for children who are just about starting to take their first steps; they may be walking holding hands, using furniture as support but not yet walking independently. They have completely bendable soles, allowing the foot to move naturally without restricting them in any way.

As for first shoes, these are a bit more solid to allow support both underneath and around the foot during wear. Again, they are designed with natural movement in mind so won’t be detrimental to little feet at all.

Do you have to buy pre walkers before first walkers?

As we advise all of our customers, bare foot is always best. So if your little one is only likely to practice walking indoors where their feet are safe, there’s no real need to go for pre walkers first and there’s nothing wrong with going straight to first walkers once they’re ready! 

How will I know when they’re ready?

The best thing to do is bring your little one into store to be measured and fitted. Firstly, doing this will give our trained staff a good insight into what may be best for your child, and secondly, they’ll be able to have that discussion with you on the progress of your child’s walking ability. 

As a general rule, we usually advise that they’re able to walk the length of a room unaided, so without stopping to hold furniture or falling to the crawling position.


Which brands should I look at? 

Start-Rite do a fantastic range of pre walkers, which I’m sure many would agree offer the correct amount of support and flexibility needed when still learning. They also have the advantage of being able to measure and fit for their shoes, so you know you’re getting the perfect fit every time. 

When it comes to first shoes, again Start-Rite are a good choice, but if you’d prefer something a little different then Petasil offer a bright and colourful range of first shoes which are sure to catch your little ones eye! 

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