Tips for Buying Baby’s First Shoes

Finding the right shoes to fit your babe’s precious feet can be tricky, but thankfully Stride Rite makes it a breeze to ensure your little one stays comfortable while looking cute. Here are our tips and tricks for navigating shoes for a new walker.

By: Alissa | October 13, 2016

My daughter, now 16 months, was early to stand but took months to take her first steps. She actually walked before she crawled, so when she took her first strides I was simultaneously overjoyed and terrified. (If you’ve never seen a little one learn to walk, their beginning steps are uncoordinated and they look something like a wobbly zombie with their arms outstretched. It’s adorable, but terrifying to watch!) Her uncoordinated but oh so cute steps meant two things: my once easy to confine little one was on the move (let the baby-proofing begin!), plus I had new shoes to buy!

My first instinct was to go for cute – she needed the most adorable little shoes to match all of her outfits.  I quickly learned my lesson. Buying any old shoe just doesn’t do! Buy for comfort and walk-ability, cute comes secondary. I also learned very quickly that I had no idea how walker shoes were sized which made picking out shoes tricky. Then, I discovered Stride Rite. Not only did  I not have to compromise when it came to comfort and style, but I also was able to get my daughter’s feet appropriately measured, both length AND width, to ensure all of her steps are comfortable.

Stride Rite has been making high quality children’s shoes for, well, ever (1919 to be exact), and they know what they’re doing. Their shoes are sturdy, comfortable and cool and they’re designed to assist little ones in learning to walk. On top of their attention to detail to creating the best possible shoe for early walkers, many of Stride Rite’s shoes are styled after adult trends making them extra stylish, but with a kid-friendly spin offering flexible fit, cushy comfort, and stability. Needless to say, with my second babe I’ll be heading straight to Stride Rite as soon as she’s starting to stand.

First Shoes Buying Tips:

  1. Take your child with you when you pick out shoes. Go after nap-time and while your kiddo has a full stomach to ensure the best possible outcome. (Thankfully the apple didn’t fall too far from the tree in our household. My daughter’s shoe obsession makes trying on shoes fairly easy. A few of her first words were “boots” and “shoes”. I’m in trouble!)
  2. Get your child’s feet measured – both length and width – by a trained specialist, and ensure their feet are flat (no curled toes!) while they measure. You can get this done by stopping in to Stride Rite.
  3. Try on shoes you intend them to wear with socks, with socks, and those without, without socks.
  4. Buy shoes that fit. I found it tempting to buy slightly bigger so they would last longer, but this made it difficult for my daughter to walk in the interim. Not only can it be uncomfortable for little ones to have shoes that are too big, but it can be a tripping hazard.
  5. Early walker shoes should bend easily. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommended toddlers wear lightweight and flexible shoes that allow their feet to move naturally. They also say that the best walking shoes for babies are made of leather or mesh material that enable feet to breath and have rubber soles for traction to prevent slipping or sliding. (Stirde Rite has all of these covered!)
  6. Go for shoes with large openings to make them extra easy to put on and take off. (A big check for this one from Stride Rite as well!) I can testify to the importance of easy to put on shoes – they’re a LIFE SAVER when you’re leaving the house.
  7. Hold-off on the ultra-trendy (this one was hard for me!), as the right shoe for your little one is better than the most stylist shoe. Thankfully, fashion meets function at Stride Rite!

Product Details (in order shown):


Ballet Flats: SRT SM Jane shoe from Stride Rite

Gold Sneakers: Stride Rite Soft Motion Jazzy Sneaker in Gold from Stride Rite

Black Boots: Robeez Bailey Bow Baby Boots from Stride Rite

Model’s Outfit

Grey Dress: Gap Kids

Leggings: Gap Kids


I have the amazing role of being able to lead the Marketing, PR and Fashion team at West Acres. Being able to combine my passion for business, fashion, design and communication makes each day exciting and energizing. I also have the privilege of holding two other titles – mama to two littles and wife. I have a passion for new adventures, traveling, creating yummy things in the kitchen and coffee with a good book.




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