Best Shoes For Newborns

Your baby’s feet are still growing and changing, so you may want to wait until they’re at least four months old before you decide to put shoes on them.

Once your baby is ready for shoes, there are many options, from sandals to sneakers. Here are some tips for choosing the best shoes for newborns:

Make sure the sole is flexible. Your baby will be putting a lot of pressure on the bottom of their feet as they get used to standing and walking, so a flexible sole will help protect their feet.

Choose shoes with thick soles. To avoid slipping or falling down, choose shoes with thick rubber soles that provide good traction.

Look for soft materials that won’t irritate sensitive skin. Avoid leather and other rough materials as much as possible — especially if your baby has eczema or other skin conditions that cause irritation when exposed to rough surfaces.

Choose shoes with adjustable fasteners so they can grow with your child’s feet. Shoes with Velcro straps are easy to adjust as your baby grows; however, don’t be surprised if they outgrow Velcro fasteners before they outgrow their shoes overall!

Best Shoes For Newborns

Best Baby Shoes - stride right sneakers and teal Native Kid Shoes Jefferson shoes

What to Expect selects products based on real-life testing conducted by staff, contributors and members our user community, as well as independent research and expert feedback; learn more about our review process. Prices and details are accurate as of the published date. We may earn commissions from shopping links.

Baby’s first pair of shoes is one of the sweetest purchases you’ll make. But more should go into it than just picking out an adorable option (although you’re welcome to grab something based solely on the fact that it’s cute, too). Here’s your guide to finding the right walking shoes for your baby.

When should I get shoes for my baby?

Before she’s walking, you really only need socks or booties to keep your baby’s feet warm. But once she starts to walk outside, she’ll need suitable shoes to prevent injuries to her tiny toes. 

When searching for a pair of baby shoes, Brittany Ferri, Ph.D., licensed occupational therapist, says to choose nonskid or rubber soles that will help with stability as your child begins to walk. 

What are the best first walking shoes for baby?

If your baby is learning to walk, you don’t need shoes indoors, according to the American Podiatric Medical Association, which recommends that pre-walking and walking baby shoes be flexible (you should be able to feel your baby’s toes through them) and that they be made with breathable material (leather, cloth or canvas — not plastic). Dr. Ferri also suggests choosing lightweight shoes, which will be the most comfortable for babies to wear. 

How to choose the best baby walking shoes

When you’re buying baby walking shoes, keep on the lookout for a few more criteria recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP):

  • Flexible, nonslip soles. The AAP also recommends that baby’s first shoes should be closed-toe and comfortable for her to wear.
  • Make sure the shoe fits. Baby shoes shouldn’t need to be broken in; they should fit your baby and be comfortable immediately with a bit of wiggle room.
  • No special features needed. The AAP says that sneakers are a great choice and recommends that parents stay away from shoes with wedges, inserts or special arches, as they are not needed and can actually make it harder for baby to walk. 

How do I keep my baby’s shoes on?

Infants are notorious for kicking off their shoes — and older babies may try to take them off on their own. A few tips to keep the shoes on baby’s feet:

  • Be sure it fits. First and foremost, the shoe should be snug without leaving marks when you remove it. “Use your hand to press down at the front of the shoe and feel for the big toe,” says Dr. Ferri. “You will want a couple of inches of wiggle room for the toes but not so much that the shoe is loose.”
  • Buy shoes that adjust to baby’s foot. Shoes with laces, Velcro, elastic ankle bands and snaps can be helpful features if your baby tends to lose shoes often.
  • Try to find a pair baby likes! If your little cutie tries to take her shoes off, test a bunch of different styles. That can help you find one she actually keeps on.

How we chose the best baby shoes

When looking at the best baby shoes, we took into account the above guidelines and made sure that all of our picks were flexible and supportive, while offering plenty of traction. From there, we focused in on the styles that members of the What to Expect community, as well as our editors, have tested and recommend.

Best Baby Shoes

Stride Rite Artie First Walker

Best Baby Shoes - Stride Rite Soft Motion Artie Baby Shoes

Pros: Hook and loop closure, APMA-approved, flexible, memory foam insoles

Cons: Slightly bulky, run small


Why We Love It

Stride Rite is a go-to baby shoe brand for many moms — and for good reason. Not only have their shoes earned a seal of approval from the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA), but they also come in an array of fun patterns and styles. We like the Stride Rite Artie First Walker shoes, which are made of flexible rubber soles and memory foam insoles.

Best Classic Baby Shoes

Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Cribster Shoes

best baby shoes - converse taylor cribster canvas sneaker

Pros: Stylish, easy to slip on and off

Cons: Run big


Why We Love It

You’re never too old — or young! — for Converse’s classic Chuck Taylor All Stars. Made with a flexible canvas fabric and terry cloth insole, these baby shoes also come with a Velcro front panel — perfect for slipping on and off your baby’s tiny feet.

Best Baby Walking Shoes

See Kai Run Stevie II

Best Baby Shoes - See Kai Run Stevie II

Pros: Easy on and off, adjustable strap, flexible

Cons: Run narrow


Why We Love It

See Kai Run is another brand that’s popular with moms and experts alike (it also earned a seal of approval from the APMA), and this style is best for babies learning to walk. The Stevie II shoes are available in this versatile chambray style and even have a set of elastic laces. Some of the many features include flexible canvas lining, rubber outsoles, removable insoles and adjustable straps.

Best Pre-Walking Baby Shoes

Momo Baby Boys Soft Sole Leather Bootie Shoes

Best Baby Shoes - Momo Baby Soft Sole Leather Shoes

Pros: Breathable, slip on, cute and colorful

Cons: No adjustable straps for snug fit


Why We Love It

Your baby will love these playful leather shoes — which feature colorful, handcrafted designs — almost as much as you will. These baby shoes are made of ventilated leather, so your baby’s feet will stay cool and dry, and they come with elastic ankle bands to keep them firmly in place. The slip-on style makes these best for a pre-walking shoe.

Best Baby Shoes for Winter

Robeez Felix Snap Booties

best baby shoes - Robeez Felix Snap Booties

Pros: Stylish, warm, non-slip, breathable, slip-on

Cons: No adjustable straps for snug fit


Why We Love It

You won’t have to worry about baby getting cold when she’s wearing these stylish corduroy baby boots. We’re also a fan of the non-slip soles, breathable lining and elastic snap closure. Note: These are a slip-on style, so better for your pre-walking little one.

Best Sporty Baby Shoe

Pediped Dani Originals

Best Baby Shoes - Pediped Dani Grip n Go Toddler in silver

Pros: APMA-approved, flexible, slip-resistant, stylish

Cons: Run slightly large


Why We Love It

Another brand that’s earned the APMA seal of approval, this Pediped Dani Originals pair has flexible leather soles that feature slip-resistant diamond tread. We’re also fans of the shimmery exterior and adorable, oversized stitching.

Best Moccasin Baby Shoes

TPMOCS Fire Walker Moccasins

Best Baby Shoes - TPMOCS Fire Walker moccasins

Pros: Handcrafted to order, big range of sizes available, comfortable and durable


Why We Love It

These beautiful TPMOCS moccasins are proudly Native-made and handcrafted to order with a soft cotton liner, genuine leather, deerskin lace and fine waxed sinew, making them a comfortable, durable pick for your little one. What’s more, a portion of the profits go to purchasing clothing and other necessities for underprivileged children living on reservations, according to the brand’s website.

Best Waterproof Baby Shoes

Native Kid Shoes Jefferson

Best Baby Shoes - Native Kids Shoes

Buying Options:

Amazon$50

Nordstrom$40

Zappos$40

Bloomingdale’s$20

Saks Fifth Avenue$35

Registry List:

Amazon

Pros: Lightweight, odor-resistant, waterproof, washable, wide range of colors

Cons: Some say they run large


Why We Love It

They may look and feel a lot like sneakers, but these lightweight shoes are made of a special material called EVA that’s waterproof, odor-resistant and tough as nails — exactly what you need when your little one really gets motoring. The shoe also comes in a variety of bright, fun colors.

Best Variety of Baby Shoes

Clamfeet

Best Baby Shoes - Clamfeet

Buying Options

Amazon$34

Registry List

Pros: Soft, flexible, wide range of colors and patterns, eco-friendly fabric

Cons: No adjustable straps

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