A little girl in the yellow dress, crossing over the sand box barefooted

Baby’s First Walking Shoes – Mesh Shoes for Kids

Nylon mesh shoes for kids are types of footwear that feature breathability, comfort, and an eye-catching design. These shoes are very popular in athletic footwear as well as gym and running shoes. However, for infants and our younger ones, mesh shoes can also be a great choice of their first footwear.

Thanks to the mesh holes, these shoes allow ventilation while keeping your baby’s feet free from sweating. Thus, during the summertime, these shoes are a great choice.  

For that reason, let’s learn why are mesh shoes a good choice as your kid’s first walking shoes


When to Get Baby’s First Shoes?

In our previous blogs, we talked about when to buy a baby’s first shoes, and now we are going to take a guide on finding those little first, adorable meshes shoes for your kid. 


So, parents should consider getting their baby’s first shoes after their little one walks independently. This means that the kid is walking independently for at least 4 to 6 weeks. 

When your kid starts walking will highly depend on them. While some kids start walking around their 10th month, others do not do it before they are a year and a half old. Thus, be patient because each kid has their own pace

When buying their first mesh shoes, do not forget the shoe size. Luckily, thanks to the Footmeter tool, with only one easy step, you can get the precise size of your kid’s foot. 



First Walking Mesh Shoes for a Baby

According to American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA), kids who are learning to walk do not need indoor shoes

They also stated that first, pre-walking and walking baby shoes need to be flexible, which means you should be able to feel your little one’s toes through them. Also, these shoes need to be crafted from breathable material such as cloth, mesh, or canvas rather than plastic. 

Rather than providing rigid support, the shoe should be flexible and match the shape of the kid’s foot. Shoes for babies at this stage should provide warmth and protection.

The mesh fabric is usually made of nylon or polyester yarn which is very breathable. These shoes are also very lightweight, so it is almost like babies wear barefoot footwear. This would be a great call since the most comfortable thing for babies to wear is something that is not too stiff nor too stuffed for their little feet and toes. 


Choosing Mesh Shoes for Kids

Since kids are growing so fast, they might require new shoes every 3 to 4 months. How often you change their footwear is determined by how active your kid is and how fast their feet are growing.


Consider these questions when selecting your kid’s first walking shoes:

  • Is your kid walking independently for some time?
  • Is the type of shoe appropriate for your kid’s age?
  • Are shoes made of mesh fabrics, and are they breathable enough?
  • How do they fit on your kid?

Even though mesh shoes are very comfy rather than rigid, they need to be changed according to kids’ needs. A kid’s feet grow in spurts; thus, it is important to know when to buy those shoes and how much you are willing to invest.

  • Babies under 15 months usually grow more than one-half a foot size in 2 months. 
  • For toddlers from 15 months to their second year, kids’ feet will grow half a foot size every 3 months. 
  • For kids from 2 to 3 years, their feet grow half a size every three to four months.
  • For kids over 3 years of age, foot size increases by half every 4-6 months.


Choose the Appropriate Shoes for Your Kids Age

Each period of kids’ life requires appropriate footwear

The Pre-Walking and Walking Baby’s Shoes

It is not recommended for babies to wear shoes. They might need some booties for cold weather and socks or pre-walking shoes that are not too tight and stiff. 

Shoes should be flexible instead of rigid. Besides, it is good that the shoe can trach the kid’s foot shape; thus, mesh materials are a great choice for these requirements. Kids that are walking on their own for a few weeks can use these mesh shoes since they are almost like they are barefooted

Toddler Shoes

Since toddlers’ feet sweat a lot, footwear for toddlers should allow the foot to breathe. Avoid synthetic fabrics since they do not provide any ventilation for the foot. 

Look out for a high-top shoe that will remain on kids’ feet rather than an oxford or a low-top athletic shoe. A shoe made of mesh fabrics or canvas is more secure, stays on foot longer, and fits little feet better. 

Since kids use a lot of energy walking at this age, choose a lightweight shoe. In a safe environment, such as indoors, it is recommended for kids to go barefoot.

Shoes for Older Kids

For school-aged youngsters, style and comfortability are very important. Luckily, there is a number of alternatives at this age, including sandals, running shoes, hiking shoes, and so on.

Look for flexible and well-ventilated shoes with ample foot room for natural development. Consult your kid’s orthopedic physician if you’re having trouble finding shoes that fit or if your kid develops any foot concerns.


Why Choose Mesh Shoes for Kids?

Mesh shoes are a great choice for kids that have just learned to walk, and this is because:

  • Mesh shoes are easy to put on and off.
  • They are made from fabrics that are lightweight on your baby’s feet. 
  • Offers a lot of flexibility. The kid’s feet are not stuffed in the shoe, making them easily move their toes.
  • Thanks to its breathable feature, kids’ feet will not sweat. Even in the summertime, the foot will have great ventilation and thus avoid smelly odor.
  • Mesh shoes usually feature a protective toe cap

Thanks to the stretchable mesh fabric, this type of footwear is very breathable. Usually, mesh shoes have non-slip bottoms, which will help your little one stabilize. Besides this, kids with chubby little feet will also find them easy to slip on because of their stretchable upper material.

In general, when shopping for a baby’s first walking shoes, we recommend looking out for:

  • Mesh or leather material – Leather footwear is great but if you opt for vegan shoes there is also possibility for those as well. Look out for soft, leather- or cloth-topped shoe that allows for adequate airflow for the sweaty toes. Stiff shoes will hinder a baby’s foot development.
  • Flexible and lightweight design – Pinch the top of the shoes while it’s on the kid’s feet; if you can’t grip any material, the shoe is probably too tight. Flexible materials resemble a baby’s bare feet, allowing for natural walking movements.
  • Great traction feature – Baby’s first shoes should include grooves on the bottom to assist your kid in learning to walk. Many hard-soled baby walking shoes include ridged rubber non-skid bottoms that provide an excellent grip for your shaky walker.



When choosing a kid’s first walking shoes, mesh shoes are always good. They are the type of footwear that allows your kid to be stable and explore the world around it!

Thus, when choosing mesh shoes, keep in mind these things:

  • Keep it light – lightweight shoes are always a good choice for first-time walkers!
  • Great support and flexibility – soles should be flexible so the kid can easily move around their toes without restricting the natural foot development
  • Non-slip rubber soles– Kids are still clumsy at this stage, so look out for non-slip bottoms to have the best grip possible on the ground. 
  • Choose shoes for kids based on the barefoot models.

Besides these 4 things, everything else is up to personal preference when choosing mesh shoes for kids. 



  • Petra Moskatelo

    Petra is the main editor and writer here at Footmeter. She is passionate about helping people find the right solution. She holds a university Master's degree in pedagogy, and she knows a lot about children and learning.