Baby's First Shoes in front of future parents.

When to Buy Baby’s First Shoes?

If you’re planning to buy your baby’s first shoes, it means that your kid has already mastered cruising. Kids usually start doing this between 10 and 18 months old. 

But, many experts recommend not buying baby shoes before starting walking properly. 

During the stage between crawling and walking, your baby pulls onto everything and starts sliding along with their hands and feet.

This is a good time to start your search for your baby’s first pair of shoes. 


In this article, we have included what to consider when buying a baby’s first pair of walking shoes, where and what type of shoes you should buy, and most importantly when to buy a baby’s first shoes. 

So When Is the Perfect Time to Buy Baby’s First Shoes?

The perfect time would be when your kid starts walking confidently and independently. Thus once the kid has been toddling comfortably for about six weeks, it’s time for those first pair of shoes. 

But buying kids’ shoes can be somewhat stressful, especially when shopping online. When you are in a store, professional staff can measure your kids’ feet and help you determine your kid’s shoe size. 


However, when it comes to buying it in an online store, the situation is different. You don’t get help from the professionals, but you are rather by yourself.

Therefore, you should measure its feet by a qualified children’s shoe-fitter. This is very important because well-fitting shoes will help the kid control their feet and balance.

Thanks to Footmeter, you can easily determine your baby’s shoe size. We have made a foot measuring chart, where you can measure your kids’ feet in inches and then see what that is in US shoe sizes. 

There is US size 1 (baby) to size 7 (grade school). According to our chart and the measures you have provided, our Footmeter will determine your baby’s shoe size.


How to Use Footmeter?

Our Footmeter tool has two options; let’s explain. 

  1. Printable sheet option. This means that parents will be able to print out our sheet with the chart. Then it would be best if you placed the kid’s foot on the piece of paper and thereby get the right size.
  2. Size determining without printing. If you do not have the opportunity to print out the sheet, you can find sizes differently.

So instead of printing, you will need to have a ruler to measure your kid’s feet size. Therefore, Footmeter will also provide tables for the parent to get the right size, whether US size, UK size, or EUR size.

Our recommendation is to measure both feet when you need to find size. Normally, there is a difference between one foot and the other, meaning that one is always a bit longer or wider. 

If there is a difference between the feet, you should consider the bigger foot size. But if there is more than a 0.8 inch (2cm) difference, you have to measure again! 


How Much Growing Room Should Kids Shoes Have?

Kids’ feet grow rapidly; therefore, it is a good idea that you add between 0,4-0,8 inches of growing room to the foot size.

The shoe size for your kids must not be too small or too large. There must be space in the shoes, so the kid’s toes don’t hit the toe cap when they run around playing. 

It is also important that the shoes are not too large either because that could hinder their playing, or worse, may cause them to stumble.

Your kid should be able to move their foot freely without their toes being squished or slipping. Allow between 0,4-0,8 inches (1 to 2 centimeters) or about a thumb’s width from the longest toe to the front of the shoe. If there is space up to 1 inch or around 3 cm, that would be too big, and if there are less than 0,4 inches, that would appear to be too small. 

As the body grows, so do the feet, and when it comes to kids’ feet, they often grow unevenly. Therefore, do not be surprised if there might be a longer period when they fit the same shoes and then suddenly skip a size.

Kids’ feet can actually grow up to 0.6 inches or 15 millimeters in half a year! That is quite a thus, it is important to keep an eye on their feet and measure them regularly. 

In any case, your kids’ feet must always be measured when purchasing new shoes. This is extremely important because kids’ shoe sizes can change since their last purchase.

Once you have measured your kids’ feet and added 0,4-0,8 inches, you can see what the size in inches corresponds to in shoe size on our foot meter.


Kids Foot Shape

There are three different shapes of feet:

  • Narrow – These feet have more space in their shoes on both sides of their feet. The width of narrow shoes is typically 1/4 inch narrower than regular shoes and 1/2 inch narrower than wide shoes.
  • Normal – Regular or normal feet can fit in almost any shoes, and they do not appear too narrow or wide when you look at them.
  • Wide – These types of feet are wider than two mentioned above. Usually, kids with wider feet have problems finding the right shoes since their feet feel cased-in in almost all footwear.

The foot shape type can depend on many factors but mainly on genetics. If you have wide/narrow feet, your kid will probably have it too.

All of these things can simply be measured thanks to our Footmeter chart. Once you have the right measurements, you can start searching for the baby’s first shoes!

The big plus is that most of the time, online shoe stores provide the description of the footwear, and they include whether the shoe is a narrow, normal, or wide model.


Where to Buy Baby’s First Walking Shoes?

Luckily, today parents have various options on where to buy kids’ first shoes. Many companies have an online store so that you can start from there. 

There are also many quality brands with sustainable shoes that would be a great choice for your little one. 

Either way, you can ask some of your friends for a recommendation, look for great Amazon reviews, and search for other parents’ experiences with a certain brand. 


What to Consider Before Buying Baby’s First Shoes?

When you are buying a baby’s first pair of shoes, look out for criteria recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP):

  • Flexible, non-slip soles. Besides that, AAP also recommends that the baby’s first pair of shoes should be closed-toe and comfortable to wear.
  • Make sure the shoe fits. Shoes for babies should not be broken in; they should fit and feel comfortable right away.
  • There are no extra features needed. It is suggested that parents should avoid buying shoes with wedges, inserts, or specific arches since they are unnecessary and can potentially make it more difficult for the kid to walk.

Besides these criteria, here are a few more recommendations that you can think about. 

It is a good choice if the baby’s first shoes are made from leather since they can be very soft and flexible, so they don’t rub.

You should also look for lightweight soles which will help your baby grip the ground. There should be enough room for the toes, soft seams and edges, breathable materials, and adjustable fastenings.

All these tips are something you should consider to find the best shoes for your little one.   


FAQ Section

When Should Baby Get First Pair of Shoes?

According to Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, babies usually take their first steps between their 10th and 18th month.

Since all kids are different, there is the possibility that the first steps can happen even earlier or later than the mentioned stage. Thus, when parents see that their kid is taking their first steps and becoming more and more confident with their walking, they can consider buying their first shoes. 

Before that, there is no reason to do unnecessary shoe shopping since it is recommended to leave your child to explore the world with its bare feet.


Can I Put Shoes on My 3-Month-Old?

Nobody can’t tell you what to do and what not to do. However, it is not recommended to put the shoes on your 3-month-old baby. 

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, your kid does not need shoes until they start walking. The only thing younger babies need on their feet are socks to keep them warm. Think about it like this: The purpose of shoes (other than to look cute, of course) is to protect the feet.


Should Newborns Wear Socks?

Yes, newborns should wear socks because they keep the baby’s feet clean and warm. In general, babies spend quite a bit of time on the floor, so socks are essential for their comfort.

However, in recent years, research has shown that babies and kids should be barefoot as much as possible. 

The benefits of being bear feet include optimal foot development, improved agility, enhanced awareness, better balance on various surfaces, and an improvement in sensory-motor development.



  • 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.