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Though going barefoot is ideal for a baby just starting out on their feet, The best course of action is not always that. Podiatrist and founder of Gotham Footcare Miguel Cunha, DPM, advises parents to always have their children wear shoes when walking outside. This is due to hazards such as sharp rocks, broken glass, and unfriendly insects.

Although it's tempting to go for the cutest pair of baby shoes on the rack, not all of them are safe for walking. You want to get a pair that will fit well and protect those little toes without limiting their movement or development. When evaluating products, we took into account the recommended ages, materials, and aesthetics as well as the overall cost.

To get those little feet up and about, we present the top-rated baby walking shoes available today.

Tsukihoshi Racer Washable Sneaker
  • Larger than usual toe box

  • For the benefit of arches

  • Wearable in washing machines

  • White outsoles are easily stained.

  • Not everyone's a good fit

  • Not suitable for the dryer

The Tsukihoshi Racers are the fastest to the top of our list because they are not only cute but also provide adequate support for a baby's foot without preventing normal muscle and balance development. The lightweight, shock-absorbing, and slip-resistant rubber outsole combined with the roomy toe box will keep your child's feet safe and comfortable.

The elastic laces and large hook-and-loop closure make them convenient to put on and remove. The shoes' removable insoles mean they're suitable for use with orthotics designed specifically for children.  

They come in sizes 3-7 (typically for children up to 24 months, though toddler feet vary greatly), and you can throw them in the washing machine if they get muddy while exploring the backyard after a rainstorm. The manufacturer warns that these shoes tend to run large; they suggest ordering half a size smaller.

As of this writing, the cost is $55.

Machine washable | Sizes 3-7 C | Synthetic leather and nylon mesh upper; EVA/TPR outsole | Yes

Stride Rite Baby Girl's Soft Motion Jamie Sneaker
  • Sole made of a rubber that can bend and twist

  • Orthotic insoles made of memory foam

  • Quick and easy fastening with hooks and loops

  • Inevitably, Velcro's adhesiveness will wear off.

  • The sizes are on the small side

  • Hot for some infants' comfort

A great thing about Stride Rite shoes is that they come in a wide range of sizes, making it more likely that you'll be able to find a pair that will fit your baby. Each pair of shoes comes in three widths and sizes ranging from 3.5 to 7C (including half sizes).

The shoes' rounded sole, non-skid rubber bottoms, elastic strap, and velcro closure are all features that win over parents. Baby's feet will be more comfortable in these shoes, which have been approved by the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) because of their memory foam insoles and breathable uppers. They also come in several different cute hues.

At the time of publication, the price was $36.

Rubber outsole, leather upper; sizes 3-6 C; cannot be washed in a machine

Stride Rite Soft Motion Frankie Sneaker
  • Insole made of memory foam

  • Round and pliable soles

  • Comfortable, padded neckline

  • Avoid washing in a machine.

  • Messy to maintain

  • Over time, the threads may become untied.

The Stride Rite Soft Motion Frankie Sneaker is the best baby walking shoe money can buy. The shoes have a memory foam insole, an elevated ankle (to keep them from sliding off), and the endorsement of the American Podiatric Medical Association. Classic white leather forms the uppers, and a padded collar provides extra comfort and support.

These are essentially high-end footwear for infants. They come in sizes 3 to 6, half sizes included, and can be purchased in either a medium or wide width, just like the rest of Stride Rite's infant footwear.

As of the time of this writing, the price is .

Suitable for Women's Sizes 3-6 C | Upper, Leather | Sole, Rubber | Machine Washable? No

Freshly Picked Soft Sole Oxford Moccasins
  • Decorative fringe is always a plus.

  • Inside is lined with leather

  • Easy-on, easy-off construction

  • No traction soles

  • No diminutives

That's what Dr. Cunha, traction is an important feature to look for in infant footwear. According to him, "the soles of the shoe should be textured, as this will provide traction and help prevent your child from slipping on slick surfaces." The Freshly Picked Soft Sole Leather Moccasins have a rough sole for traction and to protect baby feet from objects that may injure them.

They were made to mimic the sensation of walking barefoot, which is beneficial to your child's feet. The stretchy elastic across the top of the shoe ensures that your child's shoes won't fall off, no matter how hard he or she tries to remove them. Available in sizes 1-4 for infants and 5-7 for toddlers.

Current price ($59):

From a size 1-7 C, made of leather, and not machine washable

Stride Rite SRT Baby and Toddler Boy's Elliot Leather Sneaker
  • Flexible, low-weight rubber bottoms

  • Easy to disinfect

  • Fastening with laces


If you enjoy dressing your baby up, you'll be relieved to know that a sturdy (and safe) pair of baby walking shoes need not compromise on style. These Stride Rite boots are adorable with a pair of shorts or a dress, and they have all the practical features (like good traction and a simple design) that your baby needs to feel like she's walking barefoot.

The classic infant footwear is constructed from leather and equipped with a rubber outsole and elastic laces to ensure a secure fit on even the most feisty of toddlers. These kicks come in whole and half sizes ranging from 3 to 7 (for newborns to 4-year-olds), as well as three width options.

As of this writing, the cost is $54.

Materials: Leather upper and rubber sole Machine washable: No Sizes: 1-7 C

Converse Unisex-Child Chuck Taylor All Star 2v Low Top Sneaker
  • With its two adjustable Velcro straps

  • Cushioning made of plush foam

  • Soles made of rubber

  • The sizing is a bit big

  • Some clothing is more susceptible to dirt than others.

A shoe with a solid rubber sole, like the Converse Kids Chuck Taylors, will help your baby maintain their balance in areas with gravel or uneven ground. Canvas is used for breathability (although the sparkle pink style is thicker than the others), and the upper is secured with two hook-and-loop straps.

Sizes 2–10 (infant–toddler) are on offer, but just like the adult versions, these tend to run big, so have your child walk around the house in them first.

The current price is $50.

Canvas upper, rubber sole | Machine washable: no | Sizes 2-10 C

Stride Rite Unisex-Child Soft Motion Splash Athletic Sneaker
  • A mattress-like insole made of memory foam

  • Hook-and-loop fastener for a customized fit

  • Components that repel water

  • The designs and colors wear off with use.

  • There is a risk that the stitches will come undone.

Young children who have just learned to walk may enjoy playing in a kiddie pool or at a water table, but this can be dangerous if the pool is located in direct sunlight or if it is surrounded by hot asphalt.

Podiatrist Michael J. Kneebone Cunha, you need to invest in shoes that aren't only comfortable, but also sturdy and lightweight. Selecting a shoe that provides maximum protection and durability without compromising on wearer comfort is essential. Putting your baby in flip-flops may seem like a good idea, but they aren't good for their feet.

Instead, invest in a pair of Stride Rite's Float Socks. To prevent your infant's feet from slipping and potentially causing a fall, these shoes are made to get wet (and dry quickly). Available in widths of medium and wide, and sizes ranging from 3 to 6, including half sizes

As of this writing, the price is $46.

Range of Size: 3-6C | Fabric Content: Unknown | Machine Washable? No

UGG Unisex-Child Bixbee Ankle Boot
  • It can be washed in a washing machine

  • One can choose from a variety of hues.

  • A material that is easy on the skin

  • Having a hard time getting on

  • Some potential for initial stiffness upon opening.

Your little one may require extra toasty footwear for the winter if you make your home in a cooler region. The Bixbee Ankle Boot, available from Ugg, is our pick for infants and toddlers just learning to walk because of its hook-and-loop strap that secures the shoe in place.

Though you probably don't want your tot to test their newfound walking skills on the ice just yet, the booties' rough sole with small textured stars provides some traction and a soft fleece upper and interior promote foot development. You can buy these infant booties in sizes 1 through 5.

List price ($40 as of publication)

Machine washable; sizes 0/1-4/5 C; mixed-fleece upper; microfiber outsole with rubber print;

Ten Little Everyday Sandals
  • Lightweight

  • Soft, pliable soles

  • Design that prevents the foot from slipping out

  • The sizing is a bit on the large side.

  • Few Alternatives

Every kid in the summertime should have a pair of these sandals because they are practical, fashionable, and lightweight. Children's shoes with a textured insole and outsole will keep their feet from sliding around. With the company's fit quiz, there's no need to second-guess sizing, and you can even set up notifications to let you know when your little one might need a size up.

The sandals, which come in sizes 4-13, are made with a foot-shaped toe box for optimal comfort. The hook-and-loop closure can be adjusted for a snug fit, which is appreciated by parents and caregivers during park play. Because of the lightweight materials and construction, the company suggests ordering a half size down.

As of this writing, the price is $36.

Vegan leather upper, rubber outsole, sizes 4-13 C; cannot be washed in a machine

Dream Pairs Sandals
  • Lightweight

  • Ties that stretch or have a bungee cord

  • Soft, padded insole

  • When worn for a long time, the soles of shoes can become loose.

  • Still, stones and sand can penetrate footwear.

  • Constraints on variety

Little ones who enjoy the summer months would benefit greatly from a pair of lightweight, easily adjusted shoes. The bungee elastic lacing will help you get the right fit for your baby. Shoes made from a water-resistant material are a must for summertime fun in the sand and water, whether at the beach or the pool.  

The slip-on style makes them convenient for both parents and kids, and they dry quickly after being used in the water. Sizes 5-13 are offered, but some children may need to try them on or use the size chart as a guide because they may run small.

As of this writing, the price is $30.

Shoe Sizes: 5-13 Women's, 4-6 Children's Machine Washable: No Upper Material: Unknown Water-Resistant EVA Insole: Rubber Outsole: No

Baby Bogs Rain Boots
  • Insulation that doesn't leak

  • Furry interior

  • Quick-release handles for on/off convenience.

  • Back of boot is where the strap attaches.

  • To some, the sizing may be too small.

These fashionable rain boots are adorable, and they also sound incredibly soft, plush, and comfortable. Protect your child's feet from any surface with the sturdy rubber outsole, and keep them warm and dry in wet weather with the plush interior.  

We really like how the boots' side handles make them easy enough for kids to put on by themselves. On top of that, you won't have to stress over the shoes getting muddy in the rain or snow. Simply toss these boots in the washing machine when laundry day rolls around.

As of the time of this writing, the price is $24.

Suitable for sizes 4-10 C | Neoprene upper | Rubber sole | Machine washable: yes

Having read dozens of customer and competitor reviews and analyzed the features of dozens of baby walking shoes, we have come to the conclusion that the ones by BabyGearLab are the best on the market. When making our selections, we thought about things like cost, aesthetics, functionality, maintenance, appropriateness for different ages, and durability of the material. While reviewing AAP recommendations, we also consulted with Miguel Cunha, DPM, Podiatrist and Founder of Gotham Footcare, for any additional information or suggestions.

In this context, "fit" does not refer to whether or not something can be physically inserted into another thing (as in "will these leftovers fit into this plastic container?"). ”) Finding shoes that are the right size and width, checking for any gaps that could cause slipping, and paying attention to any spots that may be too snug all contribute to what we call "fit" when purchasing shoes for infants.  

And sometimes, no matter how cute they are, those shoes just won't work for your baby. Expert pediatrician Dr. Mona Amin of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, tells Verywell Family that "just like [for adults], function is more important than fashion." In addition, a good fit is crucial. ” 

How do you know if the (walking) shoe fits the baby? Pediatrician Gina Posner, MD, of California's MemorialCare Orange Coast Medical Center in Fountain Valley, advises leaving it to the experts. She advises Verywell Family, "I would take them to a shoe store so that they can accurately measure their feet." A free child shoe sizing guide can be found online (some brand websites even have them) and is something Amin recommends printing out if that isn't possible. She explains, "They're so easy to use and assures proper fit."

When you think you've found a pair of shoes that will work, have your baby try them on to make sure they fit properly. An expert on children's health from Santa Monica's Providence Saint John's Health Center, Daniel Ganjian, MD, tells Verywell Family, "the heel of the foot should be snug with the back of the shoe, and the toes should have some wiggle room."

Amin suggests letting a baby practice walking barefoot as much as possible, but she also stresses the importance of investing in high-quality shoes. She recommends shoes with breathable materials, a flexible foot plate, a wide toe box, and a sturdy heel to help children feel secure while learning to walk in the outdoors.

When it comes to the upper of your shoe, flexible materials are preferable to rigid ones. Choose an alternative that is soft and flexible, such as leather, mesh, or canvas. And as Amin points out, "toddler feet can grow quickly." "Measure your feet every two to three months, or whenever you experience symptoms of improper fit, such as blisters, ingrown toenails (caused by the shoe rubbing against the nail bed), or discomfort while walking. ”

Remember that your baby, the brand-new owner of shoes, is used to going barefoot. Choose a pair of walking shoes with a flexible sole to help them adjust. The trick is to locate a set with a sole that can bend but also grip the ground. Regarding his own foot health and general safety, Posner says, "I like supportive walking shoes that have a good, non-slippery sole."

Baby walking shoes with non-slip soles are also highly recommended by Ganjian. He explains that while "most kids will need soft soles," there are some who will benefit more from shoes with firmer tread. "If you are unsure or have questions, consult your child's pediatrician." ”

  • Does learning to walk require shoes for infants?

    Three different pediatricians we consulted all agreed that infants are not able to walk without shoes. Ganjian argues that "babies can learn to walk without shoes, and should learn to walk without shoes." As the author puts it, "They'll be able to hone their footwork more effectively when their feet aren't encumbered by shoes ” 

    In a similar vein, Amin recommends going barefoot whenever possible. Keep your walking-toddler barefoot whenever possible, as this is best for their development. "This really aids in the development of their walking skills," she explains. "From a germ-exposure standpoint, I also think it's great for people of all ages to go barefoot around the house. ”

    In that case, why do we put infants in special shoes designed for walking? Specifically, "the shoes help the most for preventing them from stepping on things that could hurt their feet," as Posner puts it. And if you're worried about them falling on the tile or marble floors in your home when it's too cold for them to go barefoot, Ganjian recommends non-skid socks.

  • When should I start putting my infant in walking shoes?

    It's natural to want to ensure a baby's safety, so putting shoes on their feet seems like a logical first step. However, Ganjian suggests waiting to put shoes on a child until he or she is capable of sitting up and moving around on their own. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, "shoes should not be worn by infants and should be reserved for the time when children can walk," he says.

    Once again, Admin advises parents to only dress their infants in shoes if it's a must. "It's best to go barefoot indoors so they can practice walking, learn balance, and become more confident in their feet," she says. If your child is just learning to walk, it's best to do it barefoot in a safe, clean environment like the backyard. ” 

    The shoes come out when that isn't an option. And Posner concurs, saying, "when they are outside and walking around, to prevent them from injuring their feet, footwear can come in handy." Your baby will eventually need shoes because it's too cold for her to walk in bare feet. After some time, "you will need to get them acclimated to walking with shoes, but more from a safety standpoint," says Posner. "

Ashley Ziegler writes for both publications and herself as a lifestyle, home, parenting, and business journalist. She's the proud parent of a 1-year-old and a 3-year-old girl who have both worn and adored a pair of Ugg Kids Bixbee Ankle Boots, a pair of Converse Chuck Taylors, and a pair of Freshly Picked Soft Sole Leather Moccasins. Ashley not only spends a significant amount of time each week searching the internet for the best products for herself, but also for children and families.