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Baby's First Walking Shoes

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Here are Dr. Horowitz's tips for selecting first walking shoes:

  • Shoes should be flexible and almost slipper-like, with thin soles that let the feet grab the ground.

“Any sole that doesn’t allow for that makes it much harder for a child to learn to walk,” he says, because a new walker needs to be able to feel the floor beneath her for balance.

Fit matters

Whether you buy online or head to your local shoe store, be sure to select shoes snug enough that your child's feet aren't slipping or sliding around in them when he walks, but with room at the top for him to wiggle his toes. This ensures a good fit and is also an indication that your child will be able to grasp the ground with his feet. He’ll need new shoes when he can’t easily move his toes in the old ones.

Don't judge first shoes by price

Horowitz points out that some of the more expensive brand-name shoes have the thickest soles, which you should avoid for beginning walkers. Thick-soled shoes are great for older toddlers - around 2 to 2 1/2 - who have mastered walking to the point that they are actually wearing out their shoes’ soles.

 

 
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