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15 Best Baby & Toddler Walking Shoes of 2024

Find the best shoes for your new little walker.

If you’ve spent any time looking for baby shoes, you already know there are more adorable styles than you can imagine. But the wrong shoes can lead to pain, blisters, or tripping and can cause frustration and lead to delayed walking.

We’ve searched for the best baby walking shoes to support your little one as they take those first steps and begin to stretch the limits of their exploration zones.

We looked for shoes with flexible soles, excellent shock absorption, breathable uppers, and an adjustable fit. We found tons of great options, including cute kicks for summer adventures, winter play, and water wear. And if your little one has wide or narrow feet, you’ll love the adjustable options we found for them too!

Shorten your shoe-hunting time, prevent painful baby feet and walking delays, and skip ahead to adventuring with these great walking shoes for babies and toddlers.

Our Top Picks

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Product Comparison Table

Product Image of the Nerteo Sports Sneakers
Best Outdoorsy Features
Nerteo Sports Sneakers
  • Affordable
  • Vibrant designs of choose from
  • Machine washable
Product Image of the New Balance Running
Best for Active Toddlers
New Balance Running
  • Rubber sole & outsole
  • Excellent durability
  • Flexible
Product Image of the Stride Rite Kids SR Thompson Sneaker, Multi Floral, 7 US Unisex Toddler
Best for Summer Fun
Stride Rite
  • Multifarious color options
  • Easy cleaning
  • Non-slip bottom
Product Image of the Converse Kids All Star
Best Sneakers
Converse Kids All Star
  • Lace-up closure
  • Traditional Chuck insole
  • Cotton canvas lining
Product Image of the Kamik Footwear
Best for Winter
Kamik Footwear
  • Insulated snow boot
  • Simply dependable
  • Shaft measures 6 inches from arch
Product Image of the Timberland Adventure
Best Sandals
Timberland Adventure
  • Water-friendly athletic sandal
  • With odor-control properties
  • Non-marking outsole
Product Image of the Saucony Baby Jazz
Best Velcro Shoes
Saucony Baby Jazz
  • Durable and breathable
  • Hook-and-loop closure
  • Suede upper
Product Image of the Sperry Halyard
Best for Boys
Sperry Halyard
  • 100% textile
  • Double hook & loop closure
  • Flexible outsole
Product Image of the New Balance Hook & Loop
Best for Wide Feet
New Balance Hook & Loop
  • Injection molded EVA
  • No-sew overlays
  • Offers comfort without the bulk
Product Image of the Airwalk Kids' Legacee
Best for Narrow Feet
Airwalk Kids' Legacee
  • Affordable but durable
  • All-canvas upper
  • Non-marking outsole

Best Baby & Toddler Walking Shoes of 2024

Here are 15 great baby walking shoes we highly recommend.

Nerteo Sports Sneakers

Best Outdoorsy Features

When your little tots start exploring the outside world, equip them with the best footwear that offers quality and comfort.

These lightweight running shoes from Nerteo are a great fit. The mesh vamp and insoles keep little feet dry and cool.

Because they’re sneakers, your little one can use them anywhere. We found they are especially great for use on the playground where our toddlers are most active.

User Experience

I'm truly impressed with these shoes, as they have lasted almost 8 months with my child wearing them to school 5 days a week. My child loves them for their comfort, and they have become her go-to black shoes. These shoes are not only great for running and playing, but they also provide good support and can be easily washed in the washing machine. They are true to size, breathable, and are perfect for toddlers aged 18 months to 3 years. The durability and quality of these shoes make them an excellent choice for children with wider feet, and I will continue to purchase them as my child grows.

New Balance Kids' Running Shoe

Best Shoes for Active Toddlers

These shoes from New Balance are great for toddlers who are always on the move. Their wide Velcro strap makes them easy to slip on and off.

A thick midsole provides more than enough shock absorption, while the rubber outsole makes for excellent durability and flexibility.

However, there are two downsides to these shoes. While they’re perfect for wider feet and come in additional wide and extra-wide sizes, they aren’t as suitable for children with narrow feet. Also, the color options aren’t that creative. Pink/grey or grey/purple for girls and black/grey or grey/grey for boys.

But these shoes are fantastic for comfort and durability! (Can I get an adult size, please?)

Personal Perspective

Bought these shoes for my little one with extra wide feet and they fit perfectly, providing good arch support and easy on and off with the Velcro closure. They are stylish and practical for early walkers, allowing them to move without tripping or falling. The shoes have proven to be durable and comfortable, even after being washed several times. However, if you're unsure about the width, I'd recommend ordering the wide width option to ensure the best fit for your child.

Stride Rite Sneakers

Best Baby Shoes for Summer

These Stride Rite sneakers cover all the summer essentials.

This is the perfect shoe for summer vacations — half sneaker, half water shoe! They’re great for days at the beach or pool or by the garden sprinklers. The upper is 100% EVA rubber, and the sole is synthetic.

Rubber pods on the outsole provide a non-slip grip. A velcro closure keeps the shoes in place — even in the water. And you won’t have to worry about your toddler walking on slippery rocks or scalding sand.

Another bonus is that they’re machine washable. However, these sneakers can cause blisters if worn too long, so take them off whenever possible.

Community Feedback

My experience with these Stride Rite sneakers has been quite positive, as they're perfect for summer activities like beach trips and playing in sprinklers. The 100% EVA rubber upper and synthetic sole with rubber pods make for a non-slip grip, while the hook and loop closure ensures they stay on, even underwater. A major plus is that they're machine washable for easy cleaning. However, I did notice that wearing them for extended periods can lead to blisters, so it's best to remove them when possible.

Converse Kids All Star Sneakers

Best Baby Sneakers

Converse All Stars are classic sneakers everyone loves. Did you have a pair back in the day — or currently? The canvas material is lightweight and breathable, and the rubber sole prevents slipping. They come in several different colors, all with the classic lace-up look.

Converse shoes are my all-time favorite. My kids love them since they can customize them with different colored shoelaces.

The only downside is that they’re a little too firm when new. Some moms suggest throwing them in the washer on a cold setting, then drying them on low heat in the dryer to soften them up.

First-Hand Impression

Best purchase for my toddler with wide feet and a high instep, as these adorable little chucks fit perfectly. They're a bit larger than expected, but my little one can still walk and run without any issues. We receive numerous compliments, and my toddler even asks to wear them all the time. Just be cautious while climbing, as they might slip off occasionally, but overall, these tiny Converse sneakers are fantastic!

Kamik Footwear Insulated Boot

Best Baby Shoes for Winter

These snow boots from Kamik Footwear should keep your little one’s feet snug and warm during the cold months. They won’t be afraid to get out and have fun in the snow with these sturdy insulated boots.

The boots open up extra-wide, making it easy for your little one to put them on and take them off. They have an elasticized Velcro strap above the ankle to ensure that as little snow as possible can enter. This also makes the boot more sturdy to support your child’s feet.

The only negative is that the sizes run large. However, if your toddler has wide feet, these should be a good fit.

User Experience

I'm thrilled with these snow boots for my toddler! They are easy to put on with the wide opening and simple Velcro closure, and my child has never complained about cold toes. The boots are not too tall, so I use tall socks to keep the snow out. I would recommend sizing up, as they seem to run small and fit better on average to narrow feet. My child loves wearing them and walks comfortably in them, even in deep snow and on ice.

Timberland Adventure Seeker Two-Strap Sandals

Best Baby Sandals

These sandals from Timberland are excellent for summer exploring. We’re probably all familiar with the brand and the fantastic outdoor footwear they create.

This sandal does not disappoint! It’s made from lightweight materials, with a synthetic upper and sole and EVA foam footbed. They’re water friendly, and the straps adjust for wider feet.

The only challenge we found with these sandals is that they’re very stiff when new. This can make little feet tired after a while. But once worn in, they soften up nicely and are ready for countless hours of adventures.

Personal Perspective

These sandals have been a great addition to my boys' wardrobe, providing comfort and a stylish appearance. In my experience, they seem to run somewhat large, but the adjustable velcro straps ensure a secure fit even with the extra room. The wide footbed accommodates wider feet, making them suitable for both of my sons. Durability has been impressive, as they've held up well through various outdoor activities such as tree climbing and beach outings. My only minor issue is the long ankle strap, which could be cut off if it bothers the wearer too much.

Saucony Baby Jazz Sneakers

Best Velcro Baby Walking Shoes

Velcro is the choice for most parents, and for a good reason, too. It’s adjustable and easy for little fingers to open and close. These sneakers from Saucony come with a large, durable Velcro hook and loop closure.

The shoes are made with synthetic soles, and the upper material is a mix of mesh and suede, which means they’re breathable, comfortable, and durable.

However, we found they were a little stiff for the first couple of uses. But besides that, these come close to perfect!

What I love about this shoe, apart from the Velcro, is the thick heel, which provides good shock absorption.

Community Feedback

From personal experience, these sneakers boast an adjustable, user-friendly Velcro hook and loop closure that is perfect for young children. The combination of mesh and suede materials ensures breathability, comfort, and durability, although the shoes may feel slightly stiff initially. Additionally, the thick heel design effectively absorbs shock, contributing to an overall satisfactory experience.

Sperry Halyard Hook & Loop Boat Shoe

Best for Boys

These shoes from Sperry Halyard are more than suitable for active toddler boys.

They come in medium or wide fit and have enough arch support to allow tiny feet to explore a bit further. The colors available are adorable for baby boys, ranging from khaki to grey and blue.

They’re quick to slip on and off with their Velcro loop-strap feature, and the long straps make them more adjustable for little ones with wide feet.

Finally, the soles are rubber, which makes for excellent durability and traction.

On the downside, they’re pretty pricey for a soon-to-be-outgrown shoe.

First-Hand Impression

My experience with these toddler shoes has been overwhelmingly positive, as they combine style, comfort, and functionality. The memory foam sole material provides excellent pressure relief for my active toddler who is still learning to walk, while the double zippers with Velcros ensure durability and ease of use. The only minor drawback is that they can cause some sweatiness for my child's feet, but overall, the shoes have been a great investment in terms of quality and design.

New Balance Kids Running Shoes

Best Baby Shoes for Wide Feet

We already mentioned New Balance on this list, but they make some great shoes — especially for broader feet.

These New Balance running shoes meet all expectations. They come with a hook and loop strap, which is easy to adjust, plus a padded heel and sole for shock absorption.

Like most New Balance shoes, you can purchase wide or extra-wide sizes for your chubby-footed toddler, and the durable materials help them last — even through the heaviest use.

There are loads of colors and sizes to choose from, too.

User Experience

Bought these shoes for my little one with extra wide feet and they fit perfectly, providing good arch support and easy on and off with the Velcro closure. They are stylish and practical for early walkers, allowing them to move without tripping or falling. The shoes have proven to be durable and comfortable, even after being washed several times. However, if you're unsure about the width, I'd recommend ordering the wide width option to ensure the best fit for your child.

Airwalk Kids' Legacee Sneaker

Best Baby Shoes for Narrow Feet

When your toddler has narrow feet, you want a shoe that hugs them just right. These sneakers from Airwalk come very close.

They support the foot in the right places without being too stiff. The upper is 100% canvas with a cap toe. The insole is padded rubber for extra support.

The shoe looks similar to a Converse All-Star. Fortunately for us, the price is a little lower.

Personal Perspective

I've been using these shoes for my child and noticed a few pros and cons. On one hand, they are sturdy and fit well, but on the other hand, the plastic support in the back heel tends to break after a few weeks, making it uncomfortable. Additionally, these shoes seem to run a bit big and may be too narrow for children with wider feet.

Oaki Rubber Rain Boots for Kids

Best for Puddles

During late fall and early spring, we’re usually “blessed” with a decent amount of rainfall. My toddlers loved playing in puddles and making mud pies or even “chocolate milk” (don’t ask). But things tend to get messy, and there’s no avoiding wet socks.

Fortunately, these rain boots from Oaki will minimize the water touching your toddler’s tootsies. The boots are breathable and come with cute handles, making it easy for toddlers to dress themselves. The material on the outside is rubber, and on the inside is a 100% cotton lining.

We love that these boots come in dozes of vibrant prints and colors (our favorite is the snooty unicorn print), so your little one can choose the pair that most appeals to them.

However, because these are so lightweight, the seams may not be as durable as with heavier boots, so you’ll need to watch for any cracks or damage that might allow water in.

Community Feedback

These rain boots have been a hit with my children, who absolutely love the fun designs and easy-to-use handles for putting them on independently. While the boots are generally durable and functional, I did notice that the rubber was a bit stiff, making it difficult for my toddler to get his feet in at first. However, the boots seem to soften with use and have held up well through daily activities such as puddle jumping and mud splashing. My daughter's pair did experience a broken handle, but we simply cut it off and continued using the boots without issue.

Crocs Kids Slip-On Sneakers

Best Baby Slip-On Shoes

These slip-on sneakers from Crocs Kids are a win-win for any outdoorsy toddler.

The perforated uppers have a ventilated top and foam footbed. This prevents sweat and odor while supporting fast-growing feet. The soles are made of Croslite material, the standard of all Crocs.

These Crocs also fit a wide range of feet and have a stretch panel on each side, making them super easy to slip on and off.

We love that these shoes provide the comfort of Crocs but in a more fashionable way. Plus, like original Crocs, they’re super easy to clean.

First-Hand Impression

My experience with these Crocs for kids has been fantastic! They're lightweight, easy to clean, and perfect for various activities like going to the park or playing in water. Initially, I had to wrestle them onto my child's feet until they stretched out a bit, but now they fit comfortably. These shoes have a cool design and are perfect for a day at the beach or pool.

Robeez First Kicks

Best for Girls

Robeez is best known for being one of the first, if not the very first, creators of soft-soled baby shoes. And now they offer a step up with these sweet split-rubber-soled shoes.

The leather upper and sole base provides ultimate flexibility, but the rubber pads add traction at the balls of the feet and heels to grip the floor and better support your quick-moving toddler.

With a range of colors, prints, and styles, you’re sure to find the perfect fit for your little princess. We especially love the modern rainbow design for everyday exploring, but the gold and silver bow styles are perfect for dressy events.

These shoes are best for early walkers and indoor exploration. They only come in sizes up to 24 months. After that, your toddler will need a more sturdy design with better protection from the elements.

User Experience

My experience with these baby shoes has been fantastic, as they are incredibly easy to put on and super comfortable for both my baby and me. The flexibility and durability of these shoes have truly impressed me, and they have held up well despite my baby's constant movement and exploration. In addition to their practical benefits, these shoes are absolutely adorable, garnering compliments from friends and family whenever we go out. I've found that the shoes provide a perfect balance of style and function, making them a great addition to my baby's wardrobe.

Carter's Every Step Walking Shoes

Best Beginner Walking Shoes

The Carter’s Every Step walking shoe is the perfect footwear for a walking newbie.

They are 100% polyurethane and have a sleek look to them. The shoe has a synthetic sole with a molded outsole.

The heel and forefoot have sensory pods to help your little one master their balance. And our favorite feature is the adjustable fit, which allows for natural foot development.

Personal Perspective

As a parent, I found these Carter's shoes to be perfect for my one-year-old who is starting to learn how to walk. The wide fit allows for any type of socks, and the strong Velcro keeps them securely on his feet. The bumpy soles inside seem designed for added comfort, although my son is too young to express his thoughts on that feature.

Keds Graham Classic Lace Up Sneakers

Best Lace-Ups

These sneakers from Keds Graham are another great lace-up option.

They have a canvas upper, flexible rubber soles, and padded toe protection. A terry cloth lining wicks sweat to ensure comfort.

They come in two widths, but we found that even the wide size has a pretty narrow fit. If your little one has wide feet, you may want to consider another option.

Community Feedback

After struggling to find shoes that fit my son's wide feet, we finally discovered these Keds and couldn't be happier. The sizing is a bit tricky, so we ordered two sizes larger and they fit perfectly, even without socks. Our son, who usually hates shoes, doesn't try to pull these off and has no blisters after a full day of wearing them. The price is reasonable, and they look cute with many outfits, although the laces can be a bit long.
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When Should My Baby Start Wearing Shoes?

Shoes become essential as soon as your little one’s feet need protection. For instance, when they begin to walk around outside or at the playground, park, or mall. These places may have all sorts of harmful items your little one’s feet may encounter, like glass or dog poop.

However, experts suggest you take the shoes off your little one as soon as it’s safe. If you’re at home and the floor is chilly, baby socks with grips to prevent slipping are a better option.

If you have a small baby, it can be tempting to let them wear shoes when you go outside. Baby footwear is beyond cute; no argument there. After all, it is a billion-dollar industry. But they’re highly unnecessary and can even slow your baby’s walking process (1).

Types of Baby Shoes

There are many different types of shoes for kids available. Since your munchkins are still too little to tie their own shoes, the kind of closure you choose is entirely up to you.

Here are a few:

  • Laces: It can be a headache tying tiny strings, but there’s just something about lace-up shoes that makes babies look like mini-adults.
  • Velcro: Velcro is your classic baby shoe strap. It’s excellent for teaching your toddler how to work their own closures, not to mention easy for mommy and daddy. They’re also very adjustable for wider or narrower feet.
  • Slip-ons: These are great for a first shoe. However, once your toddler gets serious about walking, they may not be suitable. As easy as they are to slip on, they’re also easy to slip off and can become a tripping hazard.
  • Snaps: This type is similar to slip-ons, but they provide more support and are more secure.
  • Buckles and straps: An example is sandals with ankle straps. These are more for experienced walkers who are already secure on their feet. They don’t provide much support, depending on the type you buy, of course.

How to Choose Baby Walking Shoes

When your little one is ready to walk, either with your support or by themself, you should look for a supportive, comfortable shoe. Because your baby’s feet are still developing, the footwear should be sturdy, with proper shock absorption (2).

Make sure that the shoe isn’t stiff. This can interfere with how your toddler walks. It could become a hindrance if they’re just beginning to get on their feet.

When shopping around for baby and toddler walking shoes, look for these features:

  • Good padding: Especially around the ankle and back of the heel.
  • Correct size: Curled toes or too much space is not a good sign. If the exact shoe size isn’t available, don’t go up or down a size: choose a different style.
  • Provide support: Shoes should be sturdy and comfortable to support little feet and legs.
  • A flat, flexible sole: The shoes should be able to bend easily to give little feet the flexibility to move. And flat shoes are essential (i.e., no heels for little girls!).
  • Non-slip soles: Look for grooves or texture on the sole, so kiddies new to walking won’t slip and slide.
  • Closure: Ensure the closure type is secure so the shoes can’t come off easily.

How to Fit Baby Shoes

Once your little one is wearing their new potential kickers, glide your pinkie down into the heel and around the ankle. It should be a snug fit all around.

Next, you should feel the tip of the shoe by pressing lightly while your child is standing. Ideally, there should be no more than a half-inch space between the big toe and tip of the shoe.

To check if the shoe is too narrow, look at the sides near the pinky toe. If there’s a small bump, it’s too tight.

If possible, get your little one’s feet professionally measured once in a while. This will ensure a perfect fit.

Baby Walking Shoes FAQs

How Often Should You Change Your Toddler’s Shoes?

Typically, you should change your toddler’s shoes every 3-6 months due to growth and wear. Check regularly for signs of tightness, wear, or discomfort as toddlers’ feet grow quickly!

Are Toddler and Infant Shoes the Same?

No, toddler and infant shoes differ. Infant shoes are softer and more flexible, designed for non-walkers. Toddler shoes have more structure and grip, catering to their walking and running needs.

Should Baby Walking Shoes Be Hard or Soft?

Baby walking shoes should be soft and flexible to allow natural foot movement and development. The sole should provide traction but not restrict foot movement.

How Long Should Babies Wear Soft-Soled Shoes?

Until they are proficient walkers, which can be up to 24 months. Soft-soled shoes offer the necessary protection while allowing for natural foot development.

Are Cheap Shoes Bad for Children’s Feet?

Not necessarily, but look for quality. Good support, flexibility, and proper fit are more important than price. Poorly made shoes can affect foot development and walking patterns.

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Headshot of Jennifer Schlette, MSN, RN

Reviewed by

Jennifer Schlette, MSN, RN

Jennifer Schlette MSN, RN, is a pediatric intensive care nurse at Children's Hospital of New York for the past 14 years. Jennifer also has extensive experience teaching Maternity and Obstetric Nursing, as well as Pediatrics Nursing.