How to select the best sneakers for your baby or toddler

Jul 27 , 2020

How to select the best sneakers for your baby or toddler

When buying shoes for your little ones, comfort and support are key factors. Young kids get excited about buying those shiny sneakers and shoes, but as you know, not all that glitters gold. Many of those cute shoes are often unhealthy for the child’s feet.

How many times have you bought a pair of shoes for your child, only for them to complain that the shoes are too tight, too uncomfortable, hurt their feet or make them itch? Children are unable to tell whether the shoe will be comfortable enough or not. They find something eye-catching, and they want it right away, whether it’s a good choice or not. I am sure it happens to a lot of moms out there.

The reason why I am stressing on the right fitting shoes, whether it’s a pair of sneakers, or infant shoes, is that the feet can develop abnormally from wearing poorly designed shoes. For proper growth of the baby’s feet and for them to not develop injuries while playing, top quality is a must.

Children grow so quickly, you don’t have to spend money on dozens of pairs - just one or 2 pairs of shoes will do - until they grow out of them.

Here are three things to look for when buying shoes for babies or toddlers.

  1. Quality:

Children are super active. The run, jump, climb and crawl wherever they go. A high-quality shoe will ensure that your children do not get injured while doing all those activities.

To ensure that the childrens’ sneakers or any kids shoe that you buy is of good quality, check the outer sole. It shouldn’t be flat because that would mean that the child can slip due to low resistance to the floor. The outer sole should have grooves and patterns for a good grip. Also, the sneakers shouldn’t have a thick, hard base, as the child can trip because of it. Look for a medium width of the midsole - it’s a safer option for the child to run in. Sneakers that have appropriate thickness are light on the feet, allowing the child to wear them all day without feeling tired or uncomfortable.

Next, press your thumb against the inner sole. If the inner sole of the shoe feels bumpy or too hard to your palm, that is because the midsole is not of good quality. Babies and toddlers have soft heels, and shoes that have hard soles can be harmful to your baby's feet.

When the child is growing, wearing uncomfortable shoes can cause legs and feet to develop abnormally. One such condition is flat feet. Another problem that can arise is forming bow legs.

You can treat these conditions with physical therapy but why take the risk in the first place?


  1. Flexibility Check:

Before athletes buy a pair of sneakers, they check if the material is flexible enough. To do that, they squeeze the shoe inwards to examine how much it bends and the resistance it causes. 

If it is too strict and you can barely squeeze it together, then it is an inferior quality shoe. If it bends too much, then it will not offer sufficient support to your feet while you run. The perfect sole is one that bends at the ball of the shoe at the break-point alone.

While children are not athletes, flexibility is a must-have in any shoe they wear. Even if you are buying baby girls sandals, you must check for flexibility of the sole so that your little one can comfortably walk, run, and play.


  1. Are the shoes breathable enough?

Don’t skip this! Kids shoes have to be breathable, or that sweat can cause irritations, and make kids’ feet smell.

So what are breathable shoes? A breathable shoe is made of materials that allow the air to pass, which lets the skin breathe. If the shoe is water repellent, it will offer extra security. If the water goes inside the shoe, it can cause skin issues.

Check out our favorite breathable baby and toddle shoes - tested by our staff!

Some useful tips for shopping with your babies

Now that you have the shoe guide in your hands, all that’s left to do is to hit the shoe stores. We have some useful tips that can make the shoe shopping experience a good one.

#1.  Don’t go shopping with kids before some snack time!

If the child is hungry, they won’t let you do any shopping. Feed them before you go in.

#2. Remember that you are in charge

The more your baby girl or baby boy sees, the more they will want to try. Often they will go for colors and styles that catch their eye but may not be as healthy for their feet. Drive their attention to the shoe that you want them to try. Keep the child engaged and ask questions on how the shoe feels.

#3. Don’t buy anything too fancy!

Kid sneakers or any pair of shoes for children do not require corrective features. Do not get heels or corrective soles. Kid sneakers should be flat with no corrective features whatsoever. The child is in a stage of developing muscles, and they should strengthen naturally. Studies reveal that such features do not benefit the average child, so there is no point in buying them.

#4. Make sure that your child is wearing cotton socks

Make sure your child is wearing cotton socks. They will help you to figure out how much space there is at the front for the toes for enough foot movement and if the shoes are breathable enough while the socks are on.