The Buyer’s Guide To Toddler Shoes

The Buyer’s Guide To Toddler Shoes

Toddlers are at an extremely crucial time of life for a number of reasons, and especially because their mental and physical development is at its most important.

During these very early years, our toddlers are learning everything they can about the world and have an inquisitive nature at all times, so it’s important we give them to best chance to explore their new worlds with comfort and support.

Toddler Trying To Walk

For this reason, choosing the best toddler shoes for your child is an essential part of their development, as with the right shoes on their feet they’ll be capable of taking on so much more in life.

When they wear some of the best toddler shoes brands, you can be sure they’ve been designed specifically to fit the ever changing and delicate needs of their little feet, so you can feel happy letting them off to explore the world.

However, there’s so much to consider when buying your toddler their first pair of shoes, and it’s by far the most important footwear they’ll ever own in life.

These shoes need to the perfect fit and designed with the smallest feet in mind, while also enticing for your little one to wear and teach them in a fun way the importance of footwear and how they should be a source of comfort and support throughout the day.

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The Importance Of Toddler Shoes

So, what is it that makes the first pair of shoes the most important, and why all the fuss about choosing the right toddler shoes? Besides being incredibly cute and filling with joy every time you see the small sized shoes on your child’s feet, toddler shoes can have a whole lot of benefits for your child’s physical wellbeing.

The most important reason for wearing toddler shoes is to protect their feet from the numerous dangers on the ground, with everything from shards of glass to prickles being found on the floor at any given time.

Toddlers Walking Together On A Bridge

While it’s not necessary to wear these shoes around the home, it’s essential to always have a pair of specially made toddler shoes to protect their feet whenever you’re leaving the house and going somewhere that could pose a risk.

Secondly, as a toddler is going through some of the most important developmental changes they’ll ever experience in life, you want to know that you’re giving them the best things to help with this growth.

Having a good fitting and supportive shoe can ensure that they’re assisting with any abnormalities their foot may have, and helping to prevent any further issues down the line.

Some parents might like to have a few different pairs of shoes for when their toddler starts to walk, and this is a great idea as each of them have unique functions.

You might have an everyday casual shoe, something for going to the beach or pool, and another for more physical activity. With the right shoe on their foot, your toddler will be comfortable and at their physical best so they can take on the day without a hassle.

What To Focus On When Buying Toddler Shoes

If you’ve already started to shop around for the best toddler shoes, you probably know by now that it can be a confusing market.

With so many different features, specifications, and purposes, finding just one shoe that’s ideal for your kid can be a difficult task. For that reason, here are a few things to consider when shopping around to ensure you’re getting the best fit for your little one.

Foot Growth

It’s believed that the average toddler’s foot grows about 1.5mm in length every month, so you need to account for this when shopping around. Although it might be tempting to just buy a bigger size, though, when you put a shoe that doesn’t fit on your child it’s likely you’re doing more harm than good.

Size of Childs Feet


Think about why you’re getting the shoes and where they’ll be wearing them, and this will give you an idea of the main purpose. This means you’re shopping for the right style of shoe and ensuring your child will be comfortable while they wear them.


There are two key things to consider in terms of material, and that is one that offers flexibility and breathability for your child. Nobody wants to wear rigid and uncomfortable shoes, and they certainly don’t want to feel overheated, so this is especially important for your child as well.

Anatomical Insole

These can sometimes be custom fitted, however, they should always be designed in a way that will allow for the foot to develop anatomically correct. This is crucial for the early years of one to three so this feature shouldn’t be overlooked. The best way to shop for this is to look for shoes that have a unique insole and are made to fit toddler ages.

Toodler Feet Grow at a Fast Rate


Try to avoid following the latest fashion trends when shopping for toddler girl shoes, as they’ll have plenty of time in their older years to wear uncomfortable but stylish footwear if they so choose. For now, shop with comfort as your main priority and don’t worry about the fashion aspect.


You might not think it, but your toddler is often the best source of advice when it comes to choosing their shoes. They will let you know what’s comfortable and what isn’t, and whether they prefer laces, Velcro, slip on, or any other style.

Velcro For Toddlers to easier put on shoes

The aim is to make it an enjoyable experience for them and teach them the importance of supportive footwear.

Choosing The Best Fit For Your Toddler Shoes

By far the most important part of choosing shoes for any age is how well they fit, so it’s essential to understand how to pick a proper size for your toddler. There are a few different methods to getting the right fit, so it depends on whether you’re in the store or at home on how you can achieve this best.

When Trying Shoes In A Store

If you’re brave enough to visit the shoe stores with a toddler in tow, then you want to get the experience over and done with as quickly as possible. Here are a few tips you can follow to ensure you’re choosing the right size and won’t be returning to the store in just a few weeks for an upgrade:

Always Wear Socks

Not only do socks help to protect against any infections of fungi that might be lurking in store shores, but they will give a more accurate idea of how well a shoe fits. Most toddler shoes are worn with socks regardless, so you need to know exactly how they’ll feel.

Toddler Trying on Shoes

Have Your Toddler Standing

Whenever trying on shoes, ensure your toddler is standing up and not sitting down. This gives a truer idea of size and can indicate whether or not they will be a comfortable style for your toddler’s feet.

Press For A Guide

Use your thumb and press onto where the toe is to feel how much space is between their toe and the top of the shoe. Ensure there is a small space there so there is room to grow, but not too much that it will be uncomfortable when they wear them.

When Measuring Your Feet At Home

For those parents who’d rather shop online than go to the stores with their toddler and try on countless pairs of shoes, there are some tips as well for getting the perfect measurement. This means you’ll be able to shop online with a fairly good idea of your toddler’s size, regardless of the varying sizes for each brand.

Timing Is Key

Always measure your toddler’s feet when it’s the end of the day, as this is when they’ve relaxed the most and will be at their widest. This will give a more accurate fit and will ensure they don’t grow out of them too fast.

How to meaure a toddlers feet

Use A Wall

For accuracy, place the heel of your toddler’s foot against the wall and then measure them like this. Draw an outline of their foot as well so you can get an idea of the width and natural shape.

Consult A Chart

Once you have the measurements, consult a toddler foot chart to get an idea of their sizing. However, you should always check with the individual brand as every company has a different idea of sizing and some run small or large.

Top Picks For Best Toddler Shoes

After weighing up the essential features and everything you need to consider before buying the best brand toddler shoes, we’ve compiled some of the best available today. These represent all budgets, all purposes, and all types of fit, so you’re sure to find the ideal shoe for your toddler here.

Saucony Jazz Hook And Loop Sneaker

When you’re looking for simplicity and comfort from your toddler shoes, you really can’t go wrong with the Saucony Baby Jazz Hook and Loop. These have been designed to not only offer support for your toddler’s feet but also offer an easy way to get them on and off that can help to build on your child’s independent skills.

Saucony pride themselves on making shoes that have been perfectly designed to fit the mechanics of the human foot and their range for toddlers is no exception to this quality and support. The Saucony Jazz is a great choice for a simple shoe that can suit many occasions and one that won’t irritate or cause discomfort to your child.

Saucony Review

These are an extremely lightweight shoe, so while this might be an important feature for some parents others may be looking for something a little more durable, but this makes them one of the best toddler running shoe options.

When worn every day and for short periods they’re a great choice to ensure they’re not doing too much to alter the shape and natural make of your child’s foot.

The design of the Saucony Jazz has a great retro look to it, and there are countless choices available for colors and patterns. For a good, basic, and lightweight toddler shoe for your little one, the Saucony Jazz is definitely a great choice and would make a wise investment for best toddler school shoe too.

New Balance 574 Kids Sneaker

New Balance is another of the most trusted shoe brands, and they do a great job at making shoes for toddlers fun and functional. The 574 Kids Sneaker is by far their most popular, thanks to its easy wear and range of colorful and enticing designs.

Because these shoes have been designed with laces, you might find that you need to have them laced to the very top in order to stay put. When compared with a Velcro strap this can mean a little more work, but at the same time, it’s a great opportunity to show your child how to tie their laces on their own time.

New Balance Kids' KL574V1 Review

Best of all, these shoes have been divided up into age ranges so you can have peace of mind that they’re designed for your child’s specific age group.

The toddler shoe ranges from ages one to four years, which makes them the perfect anatomical fit regardless of their shoe size. For the best toddler athletic shoe, these certainly have plenty of support in all the right places.

Many reviews of the New Balance 574 have stated that these shoes were recommended to them by health professionals to help with a number of problems their child was having with their feet, including pronation.

This means they’re some of the more supportive options available, and ideal for parents who want to put a focus on developmental support than anything else.

Fashion Every Day Girls’ Ballet Shoe

For something a little different from your standard kids’ sneaker, these ballet shoes from Fashion Every Day are a great choice for the dancer children among us.

Whether your child enjoys dance classes from time to time, or simply wants something less restrictive and more enjoyable to wear around the house, these are the ones to choose.

These shoes have been lovingly made with a canvas split sole so that they offer both comfort and softness to your toddler’s feet, and give them great flexibility regardless of when they’re wearing them. However, don’t expect a lot of protection from the ground as these don’t have a thick rubber sole like you’ll find on sneakers.

Fashion Every Day Girls’ Ballet Shoe Review

The Fashion Every Day Girls’ Ballet Shoe has been made with a soft cotton fabric so they’re extremely breathable, and your child will have so much wearing them that they’ll never want to take them off.

They make a great way to introduce your child to wearing shoes without trying too hard to change the natural shape of their foot or do any damage.

As some of the best toddler ballet shoes on the market by far, you really can’t go wrong with the low cost of the Fashion Every Day Girls’ Ballet Shoe.

Best of all, the bow stays put once it’s tied up and these fit comfortably so there’s no need to worry about them sliding off through the day. To make any little girl happy, the Fashion Every Day Girls’ Ballet shoe is the easiest way to do it.

Vans Kids Authentic Core

For the coolest kid on the block, there’s only brand that you should trust. Vans have been making comfortable and stylish shoes to suit all ages and interests, and their Authentic range is by far their most popular and versatile.

These shoes are marketed as skating shoes, but they’re so comfortable and supportive they can be worn all day long and by any age.

With a thick rubber sole and comfortable canvas material, these are ideal for kids who want to look cool and feel cool too.

They’re great for skateboarding, hanging out, and riding your bike, so for kids who are extremely active, they’re a perfect fit. For toddler boy shoes, in particular, you’ll find that most little ones are absolutely thrilled with their Vans, but they’re just as great for girls as well.

Vans Kids Review


There are plenty of different designs to choose from so they’ll suit any toddlers’ interests, and with a tie up shoe lace you can help teach your child this important life skill with a stylish shoe to entice them.

Be careful with sizing, though, as some customers found them a little off. You should refer to the Van's specific sizing to ensure you’re getting the best fit for your toddler, and ones that will last a little longer too.

Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars

Known as probably the most famous shoe in the world, Converse All Stars are also one of the best choices for toddler shoes too. These shoes have been iconically designed to give the user the right blend of comfort, style, and functionality, which are all important features for a toddler shoe as well.

The Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars come in toddler sizes, and with easy to tie laces that can help to teach them independence.

They stay firmly in place whether your child is walking, running, riding their bike, or playing with friends, and they have been made to last for many years. Although your child will outgrow them eventually, they’re great to hang on to should someone else in the family ever need another pair.

All Stars Other Side Review

Although you shouldn’t shop for toddler shoes based on style and fashion, there’s no denying the effortlessly cool appeal of these Converse. They complement any outfit, look great on girls and boys, and will never go out of style in American culture, so you really can’t go wrong.

Some users have found the Converse All Stars to be a little narrow, so if your toddler has wide feet then you might want to shop around. They’re quite firm to fit at first but will loosen over time, so also keep this in mind when you try them on initially. Overall, though, these shoes don’t disappoint and are just as great for toddlers as they are for all other ages.

The Final Verdict

With so many great choices out there for your toddler’s feet, it can be hard narrowing down to just one shoe that’s great for all kids. However, we’ve divided up the top choices in categories to make it a little easier, or you can invest in all of them to give your child an ever greater range of choice for their footwear.

For the best unisex toddler shoes for walking and learning to walk, the clear winner is the Chuck Taylor’s by Converse. These shoes are a huge part of American culture and have been making feet happy for generations, so it’s no wonder they’re a great choice for our kids too.

Kids in All Stars

The best choice for girls shoes would have to be the Fashion Everyday Girl’s Ballet Shoes, with the perfect blend of cuteness and comfort for little soles. For the best toddler boys’ shoes, you can’t go past the Vans Kids Authentic Core which are comfortable enough for your child to enjoy all day long and get up to their favorite activities.

As our kids grow out of them so quickly, it might seem like there’s no need to worry about choosing quality shoes, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. This is the age where their physical development is at its most crucial, you so you need to choose something that will support their growing needs and give them a source of comfort.

Choosing the right shoe now will start them off with the best chance in life to enjoy sensible and supportive footwear.

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