The 8 Best Baby Walking Shoes
It’s a bit counterintuitive, but when shopping for a pair of the best baby walking shoes, a higher-ankle cut doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a more supportive shoe for your baby than one with a low-cut ankle (though they may be easier to keep on). Shoes that are too stiff or constricting of shoes can be detrimental for your baby's foot health and choosing shoes made of lightweight materials with grippy soles is actually what you want when shopping for shoes for your little cruiser.
First things first, if your baby is just learning to walk, barefoot is best, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. If your tot will be in environments where they need a little extra protection, opt for soft-soled shoes that mimic that barefoot model, since that will encourage muscle development. Once your little cruiser is more confident on their feet, you can get hard-soled shoes but look for ones that are still flexible enough to bend near the toe.
For a baby learning how to walk, a heavy shoe can be cumbersome, so it’s best to find a lightweight baby shoe; these can be made of canvas, a stretchy polyester-spandex blend, or leather. Lightweight shoes also tend to be flexible baby shoes that allow babies to make natural movements when walking. And a pull tab at the heel will be helpful for getting shoes on and off.
A nonslip sole is essential for baby walking shoes. Rubber or suede soles, or those with grooves or texture for grip and traction, help keep your baby upright when learning how to walk.
Finding the best baby walking shoes can encourage your little one to practice walking by providing proper support and comfort. Below are eight pairs of shoes for both new walkers and those with a little more experience, including several highly rated picks with hundreds of reviews on Amazon.
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1. The Best Baby Moccasins
These soft, supportive baby moccasins are made from genuine leather and come with a suede sole for extra grip. The ankle cut is elasticized for a snug fit and reviewers commented that they are a great fit for wide feet.
Shoppers also commented they love the quality and value of this highly rated pick; plus, they're easy for parents to get on and off. These shoes are available in infant to toddler sizes, and they come in brown, yellow, pink, purple, or darker neutral colors.
A helpful review: “I am a returning customer, we love Mejale moccasins! Good quality and you can't beat the price! We use them even once our children are walking...They're excellent for that because it allows more of a barefoot like experience which is important and healthy as they learn to walk and into toddlerhood.”
- Available sizes: 0-24 months
2. An Adorable, Tot-Sized Alternative For Checkered Vans
For baby walking shoes that are as cute as they are comfortable, these affordable alternatives to checkered Vans are hard to pass up. The soft canvas upper features the classic black-and-white checkered print, and an elasticized band on the ankle-cut shoe helps with getting them on and off small feet.
These highly rated shoes have a soft cotton sole with anti-skid dots for grip. They also come in more than a dozen other colors and patterns, including stars and red and yellow versions of the checkered print.
A helpful review: “These shoes fit my 12 month old’s chubby feet great! I wasn’t expecting much for the price, but they have held up to a lot of wear outside in the soggy grass and playground and I have been surprised that his feet are still nice and dry even when the bottoms are wet. Everyone thinks they are the real deal, but they cost half the price!"
- Available sizes: 0-18 months
3. A Pair Of Cute Slipper Shoe Socks To Wear Indoors
Slipper socks for toddlers are a comfy option to wear indoors, and the animal motif on this pair is irresistibly cute. The extra-high cut of the sock keeps them on your child's feet, and the soft sole made of anti-slip PVC with textured dots provides enough traction for steady walking.
This pick is made of cotton, polyester, and elastane; the medium thickness of the socks will keep your little one's feet cozy and warm. Choose from infant to toddler sizes, as well as more than a dozen animal prints and colors, including lions, bears, and penguins.
A helpful review: “These are wonderful! Works great during the winter if you have floors (without carpets), since a toddlers socks slip so much. These grip nicely, great price, cute and sturdy. They are also long, so he cannot take them off easily. We purchased them for my 18-month-old grandson.”
- Available sizes: 6-24 months
4. A Bold Pair Of Stylish Moccasins
These stylish toddler moccasins feature a bold combination of leopard print and gold fringe that instantly step up any little's outfit. They're also super comfortable thanks to a soft leather upper on the ankle-cut shoe and a soft sole made of nonslip suede with rubber textured panels for extra grip.
This pick comes in infant to toddler sizes, although this is the only print option available.
A helpful review: “I bought the gold Mocs [...] She wears these nearly everyday and they have worn incredibly well. They are plenty wide leaving room for chubby feet or thick socks. The grip on the bottoms has been great for learning to stand. I was worried the gold color would peel or look worn and we have seen NONE, even after crawling [...] Great purchase, we will be getting the next size up soon.”
- Available sizes: 6-24 months
5. Baby Water Shoes For A Day At The Beach Or Pool
For outdoor activities on warm days, it helps to have baby water shoes. This slip-on pair has a pull tab at the heel for quickly putting them on or taking them off, while a snug ankle cut and polyester-spandex upper keeps the shoes securely on your baby or toddler's feet. Reviewers rave about how these shoes are especially lightweight, flexible, and breathable.
The rubber sole on this pair is soft and flexible and also textured for traction on slippery surfaces. These highly rated shoes with hundreds of reviews are available in more than a dozen colors and patterns in infant to toddler sizes, including blue, neon green, and a fun fish pattern. Some versions of the shoe also have a hook-and-loop fastener if you'd like extra assurance your little one will keep these shoes on.
A helpful review: “My little one started walking at 10 months old and loves to be outside. Most shoes were too stiff or big for her, but these are amazing! Comfortable, snug, and flexible. I am convinced these are the reason she is running [and] climbing everything with such grace at 14 months old. They allowed her to really feel her feet on the ground while also protecting her.”
- Available sizes: 0-24 months
6. A Pair Of Classic Sneakers That Go With Everything
Classic toddler sneakers are especially cute in their miniature size, and this black-and-white striped pair matches any outfit. These Adidas sneakers have a synthetic upper and hard rubber sole that reviewers confirm is flexible, with two hook-and-loop fasteners for a custom fit.
With an impressive 4.7-star rating and nearly 1,000 reviews, one shopper commented they’re easy enough for her toddler to put on himself, which boosts his self-confidence.
Though the white ankle-cut shoes with three black stripes are a popular choice, these also come in fun colors like gold or pink and are available in infant to big kid sizes.
A helpful review: “One of my favorite pair of sneakers for my toddler! My 18 month old wears a 5-6, purchased the 6 and they have fit well with room to grow! Very good for walking and comfort!”
- Available sizes: 3 (infant)-13.5 (big kid)
7. A Pair Of Running Shoes For Toddlers On The Move
As your young walker picks up speed, you'll want to add some toddler running shoes to their wardrobe. The have a hard, but flexible rubber sole with grooves that support your toddler's every move.
These ankle-cut sneakers feature laces and a hook-and-loop fastener. They're lightweight and cushioned with a mesh fabric upper, and these highly rated shoes come in infant to big kid sizes in more than a dozen colorways including gray, tie dye, and blue.
A helpful review: “These are by far my favorite sport sneaker for my toddler. They’re easy to slip on, hold up with rough play, and wipe clean very easily. Definitely sticking to NB sneakers for my children after finding these.”
- Available sizes: 2 (infant)-7 (big kid)
8. Some Lightweight, Podiatrist-Approved Sneakers
This lightweight sneaker for toddlers features a firmer sole made of rubber with lots of grooves for traction; it's a hard sole but still flexible for comfort. They're sturdier shoes that can keep up with a more confident walker ready to explore.
The ankle-cut shoe features laces for a true sneaker look, and a hook-and-loop fastener for a secure fit. The upper is faux leather made of polyurethane and mesh for a lightweight and breathable shoe. A generous toe box on this shoe fits comfortably on padded baby feet.
Choose from a black and teal or gray and blue colorway. It's also great knowing these well-made shoes are accepted by the American Podiatric Medical Association.
A helpful review: “My 11 month old refused to walk in any shoes and would sit on the floor and cry when we put shoes on him. This pair he loves! He walks easily in them, they are lightweight and breathe well. The colors are vibrant and beautiful.”
- Available sizes: 4 (toddler)-8 (little kid)