When Do Kids Start Needing Shoes?

Baby feet are absolutely edible. They're just so squishy and adorable, and babies definitely agree with me on the edible part, because they love to put their feet in their mouths. Once they start putting them on the ground is the concern here. When do kids start needing shoes? Because those baby booties are too cute for words.

Baby feet are constantly growing and changing. According to the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA), the 26 bones and dozens of tiny ligaments in your baby's foot are growing super fast. This sort of explosive growth is a critical stage of foot development and health and they need to be taken care of and allowed to grow. The APMA found that because of this, you need to let those sweet feet be free and unencumbered by shoes until your baby learns to walk. I know, those tiny trainers are to-die-for adorable, but not so good for their feet.

According to The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), all children need until they're out walking in the outside world, is a cozy pair of socks to keep warm. Think of the sartorial possibilities. If you're wanting those cute baby boots because they're utterly fashionable and just the sweetest, have you considered that places like Etsy have wonderous things like shark socks? You didn't even know your baby needed those until just now, did you?

The AAP also urged parents to find a comfy pair of shoes with non-skid soles when the time is right because babies are really crap at walking. That whole "I just learned," thing, you know. The non-skid will help them out on slippery surfaces, making them less "my drunk uncle" and more "DiCaprio strut." The AAP also noted that since baby's feet grow so fast, spending a ton of dough on their shoes feels like a fool's errand. Even if those baby Doc Martens give me life in every way, shape, and form. (Hands up if you too were a gothic nightmare.)

There are tons of companies like Pediped, Robeez, and Jemos shoes that are specially designed for growing feet, and provide grip combined with flexibility to help your baby waddle on. It should be noted that the APMA gave their seal of approval to Pediped and Robeez for both design and function of the shoe, but still noted that babies should only wear shoes outside, and that bare feet are best for babies.

While your little one may not be ready for Louboutins, once they get their feet under them and out of the house, there are plenty of options for little feet to strut their stuff. (And plenty of options for them to take off in the backseat two seconds before you reach your destination.)