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Watching your baby take their first steps is an exciting milestone for you and your baby. Now that they are cruising around the house, you may want to consider purchasing baby their first pair of shoes. The market is filled with dozens of choices, but which ones are best for supporting a new walker? The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has developed recommendations to help you find shoes that are helpful as your baby continues learning to walk.
The AAP says children learn to walk by gripping their toes on the ground, and they don't need arch support. So at home, it's okay to leave your child barefoot to promote natural foot development. However, when surfaces are uneven, hot, cold or rocky, shoes should be worn to protect their feet without leaving them unable to sense the world under their toes.
The AAP gives three specific tips to follow when shopping for your baby's first pair of shoes:
- Shoes should be lightweight and flexible to support natural foot movement.
- Shoes should be made of leather or mesh to allow your baby's feet to breathe comfortably.
- Shoes should have rubber soles for traction to prevent slipping or sliding.
Based on these guidelines, here are five baby shoes you should consider for your baby's first steps:
- Robeez: The American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) has given Robeez a seal of acceptance because the company's shoes promote natural foot function. They're made of high-quality leather, are flexible and support healthy foot development.
- Momobaby: Momobaby offers a wide variety of rubber-soled shoes made of genuine leather. The shoes have also been awarded the APMA seal of acceptance.
- Jemos Footwear: Jemos Footwear provides eco-friendly kids' shoes made from genuine leather that
arefree from toxins, lead andformaldehyde. Jemos' soft-soled moccasin shoes are made from eco-friendly leather remnants.
- Pediped: The APMA officially recognized Pediped shoes as beneficial for a child's growing feet. The shoes are made of premium grade leather, and their footwear system allows you to choose shoes designed for first steps, next steps
- Stride Rite: Stride Rite offers shoes for baby's first steps that are adjustable, durable and flexible. Its website features a large selection of baby shoes and a downloadable sizing chart.