Why Toddler Shoes Should Be So Much More Than “Cute”

April 25, 2015 / By / , , , , / 8 Comments

My daughter is officially 19 months old and we’ve now been in our new home for a solid year. Sylvie got a bit of a late start in the walking game and wasn’t confident enough to take more than a step or two until she was about 15 months old. The topic of her shoes has been kind of a big deal in our house since I started putting those adorable shoes on her as an infant.


Sylvie wearing her Stride Rite shoes.

Anyone that knows my husband knows how seriously he takes his footwear. Minimalist shoes have a variety of benefits according to some research, especially for a little one just learning to walk. Our house is hardwood floors throughout which can make for a cold experience walking around barefoot but socks are an accident waiting to happen, because realistically, I might as well just push her down myself. The spills are inevitable.

That’s where the idea of the minimalist shoes come in. I’ve personally been a big fan of Stride Rite shoes because they are adorable and practical but have specially designed soles to allow baby to better feel the ground with their feet and establish better balance. I am not certain about their shoes for older children but they have their “First Steps” line which offers these specially designed soles.

adult-portlander-brown-shoe2Another brand I am interested in trying is Soft Star Shoes. They are custom made and come with a variety of options to help you design the best fitting shoe. They sell baby shoes as well as adult shoes. My husband recently purchased a pair of their lace up shoes with a leather sole and he loves them. We are thinking of giving them a try for Sylvie as well.

They also offer a variety of different styles for both men and women but I am obsessed with their children’s shoes. It seems like a lot of money to spend when they grow out of them so fast but it’s also important to make sure Sylvie has great shoes during these early walking years. Not to mention they are very durable which means if we have baby number two they will still be in great shape.

Have you tried either of these brands yet? What are your thoughts on your little one’s footwear?

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  1. Heather says:

    We have several pairs of Soft Star shoes and we love them! They are especially nice for hard-to-fit feet. For my 2 year old we were having a hard time finding shoes that we could actually get on her feet. She has a thick foot like her dad. Soft Stars are 10 times easier than any other shoe we tried.

  2. Sarah says:

    I LOVE Soft Stars for my son, and will get them for my daughter too, when she starts walking. I have structural problems in my feet, and, while their feet haven’t been x-rayed yet, I’m doing everything I can to prevent them from having constant pain in their feet if they in fact have the same structure issues I do (traditional shoes, with their inflexible soles, and raised heels are especially bad when one has this issue). Your husband already knows about the benefits of minimalist shoes, so I won’t expound on them here, but my son (who was an early walker at 8 months) has never been in anything but Soft Star Roo Mocs. (I have his custom-made because he has extra wide feet and I wanted a specific color–all the kids on the playground love his rocket ship shoes). I have the grippy sole put on, and when he started dragging his toes and wearing through the shoes, they added what they call a Taz toe, which basically is more of the sole material over the tops of the toes to extend the life of the shoe. While all the other kids still clomp around the playground in their thick-soled shoes, with their calf muscles and achilles tendons atrophying and shortening, he runs smoothly, with plenty of stretch and flex in his feet. Someone once asked how old he was, then said, “Oh, he’s a toddler. Wait no, he’s not, he’s really walking well, isn’t he? He’s toddler-aged, but he doesn’t move like a toddler!” I champion the shoes and the concept of soft-soled shoes whenever the topic comes up.

    • Kaitlyn says:

      That is fantastic! I am excited about being able to customize the colors. I am a big fan of fashion, especially when it’s also practical and beneficial!

  3. Meagan says:

    I bought a pair for my son. He likes them and they fit him well. I got a color that was gender neutral so my daughter can wear them after. He has been wearing them for almost a year now.

    • Kaitlyn says:

      That is a fantastic idea! I love neutral colors anyway, they have a sophistication about them but can also be very youthful.

  4. Sara says:

    I have 3 pairs of Soft Star shoes for myself, and I love them. It are the best I’ve ever had. I also bought the first pair of shoes for my little girl who’s starting to walk a little. She loves the colors :-), they are very soft, have a delicious sheepskin inside and I’m confident that she will learn to use her feet in a good way. We’re still choosing wich ones, but our 2,5 year old son will have a pair or 2 also, very sure!

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