First Shoes - What's Best
One of the most asked questions we get at Billy Lou is about babies’ first shoes. As new parents we just want to do the best for our kids and we know that their feet are super important.
One thing we need to remember is that every child develops differently. Their feet are all different shapes and sizes. Some children start walking early and some start later. Some feet are chubby or wide and some are slim. Some roll out, some roll in (this usually corrects itself throughout the walking period). This means there is no “one size fits all” approach to babies shoes.
So when is the best time for your child’s first shoes? Well, you can look at it in a couple of ways. Early on, we often just want a shoe that looks super cute - and that’s absolutely fine. I know I put shoes on my kids when they were young just because they made the outfit. But when do you really need them, is the question.
It’s best to start looking at more functional shoes when your baby starts crawling. Crawling feet can get up to all sorts of trouble so it’s important to protect them. These must be pre-walker shoes. Soft, flexible and accommodating for little toes. Leather is best as it breathes and stretches to mold around your babies feet.
When they start to cruise or are just standing up, their shoes can help with balance and protect their feet from all the stacks they will have (lots of bruises at this stage of walking!). The grip on the bottom will also help them hold onto the world below.
Remember, their first pair of shoes are not designed to last for a long time. We don’t allow for loads of growth in first shoes as they will trip, scuff and wear out the shoes well before they outgrow them - and they’re growing very fast at this age!
Never put a hard-soled shoe on your child’s feet unless they are walking confidently.
Once your child is more confident on their feet, we can start to introduce harder soled shoes. The shoes still need to be flexible though, as they are still using their toes to learn to walk, run and balance.
We recommend you have your baby’s feet checked by a trained fitter every 6-8 weeks as their growth at this stage is very rapid. Our team of experienced fitters offer this complimentary service, so feel free to take advantage of it when you’re in the area for a coffee or some shopping. And don’t worry, their foot growth does slow down – eventually! ☺