Family Magazine

Buying Baby Shoes

By Milastolemyheart
Mila is showing signs of being a shoe-a-holic. At 1 year old, she already knows how to pick her shoes for the day and how to wear them (or at least try to). Who could blame her? Without even realizing it, we've accumulated maybe 2 dozens pairs. Some others had been passed to other little fashionistas. Mila got more shoes than Hubs and mine combined.
She used to hate shoes and would constantly try to kick it off her feet. Her cousin Blythe was the same when he was younger and until now, he needs to be convinced before he wears his school shoes. He even walked the isle for his mother's wedding wearing slippers. At this early, I want Mila to get used to wearing shoes so I bought her her first pair of boots at 2 months old. I have her wear it everytime we go out or play dress up. She still is barefoot most of the time.

Buying Baby Shoes

Wearing her 1st boots. She was 4months here

I've been reading that babies don't need shoes until they had been walking steadily for a few weeks at least. Even then, they are still best left barefoot. Babies need to be able to explore their whole body, including their toes. Have you seen a baby squeal in delight playing with those wiggly little toes? Yup, it will also eventually end up in their mouth. And that's part of discovering herself.  In addition, the bones on babies feet are not fully developed. If feet are constricted, it may cause developmental delay and baby may have difficulty walking. It can even cause feet to be deformed when bones do not get the chance to align correctly. 
For those reasons, I only have Mila wear shoes for short period, just so she is used to having her feet covered. I also make sure to buy the right shoes. Here's some of my tips in buying baby shoes for pre-walkers:
  1. The sole should be soft and very flexible - movement of the feet should not be restricted
  2. The top part should be soft and breathable - they may not sweat as much as adults do but baby's feet can get too wet too and you don't want them feeling uncomfortable. 
  3. It has to be at least two centimeters bigger - or  more. Babies feet grows too fast so you don;t want to be buying new shoes monthly (at least in theory since you may want to hoard on all the cute designs). The space will give them wiggle room to move those tiny little toes
  4. No laces - it looks cute but it can be a headache. Garters and Velcro are best.
  5. Don't buy expensive ones - they outgrow clothes and shoes faster than you can blink. And those shoes may not stay on and you will eventually loose a pair or two. I've lost just one so far and it was a favorite. I almost cried. Haha.
  6. Socks that looks like shoes are the best - as long as it is the right size, not too loose and not too fit. Don't let that stop you from getting the pretty crib shoes too.

Buying Baby Shoes

Some of Mila's Shoefie with her Pre-Walkers

At 9 months, Mila started cruising and I knew it will soon be time for "real" shoes. I've been following mommies in Instagram and noticed a clamor for Baby Zara, H&M, Mini Melissa and Joy Folie shoes for their babies. Have you seen those designs? They are absolutely irresistible and I'm not immune. I started ordering one shoe after another. I completely forgot about the above tips I've since learned. I just want cuteness overload. I even started reselling some shoes myself on milkmonsterstore. I noticed that some works for Mila, some do not. So here's some additional tips for buying baby shoes for bigger babies based on what I've noticed with Mila:
  1. Put comfort as top priority - your baby is now walking and you don't want her to have blisters. They do not break in shoes.
  2. Sturdy soles - you would still want flexibity but would want to get thicker soles in case baby steps on something 
  3. Covered toes - babies starting to learn to walk will have the tendency to drag her feet.
  4. Function before fashion - if baby will be walking outside where she may get hurt, make sure that shoes provide stability and protection. I'm in love with shoes that look like tiny versions of adult shoes. They look pretty but not as stable nor provide protection as much as I want. Those, we use for OOTD. She wears her more functional shoes when walking.
  5. Find the right size - unlike with pre-walkers, you want the shoes to fit just right. Anything smaller can hurt your baby's feet. Anything bigger, can cause her to trip over.

Buying Baby Shoes

This is not even half of her stash. Sometime I just envy this kid.

One thing I've realized is how hard it is to get the right size. As with any shoes, you cannot really rely on the manufacturer's size. Mila is a size 4 in Carters and a size 5 in Zara. Even mommies who inquire about the shoes I sell does not have any idea what size their baby wears then eventually just choose the bigger size and may have to wait until baby can fit into it. I too had a lot of hits and miss on my online purchases. It really is still best to have the shoes fitted at the store. There, you can try on the shoes and even have your baby's feet measured. I used to only see this foot measuring device, I later found out called Brannock Device, on sports stores. It can measure both the length and width of your feet so you know what style and size would fit best. They have a kid version of this now. How useful right? The thing is, babies feet need to be measured every few months and you cannot always go to the stores. Like me, who does her shopping online, I too would want to get the right shoes and make sure it fits. Luckily, I chanced upon this link. It's printable version of the Brannock Device from Kohl's. Keep in mind that sizing may be different so you always would want to take note of the size in Inches or Centimeters.

Buying Baby Shoes

Printable Brannock Device to measure Kid's Feet. Click here to download.

Our latest purchase is a shoe I've ordered online. I'm lucky it is a good fit and Mila loves it. She just kept on walking as soon as we put it on. Hopefully, for our baby shoe-a-holics, the above tips and printable will be helpful in getting the right pair.

Buying Baby Shoes

Love your shoes babe and your fashion blogger post. You can be a Baby Zara Model already.

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By Carmelo Bastyan
posted on 11 January at 09:22
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