I get questions ALL THE TIME on what shoes I used when Miles first started walking. And when I get the same question A LOT a little lightbulb goes off in my head that says “time to write a post on this!”
And, here we are. I was very perplexed on what shoes to put Miles in when he started standing and walking. I text alllllll my friends with older kids. Overall, I think I ended up doing really well. I found some shoes I LOVE. And, some shoes that moms literally stop me in the mall to ask me about.
Hudson and Zutano Booties:
Hands down my favorite “shoes” for the crawling phase were Hudson Booties and Zutano Booties. I use the word shoes in quotes because these definitely aren’t really shoes. They are like a slipper. In my opinion, they are the best shoe option from birth to walking.
They are basically little fleece feet covers, that snap or velcro closed. Miles, who had very busy feet, kicked EVERYTHING off his feet as a baby except these. I had them in the 0-6 m size and Miles pretty much lived in them until summer when he went barefoot. And, while they are ideal for pre-walking I also just bought him a 18-24 month size to wear around the house (they have some rubber grips on the bottom to prevent slipping).
Standing and Assisted Walking
Ok, so once Miles got to the standing phase, I wanted to get him a more proper pair of shoes. This is where it gets tricky trying to find the right pair.
For reference, at this point Miles was a size 3, and he stayed in size 3 shoes for about 4-6 months.
A friend of mine suggested these and they’ve easily been my favorite shoes. They are made of waterproof vegan leather. They have an elastic band tounge which makes them SOOOO EASY to slide on and off. But, most importantly, they stay on really well. Plus they are lined with cotton so you can use them sockless which is a big win in my book.
We started with a size 3, which has a soft sole. It was super comfy for him to wear but it still had plenty of structure and support for Miles once he started walking. They have held up amazing, too, he wears them all the time inside and outside and they still look great – I can easily save them for another baby. Overall these shoes are just incredibly versatile. They are comfy enough for an indoor house shoe but sturdy enough to wear outside. I get stopped by moms ALL the time asking about these shoes.
I just ordered Miles the size 4 (which has a more solid sole). Another favorite in this same department are BirdRock mocassins.
These shoes aren’t life-changing by any means but when Miles first started walking I was looking for something simple but that had a more structured sole. I got these ones for only $10 and they were actually pretty good. They have a slight elastic opening so they slide on and off super easy but also stayed on really well. Miles wore them A LOT when he first started walking.
The quality is “eh” and you probably won’t be able to save them for another kid, but if you just need an easy, simple first walking shoe without spending a lot, these worked great for us.
Once again, we LOVED our Sweet n Swag shoes for walking. The leather bottoms gripped the hardwood floors great but also worked fine outdoors, too. And, they are lightweight and not too bulky, so great for early walkers.
Surprize by Stride Rite
So the first pair of these I got for Miles (the Ben Sneaker) seemed to be transition shoes because they only come in sizes 6-12m and 12-18m. They were great because they have a good hardy sole but aren’t too bulky, and the tops are always softer with easy velcro straps. So, they are a really good transition to a “real” shoe. They are more lightweight though, so once your little one is really moving, it might be time to upgrade.
They also have more true toddler style shoes which are a little more sturdy like a real shoe. These are kinda on the pricier side compared to some other ($25-35), but you can usually find them on sale if you check in stores at Target. I bought mine for Miles on clearance when he was only like 6 months old, just knowing he’d need them eventually.
These are definitely our most expensive shoes, and full disclosure they were sent to me as a gift by the brand but they are not sponsoring any mentions I just do really like them. They are pricier because they are real leather and all handmade.
I like these shoes because, like Sweet n Swag, they have a super simple elastic tongue so you can just slide them on and off in a pinch BUT they stay on the foot REALLY well. They are also very good quality. Miles has worn the heck out of his and they don’t really show any sign of wear or tear yet.
Definitely more of an “investment” shoe but worth it. They also have a program if you’re interested in shopping directly from their site. It’s $10/month but that $10 goes right in your Freshly Picked account for you to spend. That also gives you 20% off every time you shop and free shipping. So, if you’re thinking you’ll buy a few shoes over a year or two, have multiple kids, or want one of their bags (my favorite diaper bag) it’s worth it.