October 19


When Should Babies Start Wearing Shoes

By Teddy

October 19, 2022

A baby’s first steps are a momentous occasion for both the child and the parent. And of course, every parent wants their child to look their best for such an important milestone. So it’s no surprise that one of the most common questions new parents have is “when should my baby start wearing shoes?”

The answer, unfortunately, is not as straightforward as one may hope. There are a few factors to consider when making the decision to shoe or not to shoe your little one. In this blog post, we’ll explore some of those factors and help you make the best decision for your baby.


One factor you’ll want to consider is your child’s age. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that babies go shoeless as much as possible during their first year of life. This allows their foot and ankle muscles to develop properly and reduces the risk of injury. That said, if it’s cold outside or you’re going to be doing a lot of walking, you may want to put socks or booties on your baby for warmth. Just be sure they’re loose enough so that they don’t restrict movement.

Walking Skills 

Another factor to consider is how well your child can walk. If your baby is just starting to walk, shoes may not be necessary since they could actually hinder their progress. In fact, some experts believe that shoes can delay walking because they make it more difficult for babies to feel the ground and grasp objects with their toes. However, once your child becomes a proficient walker, shoes can provide support and stability. 

The Case for Shoes:

Proponents of putting shoes on babies argue that shoes protect their delicate feet from the harshness of the outside world. They also say that shoes help babies learn how to walk by giving them support and stability. 

The Case Against Shoes:

Those against putting shoes on babies argue that shoes can do more harm than good. They say that shoes can distort the natural shape of a baby’s foot and cause problems later in life. They also argue that babies don’t need shoes to learn how to walk—they’ll figure it out on their own!

Our Verdict:

So, what’s our verdict? Almost all experts agree to wait until your baby is consistently walking before giving them shoes. So it depends on the bay themselves. There is no set age of when they should or shouldn’t be wearing shoes.

Before they can consistently walk then, if you’re going to be doing a lot of walking outdoors with your baby, then it might be a good idea to put them in some protector booties but no need for shoes until they are walking.

When babies start walking

  • Between 6 and 13 months: crawling
  • Between 9 and 12 months: pulling themselves up
  • Between 8 and 18 months: walking

Frequently Asked Questions

Why barefoot can be good for babies

Barefoot allows for muscle and bone growth in the foot and can reduce the risk of injury. It also allows babies to feel the ground, helping them learn how to walk.

what are some alternatives to shoes for babies?

Socks, booties, or soft-soled moccasins are all options for protection and warmth, without hindering foot development.

When should my baby start wearing shoes outside?

It’s best to wait until your baby is consistently walking before introducing shoes for support and stability. This can vary from child to child, but generally falls between 8 and 18 months. Make sure any shoes you buy have flexible soles and are not too tight. And remember, barefoot is best for development whenever possible.

When should babies wear protective booties?

Protective booties can be worn when necessary for warmth or rough terrain, but make sure they are loose enough to allow for natural foot movement. They should not replace shoes until your baby is consistently walking.

Can shoes harm my baby’s feet?

Ill-fitting or rigid shoes can cause problems with foot development and may lead to issues later in life. Make sure to choose shoes that fit well and have flexible soles. And remember, barefoot is best whenever possible.

Should a baby wear socks all the time?

Socks can provide warmth and protection, but should not be worn constantly. Babies need to have some time without socks or shoes to allow for proper foot development. Make sure any socks you dress your baby in are loose enough to allow for natural movement.

Should babies wear shoes inside the house?

It’s not necessary for babies to wear shoes inside the house, as they are often not walking consistently and barefoot is best for development. If your floor surface is hard or could cause injury, consider soft-soled moccasins or sock protectors.


So, there you have it! The great debate of our time—to shoe or not to shoe—solved once and for all! Just kidding, this is a highly personal decision that every parent has to make for themselves. We hope this post has given you some food for thought and helped you make a decision about whether or not you should put shoes on your baby. Thanks for reading!

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