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You really don't need to choose a first pair of shoes for your child until he or she starts showing signs of wanting to walk. Before they begin to pull up to take the first steps, children's feet are generally better if you let them grow naturally without being tied up in shoes. You may want a sweet pair of soft baby shoes for photographs and special occasions, but your child's feet may grow better without restrictions during the first few months.
When your child starts to want to take the first steps, the little feet will need more protection. The socks alone will be too slippery, especially on kitchen floors and other uncovered surfaces. Look for soft leather or rubber soles that provide the features your child's feet need without being so firm that they do not bend easily.
Experts say there is little difference between supple leather and baby sneakers made of cloth and rubber. The important thing to look for is materials that allow the shoe to be shaped to your individual child's foot. This will give a much better fit, which in turn gives your child's foot the best support.
The high topped shoes that parents used to bronze when they were adults are not highly recommended. The high "luggage compartment" can be uncomfortable when rubbing against the ankles, and it does nothing more to support your child's foot than a good low-cut shoe.
Avoid sandals for babies who are just starting to walk. An open toe on a sandal provides no protection for the front of the foot and it can catch things and trip the baby. Stay away from the "Croc" shoe type also for young hikers. These shoes tend to slip on the foot and do not provide good support.
Although family and friends can offer to give you their adult baby shoes, it is better for your child if you buy new shoes. Shoes that have been worn have been adapted to another child's foot. They will never fit your child properly, even if they appear to be the right size.
When buying new shoes for your child or children, be as aware of the width as you are in the length. Baby feet tend to be wide. If the shoe's edges, where the laces are, do not form a parallel line, the shoe may be too narrow. This can pinch the child's foot.
Be sure to include the type of sock the baby will wear when trying to use baby shoes. Pay attention to the amount of space between the foot and shoe both front and back. There should be up to half an inch of space in front of the shoe, and enough space to insert your pinky finger half an inch or so at the heel.
Make sure to put both shoes on your baby and let him or her walk around the store for a few minutes. Watch out for any signs of discomfort before buying your baby's first shoes.