We’ve long been told that soft sole shoes are the best choice for babies, and it’s recommended that you keep your child in flexible soled shoes from birth until they are confidently walking. Here are some reasons why, plus tips to help you transition your child from soft to hard sole shoes.
Support for growing feet
According to the Australian Podiatrist Association, allowing children to go barefoot or only wearing very soft shoes helps the foot to develop and assists in strengthening muscles. Babies also have a natural reflex to curl their toes and arch their feet – lightweight shoes tend to allow feet to move freely and support natural movement.
Baby feet need protection from the cold and surfaces, particularly when they start to crawl. Socks are ideal for around the house, but shoes are recommended when your child is outside, particularly when the weather is cooler or they are crawling in public areas or outside. Leather shoes, over synthetic materials, allow your child’s feet to breathe and stay cool in warmer months, while still protecting them from the sun.
Learning to walk
When your baby starts to learn how to walk, podiatrists recommend keeping your child in soft soles shoes. Heavy or rigid shoes with thick soles can make it more difficult for your child when they are learning to walk. Soft sole, flexible shoes allow your child to feel the ground as they go, which can help them grip and improve their balance and coordination, enabling them to walk more confidently.
Transitioning out of sole soles
We’ve designed our range of soft sole baby shoes with a wider toe-box and extra room around the top of the foot, plus they come in a range of styles that are easy to put on, but stay put on wriggly feet.
A more rigid sole can be introduced when your child has been confidently walking for at least a few months. We have a range of toddler shoes with a flexible rubber sole, that can help the transition from soft soles to more fitted shoes. No matter what age your child is, it’s important to leave room to grow. Check out our sizing guide with some tips to help you choose the right size or learn about how to care for your child’s shoes.