Whether you're pregnant and thinking ahead or you've got a messy toddler on your hands and just can't seem to find the most resistant footwear for your active tot, all parents know the struggle of finding the perfect pair of baby shoes for their kid's needs.
So how do you choose the right shoes for your child? Here are a couple tips and tricks for choosing the right pair of shoes for whatever your child's needs.
1. Always Get Measured
Probably the hardest part of shopping for babies and toddlers is knowing that everything you buy they'll grow out of pretty quick. When it comes to buying a pair of baby or children's shoes, make sure you get the sales person – or do it yourself at home – to measure your child's feet even if you think they haven't grown too much since the last time. Chances are their feet size is probably slightly different already.
2. Check The Soles
This might be obvious, but when you're at the store you might get distracted by the looks of the shoes rather than checking the integrity of them. Even if they're dress shoes or more casual shoes, make sure that the baby shoes or toddler shoes you're picking out have strong insoles and good grip on the bottom. Kid's love to play, so don't be surprised if those dress shoes need to turn into running shoes in a moment!
3. Leave Room For Toes
This is especially an important one for younger children, usually babies and toddlers. As mentioned before, your younger children will grow quickly and to ensure comfort and long-lasting purchases look for about a half inch of room between their toes and the front of the shoe. It's also recommended you choose a rounded shoe rather than a boxed one to ensure optimal room for growing feet.
4. Playtime Test Them
I know it seems like a stressful idea to let your kid run around in a store, but it'll pay off in the long run. Just like you would bounce up and down in running shoes when you're shopping, make sure that your kid takes a practice run to ensure there aren't any weird buttons pushing into their heels that might be uncomfortable. Have them do a couple movements similar to their playtime routine to ensure no dramatic moments when you take them home.
5. Consider If It's Age Appropriate
Most shoes on the market will most likely be appropriately made for the age it fits, but in some cases they might be trying to sell you a pair of baby shoes you just don't need at that age. Ever seen those really cute hard-soled sandals for babies? Even if they might be perfect for a beach photo, they're pretty unnecessary for the pre-walking stage in your children's growth. For early toddlers, shoes with more room are good as they transfer from booties to real shoes for comfort. For older toddlers, look for shoes with high tops so they aren't easy to push off and will stay on no matter the activity.
What's been your worst experience buying baby shoes? Let us know in the comments!