The Best Toddler and Baby Shoes for New Walkers Exploring the World

These first shoes for babies and toddlers provide essential protection from the elements—in style!

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Baby Walking Shoes

Parents / Kevin Liang

It’s a bittersweet feeling: One minute, you’re baby-wearing your bundle of joy, and the next, they’re racing you down the street. To protect tiny feet for those few steps in between, you’re going to want a solid pair of baby walking shoes. The best shoes for new walkers provide support, feature breathable material, and give feet room to move and grow without restriction. 

In the early months of infancy, babies’ feet develop best when barefoot to promote natural growth. Once they start walking, they’ll need protection from the outdoor elements. Baby feet grow fast, so their shoes won’t be with them long, but they’ll safeguard them in the meantime. Look for baby and toddler shoes with non-slip soles to keep your busy bee steady. Check the fit of your child’s shoes approximately once a month to ensure they’re not too tight. The AAP says it’s better for children to have no shoes at all than shoes that are too snug.

In order to find the best toddler and baby shoes for new walkers, we studied the design and features of more than 30 shoes. When reviewing products, we considered size range, design, cleaning instructions, materials, fit, flexibility, and overall value. From athletic baby shoes to booties, we’ve included various styles of toddler and baby shoes for new walkers to help littles put one foot in front of the other confidently. 

Our Favorites

Best Overall: Ten Little Everyday Original Shoes

Ten Little Everyday Original Shoes

Ten Little

Mom-developed shoe company Ten Little aims to provide parents and caregivers with everything they need to get toddlers off on the right foot. Not to mention, the shoes are made sustainably with vegan leather. These shoes are American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) approved for their rounded-toe and flexible, flat-sole designs. They’re also kid-approved because they come with stickers that allow little ones to customize their shoes. Use the site’s “fit finder” to get an accurate gauge of your child’s size, and then sign up to get reminders to measure for a new pair later.

Price at time of publication: $44

Best Budget: Sofmuo Anti-Slip Sneakers

Sofmuo Anti-Slip Sneakers


Equip your kiddo with these stylish (and budget-friendly) baby shoes. We love the non-slip rubber sole and double hook-and-loop closure to support unsteady feet. Plus, they're available in nearly a dozen color options to match casual or dressy outfits.

Price at time of publication: $11

Best Bootie: M&F Western Kids Cassidy Casual Shoes

MF Western Kids Cassidy


These faux-suede booties have such an outdoorsy look. They’re padded and feature a small amount of rubber grip for security but remain light and flexible for little feet.

Price at time of publication: $32

Best Athletic: Robeez Ro + Me Alex Athletic Sneakers

Robeez Ro + Me Alex Athletic Sneakers


Robeez brand shoes are recognized as one of the best walking shoes for babies. They even have the APMA seal of approval. These “athletic” shoes also have the advantage of being reasonably priced.

Price at time of publication: $25

Best Sandals: Carter's Unisex Roman First Walker Shoe

Carter's Roman First Walker Shoe


Tiny feet will look adorable sporting these Carter’s sandals, which are available in two color options: gray with blue and yellow accents, and white with pink, blue, and yellow straps. The adjustable velcro straps allow parents and caregivers to find a proper fit quickly. A flexible rubber sole aids in wobbly steps for sizes 2 to 6. 

Price at time of publication: $34

Best Casual: Carter’s Just One You Emily First Walk Sneakers

Carter’s Just One You Emily Sneakers


These have a bit more of an outsole for tots who are ready for a sturdier shoe with more protection. Still, the rounded toe allows for the movement littlest walkers need.

Price at time of publication: $20

Best Boots: Lioraitiin Ankle Boots

Lioraitiin Ankle Boots


We’re suckers for babies in “work” gear, and these vegan-leather ankle boots sure look like a pair of rugged Timberlands. Pay close attention to the sizing chart to determine which is right for your baby.

Price at time of publication: $12

Best for Water: Crocs Unisex Kids' Classic Clog

Crocs Unisex Kids Classic Clog


The Crocs Kids’ Classic Clogs are splish-splash ready. The flexible foam material is lightweight and helps shed water while keeping feet comfortable. There are more than two dozen colors to choose from, and they all include a heel strap for a secure fit. 

Price at time of publication: $35

Best Slip-On: Simple Joys by Carter's Casual Slip-On Canvas Shoe

Simple Joys by Carter's Casual Slip-On Canvas Shoe


A slip-on style like this Simple Joys by Carter’s pair is what adults truly want most of all in kids' shoes: They're simple to put on and to take off. The rubber sole gives babies and toddlers plenty of security, while the textile canvas upper is casual for everyday wear.

Price at time of publication: $19

Best Style: Timatego Non-Skid First Walker Shoes

Timatego Non-Skid First Walker Shoes


We're obsessed with the dozens of pattern options of the Timatego Non-Skid First Walker Shoes. From fish to cats, each style comes in sizes 6 months to 2 years with a breathable lining and cushion for comfort. The rubber sole contributes to sturdy traction regardless of where your favorite tootsies go on their next adventure. 

Price at time of publication: $14

Best Sneaker: Nike Air Force 1 Sneaker

Nike Air Force 1 Sneaker


Though your kiddo may be in more of the roll-the-ball-and-put-it-in-mouth phase of sports interest, they can still look the part of a baller in these Air Force 1s. Unlike the originals, these have a wide, flat base for those new to standing, let alone walking. And don’t worry about those laces—they’re elastic slip-ons.

Price at time of publication: $45

Best Moccasin-Style: BirdRock Baby Moccasins

BirdRock Baby Moccasins


The genuine leather on these moccasin-style shoes is soft, durable, and a beautiful tribute and reminder of indigenous culture. A lightweight and flexible sole help promote natural foot movement and development. They are individually crafted in 30 color and pattern options and have a lifetime warranty. For every pair purchased, BirdRock Baby donates money to feed a child in need for a day.

Price at time of publication: $30

Our Research Process

We chose the best toddler and baby shoes for new walkers by studying the design and features of dozens of products on the market. We spoke with parents and caregivers, researched reviews from customers and competitors, and monitored shopping trends to bring you the best and most up-to-date offerings on baby and toddler shoes. We also reviewed guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics on what to look for in baby and toddler shoes. In addition, we considered size range, material, cleaning instructions, fit, and overall value when reviewing products. 

Who We Are

Katrina Cossey is a commerce writer, enthusiastic shopper, and devoted mom. She spent several years in broadcast journalism but found her true passion in writing about the best products for families, pregnant people, and kids of all ages. She’s researched thousands of baby products, toys, gifts, and more and personally tested many of them. In her spare time, you’ll likely find her in the beautiful outdoors of Oklahoma with her husband and 3-year-old son. Katrina's preschooler wears the Ten Little Everyday Original Shoes (mocha brown, specifically) to church, the park, and outside at home. She loves how durable and high quality the shoes are—they've shown no wear and tear over months of use!

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Parents uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Shoes for active toddlers. American Academy of Pediatrics.

  2. Shoes for active toddlers. American Academy of Pediatrics.

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