Like Marilyn Monroe said, “Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world!” I couldn’t agree more. But the search for the right shoes for a new walker to a now running toddler has been SO CHALLENGING! With all the hype and controversy out there about the importance of letting developing feet go barefoot, I was (and still am) shocked to see how common really stiff toddler shoes are.
We let OBG go barefoot as often as possible, but we do put shoes on her when we are out and about to protect her feet (from hot bricks, broken glass, dog poo!!, etc.). When she’s barefoot, she runs with more confidence and falls way less. So we try to find shoes that are super flexible to mimic being barefoot as much as possible. After a lot of searching, trial and error, my favorites are listed below. Most of these are tough to find in stores and are a little pricey, but I watch for sales and often find good deals for new shoes on eBay. Be mindful of sizing, because I find little shoes sizing to be really inconsistent across different brands. So I always check the company’s sizing guide and measure OBG’s foot. Then, when I find major favorites, I order in her current size and the next size up because she grows out of them so quickly!
Robeez – These are my favorite and definitely the most flexible shoes out there. OBG is so comfortable in them, it’s as if they aren’t even there. They are made with super flexible, non-slip leather soles. We have had several of these in every size, house slippers, the adorable Chloe boots (my FAVORITE), mary janes, etc. The one downside to these is the sizing runs REALLY big. OBG is currently wearing 6-12 months and they are big on her. So definitely use their sizing guide and measure your babe’s foot before ordering.
See Kai Run – Smaller (after 18 months / size 5 the shoes have stiffer soles and I will likely stop using them). These shoes are so cute and made really well with flexible leather bottoms and gripping material on the heel and ball of the foot.
Old Soles – Also made with flexible leather soles, they aren’t QUITE as flexible as the other two above but flexible enough. And they are made so well with super comfortable, soft and flexible leather around the heel. OBG loves these shoes so much, she constantly takes me into her closet to pull these down and put them on, even long before they actually fit her. I’ve ordered a couple of these on gilt.com and have seen them on other sites online, but have never seen them in a store as they are made in Australia.
What are your favorite shoes for the little ones? I’d love to hear from you!