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On your mark, get set, go! Parenting

On your mark, get set, go!

Once your tot becomes a confident walker, there’s no stopping the exploring. And even though it’s good to let your baby go barefoot to gain strength, he will eventually need a pair or two for tackling new adventures. Before you buy, check out these tips for baby’s first walking (or running!) shoes.

Avoid second-hand. Even though hand-me-downs can be helpful on your wallet, it’s best to get a new set of shoes when tiny feet are still developing. This way, a shoe can be broken in and molded by your child’s personal foot. If you aren’t sure about sizing, a good practice is to choose shoes that have a little less than your thumb’s width of room at the toe. This gives enough room for growth, and when his toe approaches the end, you’ll know it’s time for the next pair.

Flexibility is key. We all love the rigid high-tops from years past, but the stiffer sole can make walking harder because your little one’s feet are weighted, making it easier to trip. A flexible shoe will best support his developing arch and prevent improper form. If you can twist or bend the shoe in half, it passes the test. These tiny sneakers are made with breathable leather and slip-resistant diamond tread, so baby’s tootsies are protected, and he can better control each step.

Keep it closed. Eventually your toddler will begin playing outside, and therefore, be exposed to a greater range of textures and surfaces. Choosing a closed-toe shoe is preferred because children have a tendency to sometimes drag their feet or scratch their toes. And just because you opt for a sealed shoe doesn’t mean you’ll be forced to use laces on your wiggle-worm. This adorable pair comes with durable Velcro for easy dressing or removal, and they are approved by the American Podiatric Medical Association to boot.

This post was made in partnership with Pediped, a brand of quality baby shoes we use on our own little ones!