How important are good baby shoes? How much do you spend?

(48 Posts)
interwebmum Mon 02-Sep-13 12:55:50

I'm having a bit of a dilemma about what shoes to buy for my DD (9months). She's a keen walker and wants to be on her feet all the time. She can't walk without help yet and she's still quite wobbly, but it won't be long before she's running around.
I live in France and the good quality shoes are as expensive as adult shoes which is crazy considering the amount of time she'll be in them.
I'm thinking about ordering some shoes online from a British company. Can anyone recommend a good one? Should the shoes have soft leather soles?
Am I being pfb, or are good shoes at this age really important?

tearoomtrash Mon 02-Sep-13 13:05:49

I think at her stage of development she would need "cruisers". They have a soft rubber sole and toe cap, allowing for crawling without scuffing.

My one year old has a pair of Start Rite cruisers, that were bought from an independent children's shoe shop that specialise in continental shoes. The owner recommended the cruisers and said that until she is walking unaided, she shouldn't be wearing shoes all of the time, and not at all indoors. He said that there was little point in buying expensive crepe sole leather shoes at her stage.

To be honest, I barely put her in them, but they are very cute, and she got a balloon and a little canvas bag to put them in as they were her first shoes (yes, I am a marketeer's dream!).

tearoomtrash Mon 02-Sep-13 13:06:39

Oh and they were around £25 I think, so still not that cheap considering their use.

interwebmum Mon 02-Sep-13 13:18:34

Hi tearoom. Do you mean something like these shoes ?

interwebmum Mon 02-Sep-13 13:19:49

I've seen some at around £70 over here, so that's more like it.

HPsauceonbaconbuttiesmmm Mon 02-Sep-13 16:11:57

Don't bother until she's been confidently walking solo for 6 weeks. That's the advise Clark's give out. Ds cruise well from 8months. Didn't walk solo til just before his 1st bday. Would have been a cracking waste of shoes!

interwebmum Mon 02-Sep-13 17:03:21

Thanks HP. I hadn't heard that before. Do you mean she should just wear soft shoes until she's walking properly. I take her to the park and walk around her holding hands so she needs something on her feet.
I hope she'll walk on her own sooner than one year though. It's killing my back!

OneLittleToddleTerror Mon 02-Sep-13 17:09:19

Same with what HP says. There is emerging evidence that you are better off without shoes at 9mo. See

DD wasn't given any shoes until 15mo. That's when she can walk properly. Is the park ground very dangerous with broken glass? Can a pair of socks do? I've also seen in supermarkets those socks with slightly thicker soles. Like slipper socks for adults. If you want to spend more money, then brands like bobux have soft sole shoes. (They are like a piece of leather, not a rigid sole). You can also look on ebay, searching for baby soft sole shoes. Something like


OneLittleToddleTerror Mon 02-Sep-13 17:10:59

But yes, I do spend money for childrens shoes. I know I'm a mug but I buy start rites and clarks. I know other mums just buy supermarket ones for their children. And I know another who doesn't measure her kids for 6 months. She was giving me a shock face when I say I have the clarks gauge at home so I could measure DD every 6 weeks.

interwebmum Mon 02-Sep-13 19:25:26

Brilliant article onelittle! I hope I haven't done her feet any damage already. I had no idea that babies feet are composed of cartilage rather than bone in the beginning.
I grew up in Australia and most of the time we were barefoot and I loved the freedom of it. My DD is barefoot in the house, but I'm not sure I'd feel comfortable letting her run around without shoes on outside, except at the beach or in the garden. Do your kids go barefoot in the park?
I think I'll start looking for some soft leather soled shoes.

interwebmum Mon 02-Sep-13 19:35:46

Do you think I should be trying to encourage her to crawl BTW? She seems to get really frustrated by being stuck on the floor and I end up walking her around because I can't stand the whinging. If she's unlikely to start walking for several months I'm not sure my back can take it.
maybe that should be a new thread. blush

memphis83 Mon 02-Sep-13 19:42:49

Would she walk with a push along walker? Ds walked a lot with that, would never hold my hands then took off alone at 10 months, we had those leather booties linked above for a few months as he seemed to get on better when he could feel the ground beneath his feet.
We then got him cruisers from Clarkes as they were really flexible.

BlackMogul Mon 02-Sep-13 20:01:19

I always believed it is best to get shoes when they walk on their own and they are going outside. I used to see lots of toddlers in boots that laced up that were heavy. I these have gone out of favour but I definitely would goto a proper children's shoe shop so you get good advice. Some children just do not crawl and I don't see how you can make them. I think leather soled booted type shoes would be best at the moment.

interwebmum Mon 02-Sep-13 20:08:27

Thanks for the suggestion memphis. I've been thinking about one the push along thingies. I was worried that she might end up falling over if it got away from her. confused

rednellie Mon 02-Sep-13 20:19:28

Get these

I discovered them when we lived in Canada - amazingly protective, but incredibly soft, as close as being barefoot as you can get. Especially good going into the winter. Honestly, they're brilliant. I've still got my DTwins in them and they're 18months.

HPsauceonbaconbuttiesmmm Mon 02-Sep-13 20:22:06

I would just use socks when dry, or something like these waterproof booties when it's wet. Bobux are lovely, we've had some as gifts, but they aren't waterproof, so you still need something else, and too thin to keep feet safe from stones outside.

Personally, I wouldn't do too much walking with her, esp outside. She'll get there when she's ready, and probably sooner if she has a bit of frustration to spur her on.

lagoonhaze Mon 02-Sep-13 20:26:06

Nothing for now....


Twattergy Mon 02-Sep-13 20:31:26

Clarks are really good quality and do last a long time. I held out until ds was 15 months and really walking properly then bought his first pair at clarkes. They were £28 but lasted for 6 months! If you wait a bit longer chances are she'll be growing more slowly and get longer use from shoes. By contrast a pair of cheap mothercare sandals have had 10 weeks use and fit for throwing in the bin, whilst the Clarks are being stored away for any next baby!

OneLittleToddleTerror Mon 02-Sep-13 20:45:07

interwebmum I'm from NZ and we play a lot barefooted too.I took DD out in socks to keep her warm before she was really walking properly. I think you'll be alright with socks too given it's no where near winter yet. But the leather soled shoes are very good too. Like others have said, it really helps if they can feel the ground under their feet.

I agree it's looked at as weird here to go barefooted, but only if they are properly walking though. No one thinks I'm strange having a baby without footwear. I never give DD slippers at home either. I really don't see the point. (But then I don't wear slippers myself).

Oh and they will get frustrated. It's part of being a baby/toddler grin. I have a vtech first step walker for DD btw.

OneLittleToddleTerror Mon 02-Sep-13 20:47:42

Though she didn't walk outside much until 15mo (when I got her her first pair of shoes). She was mostly crawling tbh. All her leggings from that age have large skid marks on the front of the lower legs!

lagoonhaze Mon 02-Sep-13 20:49:17

I always do the scrunch test too......good sign if you can scrunch a shoe up!

DD has been walking for last 11mths. We still have cruisers as they are much more flexible.

lagoonhaze Mon 02-Sep-13 20:50:21
sharond101 Mon 02-Sep-13 22:16:09

We got shoes from a Clarks outlet. Much bigger choice, much cheaper price.

ZolaBuddleia Mon 02-Sep-13 22:19:51

We used suede soled moccasins for DD, like slipper socks.

Smartiepants79 Mon 02-Sep-13 22:24:48

My DC had these until they could walk reliably on their own.
Then buy the best you can afford. Proper fitted shoes if you can.

delasi Tue 03-Sep-13 02:25:30

A friend buys Inch Blue, DS got some as a gift and they seem good - flexible leather sole, they're all around £18 I think.

However my favourites have been the [[ Mocc Ons], another gift, the ones we have look a bit crazy but they seem very comfortable, DS is happy in them and doesn't try (or perhaps it's just succeed? hmm) in taking them off. I think the long sock bit helps with that. I think they're only around £10, which is more my speed for cruising smile

delasi Tue 03-Sep-13 02:26:09

Oh, meh > Mocc Ons

Eletheomel Tue 03-Sep-13 08:21:19

Generally I use clarks for my son's shoes (although I do buy 'poor mans crocs' for him from supermarkets and run of the mill wellies and slippers (he rarely wears slippers). Clarks shoes for him are about 30 quid (although got a pair for a bargain 9 quid the other day).

However, I didn't put him in any kind of shoes (cruisers or first walkers) until he was about 13 months (he was walking (tottering style) from 10 months old).

Until then, we had him in the buggy when travelling about outside (so he didn't need shoes) but we'd let him out in gardens/parks/other people's houses to walk barefoot and of course he was always barefoot in the house (never did socks/slippers). The more barefoot time they get as infants the better for their development, but it's not always possible depends on the time of year and nature of your child (not every child will be happy in a buggy if they're desperate to walk!)

interwebmum Tue 03-Sep-13 09:22:30

Some brilliant suggestions. Thanks all. I love the sheep skin lined slippers rednellie. It gets very cold here in winter and they look really cosy.
I'm seriously regretting ever starting the walking around actually. It's going to be hard to stop now that it's all she wants to do. Oh we'll, I'll know better for number two! (I'm not pregnant BTW, just keen, if I survive the first one) grin

interwebmum Tue 03-Sep-13 09:28:14

Who would have thought that shoes were so bad for us lagoon? It's crazy. I'll forward that article to brother who is a keen runner and just spent a fortune on a swanky pair of trainers [evil grin].
Love the name zola. Very apt for this conversation.

ZolaBuddleia Tue 03-Sep-13 09:37:47

Indeed. grin

<limbers up for a potter round the block>

interwebmum Tue 03-Sep-13 12:21:55


ZolaBuddleia Tue 03-Sep-13 14:13:00

And nude.

rednellie Tue 03-Sep-13 17:36:48

They do those slippers for adults too...just saying. Evil grin

interwebmum Tue 03-Sep-13 20:35:32

shock zola! The mind boggles. grin

rednellie I know what's going on my Xmas list.

rattlemehearties Wed 04-Sep-13 23:19:43

Hi OP, you might find this article interesting: 9 reasons not to walk babies:
Your baby will walk when she's ready. Let her crawl around for now, learn how to cruise, climb etc for herself. Shoes are a long way off!

interwebmum Thu 05-Sep-13 07:54:11

Hello rattle, interesting reading. It's confirmed what I was starting to suspect. I started yesterday, making an effort to distract DD with toys and games each time she whines and wants to be walked around. I actually thought that walking babies around was how they learned to walk blush. I've got very little experience of babies and have been living somewhere without mother and baby groups so I'm really learning on the job. Poor baby.

OneLittleToddleTerror Thu 05-Sep-13 10:41:31

Oh don't worry, she'll walk when she's ready! I never walked DD, and also didn't have those walker where the baby sits inside. (Only the push along ones, but they can't be used until the baby is fairly steady). She's just interested in getting mobile and will bum shuffle, crawl, pull herself up, cruise etc. Be ready for the phase where she pulled herself up and then couldn't sit back down. I'd never thought it's possible but DD was stuck for a week not being able to get back down. It's actually tricky because they have to collapse back to sitting for a while before being able to bend back down!

OneLittleToddleTerror Thu 05-Sep-13 10:42:34

I mean with those push along walkers, baby has to be able to pull themselves up to the walker and then push. DD just loves pushing things around. She still does at 2yo, with toy wheelbarrows, a shopping trolley and the good old vtech walker.

AFishWithoutABicycle Thu 05-Sep-13 10:44:46
OneLittleToddleTerror Thu 05-Sep-13 10:46:53

rattle very interesting article. Maybe that's why DD didn't go through the reckless run out to middle of room and collapse phase. I never walked her, but I know plenty others do. When she finally left the safety of furniture, she was very steady on her feet already, and never fell from walking. I think it must be because she's got a good sense of her own balance.

Seaweedy Thu 05-Sep-13 10:51:14

I think that French culture is much more insistent on younger children wearing hard 'proper' shoes much earlier than in the UK. I didn't have a child when I lived in France, but I remember an American friend living n Paris getting very frustrated with her daughter's crèche assistants, who kept telling her her little girl needed 'proper' shoes long before she thought it was appropriate.

Agreeing that there is no need for shoes too young. I bought my son's first pair when he was only nine months or so, because there didn't seem anything suitable for him to wear out on his little sledge in the snow last winter. A complete waste of £28, as he wore them three times!

A brand I like, and which he has had for his two pairs of summer sandals this summer (he is now 17 months) is Pablosky, a Spanish brand. Nice and soft and light.

froken Thu 05-Sep-13 11:09:57

My ds is at tge walking with help stage, mostly he is barefoot but I have soft leather shoes for when we are somewhere with sharp stones, they cost about 7 pounds ( in Sweden)

A walk along trolley is ds's favorite toy at the momen, you can tighten tge wheels to stop them going so fast to start with.

gastrognome Thu 05-Sep-13 11:59:59

I agree that it's best to let them go barefoot or, at a push, in those soft leather soled slippers (not just Bobux - there are loads of brands - have a look on Amazon). In fact I probably have a couple of spare pairs kicking around - PM me if you want and I'll send them to you!

When your daughter is properly walking and does need real outdoor shoes, then I wouldn't recommend buying online. I think it's really important to get the right fit when their wee feet are still soft and developing. In fact the one time that we did splurge a bit on kids' shoes was for the first pair (we live in Belgium so kids' shoes are similarly expensive here - but good quality).

gastrognome Thu 05-Sep-13 12:00:00

I agree that it's best to let them go barefoot or, at a push, in those soft leather soled slippers (not just Bobux - there are loads of brands - have a look on Amazon). In fact I probably have a couple of spare pairs kicking around - PM me if you want and I'll send them to you!

When your daughter is properly walking and does need real outdoor shoes, then I wouldn't recommend buying online. I think it's really important to get the right fit when their wee feet are still soft and developing. In fact the one time that we did splurge a bit on kids' shoes was for the first pair (we live in Belgium so kids' shoes are similarly expensive here - but good quality).

YoniBottsBumgina Thu 05-Sep-13 12:12:09

I used snuggle feet shoes, they were great.

It's pretty pointless to get them "real" shoes unless you literally are willing to hold their hands for long periods of time because until they get confident, it's quicker to crawl and they will just drop down and crawl for longer periods. Also, hate to break it to you grin but DS could cruise/walk holding hands at 8 months but didn't walk unaided until 16 months!

interwebmum Thu 05-Sep-13 14:53:28

It's nearly 4pm here and so far I have avoided walking LO around and it's been fine. She did complain a few times, but it's forced her to make more of an effort to get around on her own. She fell over a couple of times and even took a few shaky steps on her own. I think she could crawl if she wanted to but it's just more fun to be walked around by mum all day. So I won't be starting again.
That's so sweet of you gastrognome! Cheers, but I've already ordered some inchblue shoes on the web. Very cute, with elephants on them.
I don't know how much we'll need them now I'm on walking strike but it'll be good to have them when it gets cold.

gastrognome Thu 05-Sep-13 20:18:03

No worries - and the offer still stands if you ever need any spares :-)

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