Baby, Baby Growth and Support

First Walkers – Baby’s First Steps

First Walkers - Baby's First Steps

It’s the moment parents wait and look forward to: their baby takes their first steps and a certain kind of pride fills you. Not without reason. Learning to walk is an important developmental step for children. The first steps are also the time when parents should think about baby’s first shoes. The little feet seem so vulnerable and one would like to protect them.

When do walking shoes make sense?

So how can you support baby’s development while learning to walk to the best of your conscience? First of all, you should know that the first walk does not immediately require shoes for the child. If your child is now walking freely, then it’s time for first walkers. In general, however, the more your child walks barefoot, the better. The best way to strengthen your foot muscles and train your balance is to avoid shoes as often as possible.


First walkers for indoors and outdoors? Summer Winter?
Distinguish between indoors and outdoors. It is best for your child to walk around the house barefoot or with socks. If you have parquet floors or slippery tiles, ABS socks (socks with anti-slip soles) provide better grip for the child. Your child will quickly experience that different floor materials also have different levels of walking comfort. In winter, leather shoes are also useful, but without a solid sole. First walker shoes for the winter are also available with lambskin insoles, which are advisable for particularly cold floors or for outdoors.

What should you look out for when choosing a walking shoe?

Outside, you will often take your child for trips in the stroller, despite being able to walk. Essentially, simple leather shoes without a solid sole are sufficient outdoors, at least in summer. For the cold season, firmer shoes are more suitable for the little ones’ first steps.
Sturdy shoes do not mean that they should be heavy and particularly robust. The most important thing about a good first walker shoe is the flexible and soft sole. You should be able to easily bend them with one hand without much effort. This is the only way your child will learn to roll over the ball of the foot. Or have you ever tried to walk without rolling.
Heavy shoes don’t exactly make it easier for your child to walk. A reinforced heel cap provides support without restricting your child’s stride. Since walking is an extremely strenuous and complicated activity, your baby will continue to crawl frequently. The children make a lot of effort when you walk and get tired quickly at first, to the point where they realize that walking gets you there faster than crawling. In addition, there is a lot of stumbling and falling, which contributes to the general amusement, but gives the child and the shoes a lot of trouble. A slightly raised sole in the toe area absorbs a lot. In addition to a sensible sole, the upper should also be flexible. Soft fabrics or leather are particularly suitable for this. Are these still breathable?
First walkers are available with different closures. Velcro, zipper and laces are the most common here.
More tips on the topic: How can parents support their baby in learning to walk ?


You can either have your child’s feet measured in a specialist shop, or you can make a template of your child’s foot at home. In the specialist shop you have the advantage that not only the length of the feet is measured, but also the instep. Children with a high instep often have the problem that shoes pinch even though they are wearing the right shoe length. A flat instep can lead to an unsafe grip in the first walker shoe. Anyone who thinks they can find the right size by pressing on the shoe is wrong. By an innate reflex, children clench their toes and the ever-popular thumb test leads to wrong conclusions. If you have measured the foot at home, to be on the safe side, add approx. 1 cm at the longest point. That’s how much space baby’s foot needs to grow into the next size. These safety distances are already taken into account in specialist shops. Continue to do without a footbed in the shoe. The foot is only shaped unnecessarily, but children can theoretically learn to walk without shoes.

Can I use used walking shoes?

Since babies grow very quickly and reasonable baby shoes are not cheap, many parents like to use used shoes. In principle, nothing speaks against it. Just make sure that there are no tears or perhaps holes in the shoes and that the soles have not worn off on one side. So the shoes of the siblings can still serve a good purpose. Good walking shoes are the first step towards healthy foot development.