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Real Life:: Shoe Shopping for Toddlers

Baby needs a new pair of shoes!

The Peach was in need of a new pair of shoes.  She has some tough widdle footies to fit, and the shoes I bought online and in misc. stores guessing her size didn’t really help the situation and usually ended with her crying “Mama open door peeze.”   Translation: “Mother, these shoes are not comfortable–would you please take them off?”

So, I took Miz Peach to my local children’s shoe store called Happy Feet run by the very helpful and very charming Oanh (pronounce Ahn).  What does it take to run a shoe store for the tot set?  Well, Oanh worked at a shoe store throughout high school that specialized in childrens shoes, so she is smarter than the average bear regarding the importance of good foot wear for kids.  And she has a degree in Fashion Design, so that helps pick out sassiest little numbers for your little cutie patootie.

Oahn was kind enough to share some great tips for buying your little one’s first pair of shoes and beyond:

1.) Bring your kiddo with you:  I know that sounds simple, but a lot of parents just want to quickly hop into a store and grab a pair of cute shoes.  It is almost impossible to get a good fit without putting it on your little one. Besides you can relive your childhood when Oahn brings out that crazy metal shoe size thingie that hasn’t changed since Buster Brown shoe stores day.  If you can’t bring your little one in with you,  at least trace the kid’s foot.

2.) Bend the Shoe: When your wee one  start walking they are ready for their first pair of shoes.  That first pair of shoes should be very very flexible and lightweight. Try bending it not only from front to back but twist it to test its flexibility.  It can take kids a bit of time to get used to wearing shoes, so starting them even wearing the shoes an hour a day can help them get used the feel.  Too hard soles can lead kiddos to fall forward onto their faces, so the flexibility helps with balance!

3.) Make sure there is space: The bones in an adult foot are incredibly tiny, so just think about how small and flexible they are in a baby foot. Too tight shoes can deform your little one’s feet! You want at least a half inch in the toe area for new kids and make sure they are wide enough.

4.) But not too much space! Sometimes parents want to buy shoes that are too big for their kids in a hope that they’ll grow into them.  However, that can be dangerous for their kids and also uncomfortable.  Kids spend a lot of time running and too big shoes is an accident waiting to happen.

5.) Two is better than one:  Consider getting two pairs of shoes for your little one–allowing the other pair to breath for a day. That way the shoes will last longer. And it’s not like there aren’t a lot of cutie shoes out there to chose from…

6.) Take your lifestyle  into account:  Mary Jane/Sandal/Sneaker? It depends on your baby’s life style.  Might want something a little more rugged if they spend more time at the playground.  Or invest in waterproof sandals your kid loves playing in water.

Tho’ of course there is nothing wrong with letting your little one go around barefoot and fancy free! My sister in law was a big no shoes believer for her kids.  She still tells stories about her daughters first “report card” from kindergarten saying that little Banks was “getting the hang of shoes.”

Here are the ones that the Peach and I settled on Livie and Luca.  They seem to be the best brand for the Peach’s wide footies. Which I’m very happy about since this little one will be sporting these cuties this winter.

Even the kitty likes  her new shoes.

Any other tips on kiddo shoe shopping? Any favorite brands out there?

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9 Responses

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  1. keepingupwithstella says

    Those Livi & Luca were my favorite for Stella! She really learned to RUN in them!

  2. kodie says

    what a cutie! lotsa good tips!!

  3. Esther says

    We love pedipeds and See Kai Run for our boys.

  4. Alix says

    that last photo is a killer….Peach with Kitty??? So cute.

    This post makes me nostalgic….Wolfie’s feet are all big and you just kind throw on any ol sneaks once they hit 5!! These little shoes are so sweet!

  5. Dottie says

    Heh heh! I love that picture of Minnow and the Peach. They get a long like a house on fire 80 percent of the time. But that last 20 percent–hoo boy!

    Pedipeds are awesome, Esther! I’m huge fans of both of those shoes.

    And Stella, I expect Georgia will be running shortly in those wide Livie & Lucas. BTW–congrats on ANOTHER GIRL!!!!

  6. sertyan says

    Thank you for the tips for buying toddler shoes.
    My little one is nearly one year old and she’s learning to walk too, is high time to buy her first pair of shoes.
    your daughter is sooooo cute…and the red shoes are so was her outfit for the day


  7. Vicki says

    Thank you for sharing. Such an important topic.

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