What to Avoid when Shopping for Toddler Shoes


Children grow and change so quickly over their first years of life, outgrowing shoes at a rapid pace. With so many adorable shoe options, it can be tempting to choose style over support for little ones’ feet. But improper shoes for toddlers and children can cause major foot issues down the line! We put together some common mistakes that people make when they’re shopping for children’s shoes.

Avoid these toddler shoe shopping mistakes:

1.  Second-hand shopping – kids outgrow shoes rapidly, so it’s easy for people to sell them second hand. Every kid’s foot is different though, and should not be placed into previously worn shoes.

2.  Getting adult styles – sure it might be adorable to strap on baby flip-flops or leather boots, but they don’t provide the proper support and comfort for your toddler’s feet that they need. Look for lightweight, flexible shoes that protect the whole foot.

3.  Buying stiff shoes – stiff-soled, clunky shoes don’t allow your toddler’s feet to develop supportive muscles. They’re mastering walking and running, so they need shoes with flexible soles and plenty of traction.

4.  Guessing at sizes – it can be super tough to take a toddler out to a shoe store with you, but getting both of their feet properly measured and fitted is important. This ensures shoes will not be too tight and constricting, or too loose and causing friction. Kids’ feet grow rapidly, so remeasure every few months!

5.  Buying a size up – Since they grow so fast, it can be tempting to save some money by buying shoes they’ll “grow into.” A shoe that doesn’t fit right can lead to tripping, falling, and even abnormal foot development though. Shoes should have a little wiggle room in the toe area, and the heal should not slip out as the toddler walks.

It’s important to observe your toddler’s gait as they walk since they don’t always complain even when they’re feet are hurting. If you have any concerns about their developing feet, consult our podiatrists, Dr. Stuart Snyder, and Dr. Sara Sharma, here at Maple Springs Foot Center. Our doctors have extensive experience diagnosing and treating foot and ankle conditions for any age. To get in touch, request an appointment online or call our office conveniently located in Gaithersburg, MD at 301-762-3338.