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Ages and Stages

First Shoes

Key Feet Fact: The longer a baby can walk without shoes, the better.
Fun Feet Fact: New walkers take 176 steps a minute!

The Pre-Walker (0-15 months)

What parents need to know: Shoes are for protection and warmth. Non-walkers do not need to wear shoes. In fact, going barefoot is good for muscle development. A child learns and senses by feeling the ground underneath. As long as the environment is safe and warm, let your child go barefoot. Never force your child’s foot into a pair of shoes.

Little girl picking out shoes

The Emerging Walker (9-15 months)

What parents need to know:   Barefoot in a safe environment is best. If shoes must be worn for protection or warmth, a flexible foot covering is all that a child needs.

The Emerging Walker turns Independent Walker (13-15 months)

What parents need to know:  Many children have begun walking by this age, but many toddlers take their first steps later – which is fine. Footwear should be flexible and provide a normal heel to toe off-stance for the walking child. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, “high-top shoes offer no advantages in terms of foot or ankle support over their low-cut counterparts.”

If new walkers and toddlers are not fitted properly and wear multiple pairs of ill-fitting shoes, they will begin drawing up their toes to relieve the discomfort. Eventually this repetition can cause children to develop a habit of walking on their toes, which can eventually translate to tight heel cords.

The Toddler (2 years)

What parents need to know:  Proper fit and flexibility remain the top two priorities for the walking, running, jumping mover known as the Toddler. Most children at this age will have a broad choice of footwear but for normal foot development proper fit is key.

The Kids (3 – 5 years)

What parents need to know:  At this age, children will begin voicing their opinions about the kind of shoe they want. Shoe Train fitters takes very seriously their job of directing children to the proper shoe that will not only work for a child’s foot but also their growing fashion sense.

Six Going on 16

What parents need to know:  With their fashion senses in full swing, children in this age group will direct the fitter to the styles they need to have. At Shoe Train our fitters take very seriously a child’s fashion wants as well as the need to have a properly fitted shoe.