5 Best Shoes For Baby Foot Development

best shoes for baby foot development

*Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are our own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission. Thank you for your support!

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What are the best shoes for baby foot development?

Shoes for babies should be made with breathable materials, have a wide toe box, slip-resistant and flexible soles to help with walking development, and be approved by APMA.

I bought and tested various baby and kids shoes and determined that the best shoes for baby foot development are Ten Little First Walkers for infants and toddlers, and Saguaro Kids’ Luck Barefoot Shoes for kids.

Both shoes have wide toe boxes which are important to promote healthy foot development and minimize the risk of developing foot problems later in life.

Ten Little First Walkers go an extra step by having the Seal of Acceptance/Approval by the American Podiatric Medical Association.

Top choices

  1. Best shoes for new walking baby: Ten Little First Walkers

  2. Best shoes for children: Saguaro Kids Luck Barefoot Shoes

  3. Best affordable shoes: Ikiki Shoes

  4. Best closed-toe sandals: Ten Little Everyday Sandals

  5. Best waterproof sneakers: Reima Kiirus Sneakers

Best shoes for baby foot development

Here are my thoughts on the shoes I mentioned above and why I think you should consider them.

Image: Ten Little

1. Ten Little First Walkers

APMA-approved shoes to support healthy foot development in babies and toddlers.

My daughter began wearing “cute” shoes because… well, they were cute. 

But when I learned about the dangers of wearing generic baby shoes, I did lots of research to find shoes that promote healthy foot development in children.

The Ten Little First Walkers are APMA-approved and have the Seal of Approval/Acceptance, which means that they are beneficial to healthy foot development.

These shoes have a wide toe box that gives my baby’s feet plenty of room to grow and does not squeeze or restrict her foot development.

They also have a flexible sole that allows her to walk naturally. The sole is slip-resistant which I thought was important to prevent slipping as she learned to walk.

The breathable cotton upper allows her feet to breathe, prevents them from sweating, and minimizes foot odor.

The wide opening and velcro straps allow for easy on and off and also helped my daughter to put the shoes on independently.

You can read my full review of the First Walkers and why I considered them to be the best shoes for new walkers.


Ten Little First Walkers

Sizes available

3, 3.5, 4, 4.5, 5, 5.5, 6

Colors available

Heather Gray, Navy Blue, Rose Pink, Sage Green, Ocean Blue


100% cotton lining, 70% cotton / 30% polyester textile upper


Natural rubber outsole

Image: Saguaro

2. Saguaro Kids Luck Barefoot Shoes

Best barefoot shoes for children for a natural feel.

We are slowly transitioning to another of my favorite brands: Saguaro.

My first impression of the Saguaro Kids Luck Barefoot Shoes is the zero-drop feature. Zero-drop shoes have minimal cushioning and keep the heel and forefoot at the same level.

This allows for natural movement and can help strengthen your child’s foot muscles, improve balance, and improve athletic performance. This is a huge plus since kids love running!

I like the design of the outsole because the way it is designed improves traction and minimizes skids and falls.

The design of the toe box also follows the natural mechanics of a kid’s foot which enhances foot health.

The velcro strap is also designed to make it easy for kids to put them on and take them off independently. 

When you are ready to buy, make sure to use my code LATINXMONTESSORI to save 10%.


Saguaro Kids Luck Barefoot Shoes

Sizes available

1, 2, 2.5, 3.5, 4, 7.5, 8.5, 9, 10, 11, 12, 12.5, 13

Colors available

Green, Pink, Blue, Black, White


Mesh upper and lining



Image: Ikiki

3. Ikiki Shoes

Affordable APMA-approved shoes for babies learning to walk.

This is another great brand that I trust because the Ikiki Shoes also have the Seal of Approval/Acceptance by APMA.

What I like about these shoes is that they are extremely lightweight. I felt this was important because I wanted my daughter to not have extra weight on her feet when she was learning to walk.

One great benefit of these shoes is that they are compatible with many AFOs, SMOs, and other orthotics. This does not apply to us but it’s great to know that they are compatible.

The high-top design provides a little extra support to your baby’s feet, plus the wide opening allows you to put them on your baby almost effortlessly. 


Ikiki Shoes

Sizes available

2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13

Colors available

6 designs available


Breathable fabric


Flexible rubber

Image: Ten Little

4. Ten Little Everyday Sandals

Best closed-toe sandals that are APMA-approved to support healthy foot development.

If you are looking for sandals that protect your kid’s toes, the Everyday Sandals are a top choice. 

Just like the First Walkers, these sandals are APMA-approved which is something that I truly appreciate because I know my daughter won’t develop foot problems.

They also have a wide toe box so your kid’s feet can spread out, and this allows for extra room to grow. 

They are water-resistant and are made with quick-dry materials that improve comfort.

The textured insoles help your baby’s feet stay in place instead of sliding up and down which can be very uncomfortable. 

And just like any other Ten Little shoes, the soles are flexible to allow for natural foot movement.


Ten Little Everyday Sandals

Sizes available

4, 4.5, 5, 5.5, 6, 6.5, 7, 7.5, 8, 8.5, 9, 9.5, 10, 10.5, 11, 11.5, 12, 12.5, 13

Colors available

Sandy Brown, Soft Pink, Slate Blue


Water-resistant, non-toxic, and quick-dry materials


Image: Reima

5. Reima Kiirus Sneakers

Great waterproof shoes that can be used in (almost) any type of weather.

Reima makes great quality products, from snowsuits, to running gear, and snow boots. The Kiirus Sneakers are no exception.

Let’s be honest, kids like to explore and spend lots of time outside regardless of the weather, and you need shoes that will keep their feet dry.

These sneakers have a waterproof membrane inside the shoe that keeps water out. 

The quality of these shoes is great but the only thing I didn’t like is that the toe box is not as wide compared to other shoes.

I like how instead of shoelaces, it has a velcro strap that begins at the toe area, so you can tighten these shoes by pulling on the strap.

The soles are also a bit stiffer so your baby will walk a bit funny because they are not able to bend their feet as they walk.

Overall, I think these are great shoes for older kids who spend a lot of time outdoors and you need something that will take a lot of damage and still retain its quality.


Reima Kiirus Waterproof Sneakers

Sizes available

4.5/5, 5.5, 6/6.5, 7.5, 8, 8.5/9, 9.5, 10/10/5, 11

Colors available

Soft Rose, Black, Greyish Green


Upper made of synthetic material and textile, Vegan


Synthetic material

How did I choose these shoes?

As a parent, I want the best for my child and that includes shoes that promote healthy foot development.

I did not want to get her any shoes just because they were cute. So I did a lot of research and learned about APMA and what should be considered when buying baby shoes.

What I consider important in baby shoes for foot development are:

  • APMA-approved because I know they have been tested and approved by podiatrists.
  • Comfortable, and that means the correct size.
  • Wide toe box, which contributes to comfortability.
  • Soft, flexible, and nonskid sole.
  • Velcro straps so your child learns to put them on.
  • Wide opening, also so your child learns to put them on and take them off.
  • Firm yet flexible heel cup.
  • Slight rise in the toes, but I prefer zero-drop.


What to do next?

After testing various shoes, the First Walkers are my top choice, and Ten Little shoes in general are my favorite.

For a more natural feel with zero-drop features, the Saguaro Kids Luck Barefoot Shoes are the runner-up.

So here you have a good list of the best shoes for baby foot development. So choose one or a few pairs and enjoy a good time with your little one.

About Leslie - Latinx Montessori

Hello, I am Leslie. I am on a mission to help you support the growth and development of your child. With the right tools and proper guidance, you can navigate parenthood with confidence and assertion! My goal is to equip you with knowledge to help you construct a strong foundation for your child’s life.

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