Home SHOES'in'TECH How to choose shoes for the pre-walker

How to choose shoes for the pre-walker

From the innovative Nike Swoosh 1 to comfortable sock shoes: A guide to choosing the optimal shoes for children's first steps

How to choose shoes for the pre-walker

Seeing your baby take their first steps is a moment of joy and pride for every parent. At this crucial time, the desire is to keep the child as comfortable and safe as possible, which is where pre-walk shoes come in. Pre-walk shoes are the first ones children need and can help protect and support your little one’s feet as they begin to explore their surroundings.

Why pre-walker shoes are important

These footwear are designed to offer lightweight protection without compromising the freedom of movement and flexibility of the feet. By focusing on your child’s safety and comfort, you can ensure that they feel supported and protected during their explorations of the world around them.

pre-walker shoes | shoestechnologies

While some prefer to keep their children’s feet bare until they walk properly, there are many benefits to using pre-walk shoes.

These are the ideal footwear for children who are starting to take their first steps, as they offer great support for the foot, ensuring that the little ones are protected from sharp or dangerous objects. In addition, pre-walk shoes help to support your child’s feet and ankles as they learn to balance and shift weight, thus boosting their confidence.

The characteristics that pre-walker shoes musthave

To make the best choice of pre-walker shoes, it is essential to consider a few important factors: thin and flexible soles to promote the development of walking, adjustable closures for a secure and comfortable fit, and breathable materials, such as leather, to keep your feet cool and dry during activity.

Let’s take a closer look at the features that pre-walker shoes must possess

  • Materials: Shoes should be made of quality materials, preferably natural, to ensure comfort and breathability for children’s sensitive feet.
  • Shoe construction: The shoe should offer more freedom of movement, comfort and safety. It must be designed to promote optimal muscle and postural development of the child during the first steps phase.
  • Shape of the sole: The sole should be soft and flexible to allow the child to better perceive the ground under his feet, thus promoting cognitive and motor development. It must also have high, rigid reinforcements at the back of the foot to ensure proper ankle support and greater stability when walking.
pre-walker shoes | shoestechnologies
Pre-walking shoes with natural materials
Photo credit: naturalmovement website

And what about the size?

As for the size to choose, it is advisable to have a shoe slightly larger than the sole of the foot, allowing about a centimeter more than the big toe. This will ensure that the shoe wraps around the foot smoothly and softly, minimizing any discomfort.

In addition, it is important to constantly monitor the growth of the child’s foot, taking a measurement every 6-8 weeks and replacing shoes that are no longer suitable for the growing foot to ensure proper postural development.

When is the right time to start and stop using pre-walker shoes?

The ideal time to get pre-walk shoes varies from child to child. It is advisable to wait for your child to walk independently most of the time. Generally, babies begin to stand around eight months, but this can vary considerably. During this stage, the bones are consolidating, but the ligaments are not yet fully formed, making the feet very vulnerable.

pre-walker shoes | shoestechnologies

The beginning of the walking phase depends on the individual preparation of the child, including the strength of the feet, legs and spine. Until the baby is ready, it is preferable to leave the foot bare to promote healthy development. However, in certain situations it may be necessary to protect the baby’s feet, so in that case, you can consider crib or stroller shoes made of extremely soft materials.

It is also important to determine how long your child should wear shoes for the first steps. Again, there is no set rule, but it is important to consider the child’s individual ability to walk independently. Shoes for the first steps should be used until the child walks without tripping or falling frequently, and proves to be able to walk naturally and safely. This will be noticeable when the child is able to move smoothly and confidently.

The best pre-walker shoes

As we said, pre-walker shoes need to be flexible and soft-soled. Some cheaper shoes might have a soft sole but coated with PVC or similar material and this are simply plastic shoes that will not last long and will not help your child to have a good grip on the floor or let the foot breathe.

Pre-walker shoes should have a soft, rounded toe shape that mimics the shape of the foot, this is exactly what you will find if you decide to buy simple and versatile shoes from Ten Little.

pre-walker shoes | shoestechnologies
Everyday Original | Ten Little
Proho credit: Ten Little website

The “Everyday Original” is perfect for supporting the natural growth of feet. APMA approved, this shoe is composed of a non-slip sole and non-slip tongue, perfect for every day from party to play.

The peculiarity of these shoes lies in the fact that they are made of sustainable materials, in fact the upper is made of vegan leather, the lining of 100% cotton and the sole of natural rubber from the milk of the Hevea tree. If you’re someone interested in respecting the environment, those shoes might be perfect for your child.

For children who have chubby feet, a perfect but somewhat expensive shoe is that of See Kai Run, the Stevie II Sneaker,  they are spacious with a wide toe that does not suffocate developing feet and have a supportive heel and flexible soles: aspects that the AMPA considers important and that in fact are approved by the latter.

They also have a hook-and-loop closure, so you can put them on more easily.

pre-walker shoes | shoestechnologies
Stevie II lavender | See Kai Run
Photo credit: See Kai Run website


Naturino is a leading Italian brand in the world of children’s footwear, renowned for the excellence of the quality and comfort of its products. Founded in 1974, the company has gained a prominent place in the international market thanks to its constant focus on the health and well-being of children’s feet at every stage of development.

Naturino’s footwear is the result of a design process and is made exclusively with high-quality materials, ensuring a comfortable and secure fit for small feet. The brand offers a wide range of footwear suitable for children of all ages, but its first steps line, Coocon, is an icon of the brand, recommended by pediatricians for its unique technical features that make it ideal for growing feet.

One of the distinctive features of Naturino Coocon shoes  is the use of natural, flexible and soft materials, together with flexible soles that allow children’s feet to move naturally and develop correctly during daily activities.

pre-walker shoes | shoestechnologies
Photo credit: Naturino website

In addition to functionality, Naturino pays particular attention to the design of its footwear, offering a wide range of styles and colors that meet both the tastes of children and the needs of parents. From sneakers to ballet flats, from casual shoes to the most elegant footwear, Naturino offers a wide selection of options for every occasion, always guaranteeing style and comfort without compromise.

Naturino Cocoon, pre-walker shoes

Naturino’s pre-walker shoes are carefully designed to provide maximum comfort and support for little ones who are learning to walk. These shoes are characterized by a number of distinctive elements that make them particularly suitable for children at this delicate stage of development.

First of all, Naturino’s first toy shoes feature a flexible and lightweight sole, which allows children’s feet to move naturally and develop properly. This outsole is designed to provide good grip and proper stability, helping children maintain balance as they venture into their first steps.

In addition, Naturino’s first footwear is made of high-quality materials, such as soft, breathable leather or fluffy suede, ensuring a comfortable fit and good breathability for children’s feet. In addition, they are equipped with adjustable closures, such as Velcro or laces, which allow for a secure and personalized fit. These closures ensure that the shoes stay securely on children’s feet during their explorations, reducing the risk of accidents or slips.

The new spring-summer 2024 collection “NATURINO COCOON” offers different models made of different materials and the colors are inspired by the world of fruit and animals, offering a range of captivating and quality products.

pre-walker shoes | shoestechnologies
Suede baby booties, Turtledove
Photo credit: Naturino website

The “Suede baby booties” model in particular is made  of soft suede, available in two color variants: light green-light blue with laces in contrasting shades or dove gray with orange milks. These shoes feature a special construction with a padded ankle and reinforced heel, which supports the natural movement of the little ones’ feet. Internally lined in leather, they are equipped with a non-slip rubber sole that offers optimal protection both on the feet and on the ground.

Sock shoes – Grookz

As mentioned above, podiatrists recommend leaving children without shoes during the developmental period and before putting on their walking shoes. We know that it’s not always possible to leave your baby barefoot, especially outdoors, which is why sock shoes are the ideal option.

Sock shoes are designed to replicate walking barefoot, without adding growth restrictions as is the case with other types of footwear, especially those with typical rigid soles. This style of shoes is especially beneficial for babies and toddlers, as they are thin and flat, and the rubber soles are durable enough to protect the little feet.

The Grookz brand  specializes in the production of sock shoes for children, and focuses on creating footwear that offers comfort, safety and freedom of movement. Founded with the aim of providing an innovative alternative to traditional shoes, Grookz is committed to promoting a healthy and active lifestyle for the little ones.

Grookz sock shoes are carefully designed to replicate the experience of walking barefoot, allowing children to naturally develop the muscles and joints of their feet. Using high-quality materials and ergonomic designs, Grookz footwear offers a comfortable and secure fit while reducing the risk of restrictions in foot growth.

In addition to their functionality, Grookz sock shoes stand out for their modern and eye-catching style, with a wide range of colors and patterns that adapt to the taste of children of all ages. With an unwavering commitment to innovation and quality, Grookz positions itself as a leading brand in the children’s footwear industry, offering an ideal solution for parents who care about the health and well-being of their little ones.

The advantages of sock shoes

These footwear promote better foot health in the long run, helping to prevent problems such as flat feet and other podiatric conditions.

Children’s sock footwear is a hybrid between a soft sock and a supportive shoe. They offer the grip and comfort of a sock while providing the protection and stability of a shoe. This combination is ideal for children who are learning to stand, walk and move, as it ensures comfort and safety without hindering the natural movement of the foot.

pre-walker shoes | shoestechnologies
Photo credit: Grookz shoes
Baby Animal Sock Shoes – Owl

Therefore, the benefits of these footwear can be summarized as follows: they promote healthy foot growth in children. Sock shoes, in fact, are designed to imitate walking barefoot, offering a feeling of freedom and flexibility that promotes the natural development of the muscles and joints of the foot.

The durable rubber soles are designed to protect your child’s feet from the outside world, while maintaining the feeling of walking barefoot.

The pre-walker sneakers: Nike swoosh 1

The Nike Swoosh 1, Nike’s latest children’s walking shoe offering, stands out for its approach centered on the needs of the little ones. It represents an innovative imprint in the panorama of children’s footwear, characterizing itself as the first Nike Kids shoe  to obtain the prestigious AMPA seal of acceptance.

With its  seamless Flyknit upper, made from 80% recycled materials, the Nike Swoosh 1 offers 360-degree flexible support. Specially designed to provide support that adapts to the natural movements of the foot during the first steps, which are essential for children’s motor development.

pre-walker shoes | shoestechnologies
Nike Swoosh 1
Photo credit: Nike website

The Nike Swoosh 1 has been specially designed to facilitate this process, distinguishing itself as one of the first shoes to be recognized by the APMA for its contribution to the natural development of the foot.

Choosing the right shoes for your baby’s first steps is crucial for their development. Whether you opt for the innovative Nike Swoosh 1 or the comfortable sock shoes, make sure you provide your little one with the comfort and support they need during this crucial stage of their growth.

Credit: Oakley Official Facebook Channel

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