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Mistakes Parents Make When Buying Shoes for Toddlers

Toddlers aren’t as steady on their feet as adults, making shopping for shoes a little tricky. Learn three common mistakes parents make in our latest post!

Mistakes Parents Make When Buying Shoes for Toddlers

Toddlers aren’t as steady on their feet as adults, they need shoes that are made to accommodate their needs as little humans new to walking! That said, finding styles that work well for your child’s foot can be a challenge. From winter boots to flip-flops, learn tips on how to buy toddler shoes - by avoiding these common mistakes!


Mistake 1: Buying Adult Styles in Toddler Sizes

Children’s shoes should be designed with children’s feet in mind. When you choose an adorable, pint-sized version of boots, kitten heels, slip-ons, or other shoes for your toddler, their growing feet aren’t getting the support they need. Kids mostly run around and play in their shoes—so when buying toddler shoes, avoid adult-styles in toddler sizes that force kids to use their toes to grip the insoles.

Adult styles in kids’ sizes can affect gait development. Avoid heels, look for good ankle support, flexibility in the shoe, and ensure the shoe doesn’t elevate toddler heels over their toes in any way. In simplest terms, think more about how your toddler’s shoes will work for their development rather than how well they will work with their favorite ensembles.


Mistake 2: Buying Shoes Bigger Than Your Child Needs

Oftentimes, parents want to buy shoes a size larger so their toddlers’ footwear will last longer. But when shoes are too large, they slip off, cause kids to trip and fall, and makes them generally less able to walk well. Instead of buying the next size up, buy toddler shoes that fit right now: there should be one adult thumb width between your toddler’s big toe and the end of the shoe when they are standing up. Have your child walk around the shoe store before settling on a pair. Even if the literal “rule of thumb” is correct for the pair of shoes they’re trying on, if they’re slipping out at the heel, they aren’t a good match for your toddler.


Mistake 3: Buying Stiff Shoes for Toddlers

Many parents labor under the misconception that a stiff, hard-wearing shoe is best for their toddler’s feet, or for protecting them if they slip or fall. But our feet—even young children’s feet—have muscles to support us as we walk and protect us as we move. Stiff shoes make it hard for little feet to move freely, which can actually weaken growing feet. Rather than buying stiff toddler shoes, buy flexible ones with quality support at the arch, heel, and ankle. Most importantly, make sure the shoe has a flexible sole: this allows little feet to move the way they should, improving foot muscle control for toddlers new to walking.


Muck Boots offers a complete catalog of Kids’ Boots made with your child’s developing feet in mind. From winter and other cold weather boots to rain boots and chore boots, Muck has all your bases covered with toddler boots for every season of the year.