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Hi there,

My 12 month old son has just started walking (about 10 steps or so) and I was seeking advice on when is the best time to buy him shoes. Some say now that he has started, but others say barefoot is best at this stage. Should I wait until he is confidently walking? Also, any recommendations on shoe shops in NSW for kids?

Barefoot is best whenever it's practical (eg at home). At this stage shoes are only really needed if he's going to be walking outside or anywhere there's a chance he will step on or in something (like at the shops).

My kids first shoes were always the soft pre-walkers from Kmart or Big W etc. I kept them out of the hard soled shoes for as long as possible.

Karen, DS1 31/8/03, DD 12/3/07, DS2 16/12/09

My son is almost 1 and has been walking for a while and I wanted to keep him in soft soled shoes (prewalkers) but they only go up to size 6 maximum and DS is in size 7s now (big boy) so I keep him in barefeet at home and if we're at the supermarket or indoors I have those padded bootie type things with grip-pads on the bottom.

If we're somewhere where he could treat on something sharp or something like a bee for example, I put him in hard-soled shoes (as that's all that fits).

Long story short, barefeet is best for indoors and soft soles for everything else but, if your little one has big feet too, you won't have much choice but to go for hard shoes.

Most baby shops stock good quality shoes. Target and Kmart are good for soft-soled shoes.
Like said above, Soft shoes are best for the first while when shoes are required. Real leather soft soled shoes are best, as they stretch with bubs foot. There are alot of Cheapo soft shoes you can buy, but one company that I got great product, and wear out of was ROBEEZ!

check em out at
they are canadian(so am I), but they are reasonably priced, and great value, my son's are still as nice as new, becuase you can put em int he washing machine.

I have a 15 month old dd and i have actually found the fisher price brand shoes at kmart really good. They are leather, have some really cute shoes and the soles are nice and soft.

I was actually just at Betts Kids shoe store today asking the same question as you. My son has been walking everywhere for about 4 weeks now and generally gets around with bare feet or soft soled shoes when outside.

The sales assistant told me that when he has been walking confidently, without too many wobbles, for about 8 weeks to buy some hard soled shoes. She also said that when you first put them in hard shoes they tend to walk around like frankenstein until they are used to them.
We bought pre walkers from Cheeky Little Soles and they are fantastic. They are soft leather that can be washed. Highly recommend them.

SA, 2 boys

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