Babies feet are different to adults. They don’t have bones yet, just soft cartilage, and there is no visible arch. The cartilage is simply surrounded by a fleshy pad and it can easily be moulded into the wrong shape if it is constricted.

Even tight socks can be damage the foot at this age. You may have seen lots of cute baby shoes, but don’t be tempted yet – barefoot is best at this stage.

  ‘You may have seen lots of cute baby shoes, but don’t be tempted yet – barefoot is best at this stage.’

  • Babies feet are made of soft, flexible cartilage that converts to bone over time
  • Barefoot is best at this stage to give their feet time to develop and grow
  • Make sure your baby’s socks fit properly and aren’t too tight, as this can damage little feet at this early stage

When babies start to crawl and shuffle, and pull themselves up to standing, they’ll hold onto your hands, the furniture, and anything else they can get their hands on. Although barefoot is still best where possible, children’s feet are still extremely delicate, so it pays to protect them against bruises and scrapes when playing outside on hard surfaces.

Remember that at this young age, the nerve endings in babies’ feet have hardly developed at all and given that your child may not be able to tell you that their feet are sore or squashed, they need footwear that’s designed for their feet with plenty of room to grow.

‘Crawling is a chance for your baby to start investigating.’

Start-rite has a special range of pre-walkers designed just for this in-between stage, allowing free movement with gentle support and protection. At this stage, you might prefer to get your child’s shoes fitted by a professionally trained fitter.

Start-rite pre-walkers have the following features:

  • A choice of fittings in whole and half sizes to ensure best possible fit.
  • Softest nubuck or leather with cool, breathable linings for maximum comfort.
  • Lightweight and flexible soles, because it’s difficult enough getting around at the moment without added weight.
  • The shape of the shoe follows contours of the baby’s feet.
  • Most of the range are machine washable at 30° to make life easier.
  • Rubber toe bumpers offer security and grip as your baby is moving around and trying to walk.

Children develop walking skills at different times and your child’s first steps may take place at any time between seven months and two years of age. When babies are walking unaided for much of the day, inside and outdoors, their feet need more support and protection. They are ready for their first walking shoes.

‘Never compromise on fit, because a toddler’s nerve endings are not developed yet.’

It’s an emotional moment seeing your child in their first pair of walking shoes, but make sure they combine quality and fit. Never compromise on fit, because a toddler’s nerve endings are not developed yet so they may not notice a painful constriction, and may not be able to complain even if they do.

Choose shoes designed specifically for this stage, like Start-rite’s first walking shoes.

Start-rite’s first walking shoes have the following features:

  • A shoe designed to match the shape of a child’s foot, with a wide front and narrow heel.
  • Shoes designed in whole and half sizes in up to five width fittings from D to H, to ensure best possible fit.
  • Lightweight, flexible non-slip soles so walking feels natural to the toddler, because it’s difficult enough getting around anyway.
  • Built-in growing room around the toes to allow for growth.
  • Breathable linings for increased comfort, allowing perspiration to escape through the surface of the shoe.
  • Soft quality leather uppers so that they don’t rub and mould to the contours of the feet.
  • Secure hook and loop fasteners which are generally quicker and easier to attach than buckles, to make life easier for busy parents.
  • Buying your first shoes is a special time, so Start-rite have created a keepsake video where you can cherish the moment forever. Visit www.startritefirstshoes.co.uk for more details.

At this stage, children’s feet can grow really quickly so check the fit of the shoes every six to eight weeks.

At this stage your child starts to become more confident, walking independently and spending a lot of time on their feet. You may want shoes for different occasions, but remember to get these correctly fitted too. Their feet are growing quickly, so don’t simply buy the same size as the last pair.

‘Sandals are a great alternative for warmer weather, allowing fresh air to circulate around your child’s feet.’

At this age, children’s feet can grow incredibly quickly so you should plan to check the fit of the shoes every six to eight weeks.

Our shoes designed especially for toddlers contain the following features:

  • Shoes especially designed for children, with a shape to match the form of a child’s foot, and built-in growing room to allow for growth.
  • Shoes designed in whole and half sizes in up to five width fittings from D to H, to ensure best fit.
  • Lightweight, flexible non-slip soles so walking feels natural to the toddler, because it’s difficult enough getting around anyway.
  • Stylish designs in high quality leathers and breathable linings ensuring great looks, durability and maximum comfort.

Your child will be growing up fast and getting out and about more now, involved in all sorts of activities. But the bones in their feet are still forming, so the right fit is still really important.

You might like to try different styles of footwear at this stage, such as sandals, casual shoes,  and trainers, wellies and slippers.

‘Trainers are not ideal for long periods, so limit their wear. Rotate footwear to give shoes time to air, and to get more wear out of them.’

Once your child is at this stage, you should plan to check the fit of the shoes every two to three months.

Here are some important things to look for, which you will find in all Start-rite pre-school shoes:

  • Shoes designed in whole and half sizes in up to five width fittings from D to H, to ensure best fit.
  • Built in space around the toes to allow for growth.
  • High grade leather for extra durability and breathable linings for maximum comfort, allowing perspiration to escape through the surface of the shoe.
  • A selection of colours and styles – children love bright colours, and parents like their kids to look good.

Before you know it, it’s time for school. The last thing your child needs to worry about is uncomfortable school shoes, because they’ll be wearing them day in, day out, for up to eight hours a day. It’s important to get feet measured and buy school shoes that have been properly fitted, because their bones are not fully developed until they reach their late teens.

‘Start-rite school shoes look good and comply with school uniform regulations.’

Once your child is of school age, you should check the fit of their school shoes every three to four months.

The older children get, the more style-conscious they become, but these days you don’t have to sacrifice fashion for fit. Start-rite school shoes look good and comply with school uniform regulations.

Start-rite school shoes offer all these important features:

  • Shoes designed in whole and half sizes in up to five width fittings from D to H, to ensure best fit.
  • Stylish designs in high quality leathers ensuring great looks and durability.
  • Soft and supple leather uppers to avoid rubbing, and dyed-through leather so that scuffs and scrapes will be easier to conceal with a good polish.
  • Lightweight, flexible and non-slip soles in different styles, although in older children, heels should not be too high.
  • Breathable linings for maximum comfort, allowing perspiration to escape through the surface of the shoe.
  • Rip-tape fastenings to make putting shoes on quick and convenient for kids who are in a hurry to get going.