If you have a toddler you know that finding the right pair of shoes for them can be an art! Here are some great tips on how to find the perfect shoes for your toddler!
1,345,892. That is approximately how many pairs of toddler shoes I have owned between the three of my kids. Okay, I admit, that is a slight exaggeration, but it does seem unreasonably close to that! The bad thing about this is the storage space to save them for hand-me-downs. Let me tell you, it takes some space! The good thing though, is that I am by default, probably one of the leading experts in toddler shoes… possibly in the world.
When my first was little he walked early. Really early. It is a good thing he was my first and I didn’t know he was supposed to still just be sitting there playing instead of lovingly terrorizing the house. Well, with walking comes shoes and I wanted to try everything to find what worked best for my new little walker. Over the years, I tried a lot of styles, brands, and fits and developed some pretty strong opinions on what worked really well for my kids.
Of all the pairs we owned through the years, I can’t remember many, but I will always remember my son’s favorite pair of navy Stride Rite baby sneakers he wore as he learned to walk. Those shoes went everywhere and through everything on his little feet. They were the first pair he didn’t just rip off and the only pair he didn’t stumble in or just fall off as he learned to walk. I even dug out a picture!
Fast forward 3 kids and I am still a Stride Rite fanatic. All of my kids wore them, and I was super excited that as my littlest is just about to learn to walk I can now get the Stride Rite at Target! Target has quite the reputation for carrying amazing lines and they got it right with this addition for kids! Surprize by Stride Rite is available for the first time only at Target, and that they can be purchased at all US Target locations and online at Target.com. These are cute. And when I say cute I mean seriously adorable and totally swoon worthy. Did you see the little boy Darion sneaker styles? Perfection!
There are a few things that make Stride Rite shoes my favorite, and are key to finding the best toddler shoes:
- Comfort– If kids aren’t comfortable they aren’t going to wear it. Period. Make sure the shoes are roomy enough inside so nothing will rub uncomfortably, and the materials they are made from are going to support your child’s feet. I like that Stride Rite has a generous fit and all memory foam footbeds, ensuring great comfort for kids. Soft fabrics have been preferable for my kids.
- Fit– This goes hand and hand with comfort and is so important not only for the comfort of the child but also for their development. They are learning to walk along with so many other gross motor skills throughout these pivotal years. I always look for shoes with flexible soles. The Stride Rite shoes have very flexible outsoles allowing for an agile, natural step and growth. I also like to look for shoes that are made to fit with elastic or velcro that allows the shoe to adjust to their rapidly growing feet. As a bonus, this also makes it much easier for them to learn to put on their own shoes, which as a mom is a complete life saver. The other thing to consider is that the fit allows the shoe to be comfortable, but also stay on the foot. This seems like a no-brainer, but we went through so many cute shoes, which were apparantly for looks only because they would fall off as soon as my little one started walking! With a million other things going on the last thing a mom wants to do is chase after their kids trying to get their shoes back on!
- Durability- Having a kids can be like a having a little tornado. They are constantly on the move, and moving every which way. Anything and everything in their path is equal opportunity for destruction. Since I quickly learned that toes on shoes can be scratched up in 2 minutes flat and there is nothing more deflating then shelling out a pretty penny for some shoes and then by the end of day one having them look like you have owned them 3 years and went on an African Safari in them. I now only buy shoes that have rubber toes (and Stride Rite do!) I also prefer fabrics that can easily be wiped clean and darker colors that hide dirt well.
- Style– This is my unofficial 4th recommendation. As someone who has owned a million pairs of toddler shoes, I get a kick out of the cuteness! I mean shoes are a zillion times cuter when they are made to fit mini feet in adorable styles. I have found that all of my kids can be bribed with a nice pair of shoes, so I guess it runs in the family! I love how the Surprize line has all of the important features I need but also are ridiculously adorable. I mean look at those tiny boots on my little one! The fur trim. To. Die. For. And he started crawling away in the middle of the photoshoot (toes scraping the concrete) and no scuffs! Not even one.
I’m a little obsessed with the shoes I ended up choosing from the Surprize line, but I had a really hard time picking between a few of them. There are some seriously cute options, and sneakers, boots, mary janes? They are all a must right? You have to see the adorable sweater boots. I am in love and might just be back for those in a couple of months!