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Finding the Perfect Fit | First-Walker Shoes

It’s a precious moment in any new parent’s life… Your bundle of joy, who’s been eagerly crawling and cruising around the living room floor for the past few months, is unsteadily taking their first tentative steps towards becoming a fully-fledged toddler. It’s at this point that you’ll be thinking about buying their first pair of shoes – and you’ll want these to be the very best first-walker shoes to protect their tiny toes and support their growing feet as they explore the great outdoors.​​

From birth, the bones in baby’s feet are super soft and malleable. Tight footwear can restrict their development resulting in podiatry problems further down the line, which means choosing the right shoes and socks is essential for allowing their tiny toes to grow properly. Where possible, leave little feet and toes to wriggle and kick freely during these early years. 

7 Feb 2022

How to measure for their first pair of shoes

Did you know that up until the age of five, your child’s feet will grow as much as two whole sizes each year? This means there will be different levels of support needed for newborn, pre-walker and first-walker shoes. Consider breathable, flexible and natural materials such as leather, cotton and canvas that allow for movement and air to circulate.


Once your child is beginning to walk on their own, it’s important to find the perfect pairing for their delicate feet. Follow our handy step-by-step guide, showing how to fit your baby with their very first pair of shoes.

Step 1 
First things first, the wiggle test! Have your child stand upright so that their feet settle into a natural position within the shoe, and then, using your thumb as a guide, press down lightly at the end to feel for their big toe; ask them to move their toes around to make it easier. It is recommended that you leave 14mm of growing room for closed-toe shoes.

Step 2
The next step is to check the shoe width. Feel along the outer sides of the shoe and check that there are no obvious pressure points or pinching of the material. Again, your child should be able to wiggle their toes freely.

Opt for lightweight, flexible shoes with adjustable fastenings to ensure there’s plenty of room and no squished toes.


Step 3
Baby feet are naturally rounder and plumper than ours, so checking the shoe’s depth is essential. Drag your thumb across the top of the shoe to check that there is enough room between the bridge of the foot and the material. Opting for shoes that have adjustable fastenings such as laces, buckles or Velcro will allow you to tailor the fit to your baby’s feet.

Step 4
For the final step, sit your little one down and lift up their foot to check the heel grip. Pull down gently on the back of the shoe; it should hug the heel snugly with minimal slippage. Have your child walk in the shoes to check the overall fit. The shoes should grip their feet securely without gaping, slipping or pinching.

'E' is for Early Days

Discover a selection of comfortable everyday shoes and pretty little pumps for toddlers, all in this brand's classic heritage style. 

Early Days - Light Blue T-Bar Shoes | ChildrensalonEarly Days
Early Days - Burgundy Red Patent Bar Shoes | ChildrensalonEarly Days
Early Days - Girls White Leather Shoes | ChildrensalonEarly Days

Fit for a little prince or princess

Favoured by the Royal Family, British made Early Days first-walker shoes promise the highest quality and champion beautiful, traditional style. Made in soft leather and faux leather, these timeless shoes have classic buckle fastenings and sweet yet subtle details, making them easy to style with any outfit.

Sweet and Sustainable

Donsje means 'fluffy' in Dutch, which couldn't be a more appropriate name for these super cosy shoes made from the softest leather.

Donsje - Brown Leather Saint Bernard Baby Shoes | ChildrensalonDonsje
Donsje - Brown Leather Tiger Boots | ChildrensalonDonsje
Donsje - Beige Faux Shearling Bunny Boots | ChildrensalonDonsje
Donsje - Baby Girls Pink Unicorn Leather Shoes | ChildrensalonDonsje

Rooted in kindness

If your baby has loved wearing the super soft Donsje leather boots then simply buy from this same brand in a size from 12m and up in order to get a rubber outer sole, perfect for finding your feet on any surface. Donsje hails from Amsterdam, all of their shoes are handmade to Fairtrade standards and they donate a percentage of profit for each pair of shoes to the Shining Star foundation in Nairobi. With their sweet animal designs and adorable features, they don't only look cute, they're good for our planet too.


Step into spring ...

Discover our full collection of designer toddler shoes perfect for their first-walker steps into everyday adventures and beyond. From Early Days and Donsje to Tip Toey Joey, Children's Classics and more.

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