9 Best Toddler Shoes, According to Experts and Moms 2024

I’ll never forget outfitting my toddler in a pair of adorable combat boots, only to watch her fall on her face moments later. Turns out the best toddler shoes actually help them learn how to walk, and as much as I care about aesthetics, I quickly learned that looks can’t be the only thing I look for when picking the right shoes.

Trouble was I had no idea where to start. There are tons of children’s brands out there touting best shoes for first walkers, but are they legit? And what about cute, mini versions of adult shoes, like baby Nikes or Adidas? Can they wear those or only gaudy kiddie-orthopedics?

It all started to get a bit overwhelming, not to mention that a lot of the “special” walker shoes aren’t cheap. Finally, I turned to an expert to help me out. Dr. Emily Heisey is a pediatric physical therapist and founder and co-owner of KinActive Kids, a clinic in Dallas. She also gives parents tips on how to help their little kids with walking and other physical skills on Instagram.

Dr. Heisey tells me that despite my love for fashion over function, it is actually really important to make sure that a shoe is supportive for a toddler’s foot. “Children’s feet are practically all cartilage, and the majority of bone development occurs by age seven,” she says. “This means that the shoes worn before age seven can significantly impact foot development, so choose wisely.”

Luckily, Dr. Heisey has a ton of suggestions at every price point. Your little one will be running in no time.

The best toddler shoes, at a glance:

All your toddler shoe questions, answered:

All products featured on Glamour are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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    See Kai Run Stevie Walkers

    Original photo courtesy of Glamour senior editor Stephanie McNeal

    I’ve heard great things about See Kai Run’s line of toddler shoes from many friends, so its Stevie style was one of the first I tried when testing out sneakers for my little walker. I was instantly impressed by their design and the amount of support they seemed to offer her foot, plus the width accommodated her foot shape. The best part, though? They are so easy to get on and off, which really makes a difference. In fact, my independent girl has (almost) mastered doing it on her own. The colors and cute designs round out their status as an instant fave.

    • Pros: Supportive; easy to put on
    • Cons: More expensive than some brands
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    Nike Court Borough Sneakers

    For those mini fashionistas who want to match Mom or Dad, Dr. Heisey gives her stamp of approval to these Nike sneakers, which are made out of breathable materials and have a wider toe box to accommodate little feet. I like that they’re aesthetically pleasing and, as a bonus, easy to clean (I’ve easily wiped off a day’s worth of dirt with a baby wipe before putting these away for the day).

    • Pros: On the affordable side for a Nike shoe; durable
    • Cons: Not as easy to get on and off as some toddler shoes

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