Should a nine and a half month old baby wear shoes?

Updated on June 02, 2007
L.H. asks from Huxley, IA
12 answers

Sorry if this is a silly question, but what type of shoe should a baby wear? I have a 9 1/2 month old that pulls himself to standing and is starting to take steps with support; what is best for his foot development- barefoot? shoes? Everyone says Robeez are great, but they are so expensive. Does footwear even matter at this age? Thanks for the advice!

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There are supporters on both sides. Some parents find barefoot can help baby to learn walking better. While some says wearing shoes can give protection to the feet, keep the feet warm, and make them look better. So it's really up to the parent.

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Thank you for all of the advice and new ideas- it was very helpful!

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answers from Lincoln on

I heard that it's best to buy a pair of shoes w/ a stiff bottom to them. Then once they get older or out grow the shoe. Then try a reg. kind of shoe. I know here. The stiffness of the sole (bottom of shoe) will flectuate depending on the size of shoe & etc. Hope this helps.

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answers from Omaha on

My daughter loves her Robeez! We put her in those or let her go barefoot when she was first learning to walk. Once she was walking really well we added in a pair of Mary Janes with a flex sole and a pair of tennies with a flex sole. She is 20 months now and I just bought her a new pair of Robeez :o) Yes, we love them that much LOL!! The Target brand look the same to me and they are about half the price. VonMaur has had Robeez on sale for $22 I believe occasionally.



answers from Omaha on

When my girls were little, their pediatrician told us if we are ever going to spend sizeable money on anything for our children, it should be in the shoe department. He suggested Stride Rite shoes and so we have always had those shoes for our children. The two things that he said was very important are:

1. Make sure that you can bend them with your thumb and middle finger. Put the shoe in your hand with your thumb on the heel and your middle fingertip at the toe. You should be able to bend the shoe with those two fingers. If not, the shoe will not bend while walking and is not the best shoe. Most shoes at Stride Rite can do this.

2. It is important that the shoes come up to the ankle at this point. They need the additional support and by having a high top shoe, this should be sufficient.

Also, the great thing about Stride Rite shoes is this; if your child has a high instep or wide feet (which two of my kids did) their shoes come in regular and wide. With the instep problem, their shoes always fit my kids better. Now, for church shoes or dress shoes, I would find regular shoes for the outfit but when it came to everyday shoes, I bought Stride Rite. They also carry really cute everyday boots, like hiking boots, for the winter months.

This makes me long for the days of when my kids let me pick out their clothes and shoes......!



answers from Lincoln on

Babies don't need any shoes at all until they actually get the hang of walking, and then I'd use shoes only outside. Target has some Robeez knockoffs, but in the summer, I'd just let him go barefoot.



answers from Boise on

They have a similar kind of shoe (like robeez) at Target. I really like the leather, slipper like shoe for babies that age, who are learning to walk. I would say just stay away from any shoe that has a sole that doesn't allow her foot to flex as she moves around.



answers from Lincoln on

Bare feet and soft soles shoes are what our ped. recommended. My kids have high insteps so my daughter could not wear the Robeez brand, so i found shoes called Pedoodles ( They are like robeez but have a velcro open so I could get her foot in easier. They also have a shoe thats flex sole but its a rubber type sole thats great for outdoors. My son fit into the Taget style robbeez and when he turned one he got regular shoes. Good luck! W.

W. D.
Usborne Books Consultant



answers from Omaha on

I bought the leather shoes, I guess you are calling them Robeez at Target. They were on clearance for 50%. (Only reason I bought them. I was told not to put them in hard sole shoes. Kids need to be able to flex their feet. Mostly my youngest goes without shoes. He has thick feet and shoes never stay on but those leather shoes, Robeez do. They are the only ones that i have found that do. Usually they get kicked off, pulled, off, fall off, etc. For now I would think some sleeper socks would do fine. We have wood floors and it's either sleeper socks or bare feet.



answers from Detroit on

Barefoot is best when you can but I have to agree about the Robeez. I have had them for both of my girls. They can be pricey but you can go to places like Target and get the same tyoe of shoe in the baby department for less money.



answers from Des Moines on

Our kids pretty much went barefooted or socked unless. Once they started cruising around furniture our peds said we should start looking to get him into a hard soled shoe. The shoe would give their foot support to and help to strengthen their ankles. We bought their first pairs at Stride Rite (There's a basic white slightly high top one that is very good)

Stride Rite can be a bit more. But they have great shoes. And coming from someone who got the privilege of leg braces to straighten my feet and 3 doctor recommend these shoes. My feet rolled under each other at first.



answers from Great Falls on

Most of what I have read and been told by my daughters pediatrician is that barefoot is always best. It helps their arches to form and strengthens the feet. Shoes aren't used unless outside walking or standing so that feet are protected.

Here is something I found on regarding shoes. HOpe this helps


E-mail Print

Baby Care Today: Old Advice You Can Safely Ignore

Pages in this Story:

• Bath Time & Fever Cures • Pigeon Toes & Dancing Feet
• Sleeping • Walking
• Feeding

Fancy Footwear
Old Advice: Babies' first shoes should be hard-soled and cover the ankle. Infants need firm support to keep their feet properly aligned.

New Advice: Flexible shoes with nonskid soles are best for babies. However, doctors also recommend keeping infants barefoot as much as possible while they're learning to walk indoors. "I tell my patients that there are three reasons to put shoes on babies: to protect their feet when they're walking outdoors, to keep their feet warm, and to make them look pretty," says Lane France, M.D., of the Pediatric Health Care Alliance, in Tampa, who has been in practice for 28 years."



answers from Omaha on

I have been told that they shouldn't wear hard sole shoes until they are one. My son went barefoot for a long time, until he started walking when he was 9 months, then I got Robeez-type shoes. I don't know the reasons for this, just that "they" say that it's better for babies feet to be able to flex...the Robeez, or Shoe-Shoes or Target has some that are cheaper and just as good...but they are good and super cute, too.



answers from Davenport on

There are no dumb questions, dear!

I agree with going barefoot or stocking feet unless necessary. Our kids both went without shoes until they were up and walking around outdoors and everywhere. In fact, a guy at church used to tease us, "Are things that bad? Baby needs a new pair of shoes!" ;)

I would say, "How can you cover up such cute feet?!"

Unless there's a specific problem with the feet, let 'em go natural!

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