Soft leather baby shoes with leather soles offer great flexibility to allow the best development of growing baby and toddler feet. But as little walkers gain confidence to walk free of walls and couches, grip becomes an important factor to avoid extra spills.
My daughter’s first baby shoes were Robeez, which offered a very flexible sole with a single layer of leather. As a starter shoe they were great, with Sienna spending a couple of months from around 13-15 months doing lots of standing up, couch walking and occasional launches from the couch to my waiting hands. The Robeez shoes protected her toes, gave a bit of extra grip over socks, and looked pretty spiffy.
But when Sienna graduated to a more frequent walker around 16 months, the limitation of suede soles became apparent. Suede leather provides some grip, but when toddlers are beginning to walk more frequently, suede leather quickly ‘shines up’, as per the photo (you can actually see Sienna’s foot print!). A good feature of suede is you can scrub it with a brush in water and the textured surface returns, but I found it was shining up before I remembered to scrub it again, and Sienna kept slipping everytime she stopped suddenly. At this point I wish I had know about Pediped baby shoes.
Pediped Originals are the Pediped newborn to 2 year old toddler range, and have a leather sole, but they also have a thin non-slip coating that feels like it’s painted on rather than being a separately moulded sole, which maximises flexibility to keep the benefits of a leather sole, with consistent grip that doesn’t need continual restoration. The Pediped Originals range also has an open side stitching to increase ‘breathing’ in the shoe, even with the non-slip coating on the sole. Pediped Originals also offer a little extra protection over single layer leather soles, with 2 layers of leather and a soft padded layer in between, so they are also a good option for those first little outings outside to reduce the discomfort of little pebbles or twigs.
So soft leather ‘slip ons’ are good for crawlers taking their first steps, but I would recommend flexible sole baby shoes with some sort of grip once your little one starts to get some confidence and graduates to a more regular walker.
Posted by Scott on 24th April 2011 (www.motherslove.com.au)