Shoes or Shoeless to learn to walk?? Any advice

Julie - posted on 02/17/2009 ( 15 moms have responded )

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Hi there,

My almost 17 month old is not walking. He has been check by a pedatric physiotherepast and is fine, just a late walker. He is begining to take steps, 2,3 or 4 at a time, then reverting back to crawling (which he is very efficent at by the way).



My question is, what I read from the "experts" is let him walk in barefeet. But I'm finding he walks better in shoes (sneakers or striderites). Did any of your kids walk easier in shoes?



I dont want to screw up his feet, his father has very bad feet, fallen arches, and I dont want this for him.



Thanks in advance



Julie and Seamus (My son)

15 Comments

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Jessica - posted on 01/08/2016

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We choose soft soles for new walkers. They're awesome! Moccasinis by J. Co. are our favorite!!! They're ideal for new walkers. They are handmade and have soft leather soles. My daughter has a bunch of pairs and wears them every day. You can custom order any color or style that you want. Soooo cute! Here are the links to the Facebook page and the Etsy shop:

https://www.facebook.com/Moccasinis

https://www.etsy.com/shop/Moccasinis?ref...

Melody - posted on 03/10/2009

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We used Robeez (the little leather slipper type shoes for both our boys) and they seemed to work great. Your son might just need the extra support of a running shoe to walk? I dont think its a problem either way, its whatever your feel comfortable with!!!

User - posted on 03/10/2009

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Hi Julie,

My son is a late walker too. He will be 18 months on the 19th and is in the same stage as your son. Until recently he showed absolutely no interest in walking. Now he stands up in the middle of the room and takes 2-3 steps and then reverts to crawling (which like your son he does very efficiently too). We've talked to our pediatrician and she referred us to a physiotherapist who told us nothing was really wrong with our toddler...just a late walker, that's all.
Coming back to your point, I noticed that my child was walking more efficiently with shoes on and I pointed that out to my therapist. She said if he walks better with shoes on, then keep the shoes on. I was told that he is "sensory" toddler and even the smallest crumbs on the floor may be bothering him so the shoes may be a good idea. He has been showing more interest in walking ever since I put the shoes on. I don't keep it on all day, but I try to keep it on during playtime so he gets used to having it on and to aid him in walking. So far so good!
Hope that helps!
- Salome and Aiden (17 months)

Abby - posted on 03/09/2009

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hi, i am a mother of 5 and in my experience it is better for children to learn to walk with no shoes but i always had a pair of pre walkers to put on when we went out, i wouldn't worry about your son coz every child is different, if they were all the same they would come with instruction manuals but they don't so good luck he will walk when he is ready to do so.

Amanda - posted on 03/09/2009

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My son started walking without shoes, but only because it was summer when he was learning to walk. I have plenty of friends whose kids started walking when it was cold and so they were always wearing shoes and they all learned to walk just fine.

Another thing to note, my son learned to walk barefoot and then when we had to put shoes on him, for daycare, he forgot how to walk for a day. That entire first day wearing shoes he acted like he couldn't lift his feet because his shoes were so heavy. We ended up buying some soft soled shoes, like Robeez, and then he was fine to walk either with or without shoes.

Good luck!

Rianna - posted on 03/09/2009

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hey,im in the same boat,my son is only starting to walk by himself now to,taking a few steps but he is nearly there.i dont think it makes much difference weather its shoes or not!!they have to walk in both some time

Julie - posted on 02/26/2009

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Quoting Rosie:

Hi Julie
My sister actually works for a kids shoe company in the UK which have done loads of research into this and yes it is definately best for them to learn to walk without shoes - as you little one is taking a few steps and probably holding onto furniture - they call this cruising, it is best with no shoes or shoes with very flexible soles - then when he has mastered walking you can move up to a hard sole - most important that they fit right as there bones don't form in their feet until they are 8yrs old!!! so shoes that are too narrow or too tight can really damage their feet. This is the UK website http://www.clarks.co.uk/Firstshoes - not sure if you can get them in the USA but might help anyway! :-)



Hey Rosie,



 



Thanks so much. Seamus (my son) started walking 4 days ago, it has all  been barefoot, not even socks. I know we can buy clark shoes for men and women in Canada (I'm in Canada, close to you in the UK as you can get actually, in Newfoundland), but I'm not sure if I can get them for a child as young as him.



I'll have too look.



 



Thanks again.

Rosie - posted on 02/26/2009

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Hi Julie
My sister actually works for a kids shoe company in the UK which have done loads of research into this and yes it is definately best for them to learn to walk without shoes - as you little one is taking a few steps and probably holding onto furniture - they call this cruising, it is best with no shoes or shoes with very flexible soles - then when he has mastered walking you can move up to a hard sole - most important that they fit right as there bones don't form in their feet until they are 8yrs old!!! so shoes that are too narrow or too tight can really damage their feet. This is the UK website http://www.clarks.co.uk/Firstshoes - not sure if you can get them in the USA but might help anyway! :-)

Jessica - posted on 02/26/2009

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I always read that you should let them learn without shoes first. I dont really think it matters however. My son was an early walker and he did most of it until his balanace improved without shoes. I introduced shoes and it took some getting used to but he picked it up rather quickly. If youre worried about your floors, you can buy little house shoes that are like non skid slippers and they work great. I found mine at Target. Good Luck!

LeighAnne - posted on 02/18/2009

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Hi Julie

I have only hardwood floors as well, and my Sept 07 girl learned to walk with shoes. She actually refused to crawl. I was worried about that with her...and when she did it was always backwards! But she walks very well now...except when she's sleepy, then she walks like a little drunkard :-) always stumbling into everything. I honestly don't think shoes or no shoes matters as long as the soles are not super rigid, they have some give to them for comfort and are a good fit. My daughter will stumble at times now if I put shoes on her that have grow room too...Good luck. I'm sure he'll be walking before you know it.

Julie - posted on 02/18/2009

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Thanks ladies,



It was a real worry for me for a while. Funny, yesterday he had  a snowsuit with those attachable feet on and he took more steps in that than in bare feet.



My mother in law is convinced that he is not walking because of the lack of carpet in my house. I have nothing but hardwood and tile floors.



It is great to hear there are others out there with kids that took thier time walking.



 



Thanks



 



julie

User - posted on 02/18/2009

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I have four children, and mine have all been late walkers, I chose no shoes to learn how to walk, and then as they learnt hoe to use their toes for balance etc, and were more confident walking, then I introduced shoes. You will notice in the next week or two, his crawling will soon be a thing of the past.

Teyaka - posted on 02/18/2009

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Don't worry. I don't think it really matters if they have their shoes on or not. My son started walking early. He walks great with or without shoes, however if I put him in shoes that give him room to grow in he has a little trouble. Also, sometimes the shoe string is more interesting then whatever else is going on. So that could be a battle at times! But if he walks better with shoes on, I say just leave him in shoes most of the day. Besides it will also help him get used to having something on his feet.

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