Do Young Babies Need Shoes? 

Babies' feet grow so quickly and while they are not walking a structured shoe is not needed. It is mostly about temperature control when they are very little. In the summer they need to be kept cool and feet need to be warm in the winter. It can be very tempting to buy a pair of ‘mini me’ shoes, but these are often quite restrictive and can damage the very soft bones in a baby’s foot. They need cotton socks to keep their feet warm although we all know that these just don’t stay on! It is useful to have a pair of soft shoes that have elasticated ankles so they keep feet protected but also stay on those wriggly little feet. Leather is a great material for baby shoes as it is breathable and natural. We also test our leather to ensure that they are safe for babies and young children. We know that babies put everything in their mouths, including their feet!

The shoes need to be roomy and not restrict the foot movement at all. Your child’s foot health and early development is really important to us so, we wanted to ensure that not only do our shoes look good but that they are also the perfect choice for babies taking those first crucial steps through to being an active toddler.

Baby playing with feet while wearing soft sole Dotty Fish baby shoes


Podiatry Approved baby shoes from Dotty Fish
At Dotty Fish we have been making quality baby shoes for 16 years and have carried out a lot of research into the type of shoes young babies should be wearing and we are very proud that our soft sole shoes have the stamp of approval from the paediatric podiatrists at The London Podiatry Centre.

We produced a short video that educates parents about the benefits of soft soled shoes for children, especially in those early years. Take a look to see how the Dotty Fish shoes were put through the most sophisticated tests and hear Consultant Podiatric Surgeon Ron McCulloch and Podiatrist Fran Campbell talk about the benefits of our soft soled leather baby shoes.


When babies start to crawl the delicate skin on the tops of their feet can get hurt or scuffed. A pair of soft sole shoes might be a great addition at this stage. This gives feet protection while not inhibiting their movement at all. As they start to pull themselves up and cruise having a very lightweight, thin sole is important. It is at this stage that they start to feel the floor and find their balance. Their toes need to be able to spread out and they need to have a little bit of grip. Having a non-slip sole is ideal at this development stage. Dotty Fish suede soles are perfect for this, allowing babies to get the feedback from the floor while giving them a little bit of extra grip on hard surfaces.

Crawling baby wearing Dotty Fish baby shoes


A less structured shoe has lots of benefits, especially for growing feet and it was fantastic to see the science confirm this. Some of the benefits of Dotty Fish soft sole shoes are:

- Flexible so feet can move naturally.
- Lightweight allowing for natural ankle, knee and hip movement.
- Wide around the toes to allow the feet to spread when standing.
- Thin soled so children’s toes can grip the floor in the same way as if they were barefoot.
- A snug fit so they don’t come off without restricting movement or growth.- Made from a breathable material as baby’s feet sweat 2-3 times more than adult’s feet.
Signature soft soles from Dotty Fish baby shoes


    Your baby has taken those initial wobbly steps and now it is probably time to get the first pair of shoes. These are ‘next-stage’ shoes that have a bit more structure. A toddlers first pair of shoes doesn’t need a thick heavy sole, they are still finding their feet. An infant shoe with a lightweight flexible sole is best.

    Their feet grow so quickly, and you need to make sure there is enough space at the front so their toes are not curled up. It is a good idea to invest in a quality pair of shoes but don’t buy the most expensive as you may be buying a few pairs in quick succession as they grow. Here at Dotty Fish, we believe in bringing you quality at affordable prices – our Shimmy Shoe range is ideal for early walkers and come in a range of styles and colours. Our Stomp range have elasticated sides while our Classic Emily T-bar shoes and Oliver Boys Shoes have hook and loop fastening so they are adjustable.

    Toddler wearing rubber soled first walking shoes from Dotty Fish

    Baby walking shoes are lightweight shoes that allow toddlers to find their feet when learning to walk. They typically have a lightweight design and flexible rubber sole allowing babies to grip the floor. These first walking shoes need to have a wide toe area so little feet can spread out.

    Those first wobbly steps are precious and to ensure they take many more steps comfortably you need to ensure you get the right first walking shoes for babies. With so much choice it is hard to know which shoes to buy. Here is a list of some of the things to look for when buying your baby’s first shoes.

    - Are they lightweight and flexible?
    - Do they have rubber soles that provides traction?
    - Is the toe area wide and rounded so that little feet have room to spread?
    - Do they come in width fitting or do they have adjustable fastenings?
    - Are they made from natural materials like leather so that they are breathable?
    - Are they affordable as toddlers’ feet grow quickly and they will need to be replaced often?

    We hope you have found this informative and helpful. If you have any questions or concerns about footwear and what to choose please do get in touch on our contact us page. Feel free to share this blog with other parents as we feel it is important for new parents to be armed with as much information as possible when choosing those first cute pair of shoes. 

    Happy Toddling,
    The Dotty Fish Team