Baby shoes

A Guide To Your Baby's First Shoes

A Guide To Your Baby's First Shoes

When you welcome a baby to the world, the essentials seem obvious. A nursery decked out with all of the usual equipment, a cot, changing table, perhaps a rocking chair and a whole host of clothing. This can range from onesies, swaddling, vests and more, all picked with care and size and age appropriate. 

But what happens when your little bundle of joy starts scooting about? What do you do with their feet? Socks and booties are fine while they are immobile or crawling around the floor, but what about when they start toddling? What do you go for? Looks, functionality or a combination of both? Adding to this, what size do you go for and how do you go about measuring their feet to ensure they aren’t wearing either pinching fits or dangerously loose kicks? 

Fear not, we have all the answers. For little ones, their first pair of shoes may not last very long, but will be ones that you remember forever, so they have to be perfect. 


How to you measure a baby’s foot?

It’s really rather simple to measure a baby’s feet. Simply take a ruler or tape measure and place the base at the heel of your little one’s foot. Measure up to the tip of their big toe and you have the approximate insole measurement. 

Then, simply use the guide below to work out what size shoe you might need. Remember all shoes are not created equal. You will need to try on every shoe to check for fit. Different brands will have slightly snug fits, just like adult shoes, so have that in mind. 

If you think your baby’s feet are being squeezed or pinched, you’ll know soon enough. Always check there is a little give. If you can fit a fingertip into the shoe at the back snugly, then it’s a good fit, any pinching on your fingertip and it’s too tight. A bit too much wiggle room? You probably need the size down.

Approximate age range

Insole length (cm)

UK size

0-6 months



6-12 months



12-18 months



18 months +



If you are struggling with measuring with a tape measure, simply make a game of it and draw around your child’s feet on a piece of paper, or paint your child’s feet with washable poster paint so you can get an impression on paper. Simply measure the outline in the same way, or compare the physical measurements to our size chart. 

Another aspect of sizing is width. Remember to squeeze on either side of your child’s arch and check if there is room on either side. If there is no give, the shoes may be pinching. Different brands will have different fits so be careful, what might fit in one make, just won’t in another. 

What shoe styles suit a baby?

It’s really down to style and whether your child is an early walker, but consider the following styles for baby’s first pair:

  • Booties: These soft-soled options are perfect for newborns, smaller babies and ones that can’t walk yet. They are warm, cosy and look great. Generally woollen, you can pair them with sets like hats, cardigans and onesies.
  • Soft-soles: These are perfect for aesthetics, but don’t offer much in terms of support for walking. They can be leather, moulded or soft textile but can be a great option for a first pair.
  • Buckled shoes: These are a great option if you need something that will grow with a baby’s feet. Buckles allow for incremental growth with each buckle setting and look adorable.
  • Laced or velcro: Laced options look great but will only last for a short time. Perfect if you like the design, but understand these will be a short-lived option. Velcro options are good for incremental growth but won’t look as impressive looks wise.  

Why not check out our Millie & Ralph blog recommendations for more expert tips, advice and ideas.