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Newborns, crawlers and beginning walkers need soft, flexible, slipper-like shoes. Look for shoes with elasticized ankles that will prevent the shoes from slipping off. Shoes should also have suede or soft leather soles. If you cannot easily crumple the entire shoe up in your hand, it is too stiff and rigid. Leather soles are not waterproof and are only suitable for indoor or light outdoor use (i.e. when baby is in a stroller or carrier). These shoes also make a great indoor slipper for older toddlers.

soft-soled baby & toddler shoes

Robeez (pronounced raw-bees) is probably the most well-known brand of soft leather-soled shoes designed especially for pre-walkers. Mom's love them because they actually stay on your baby's feet! Thankfully, their cutsie-kiddie styles (appliqued choo-choo trains, puppy dogs, etc) are gradually giving way to more stylish options. Also, check out their collection of "Mini Shoez", which look less like slippers and more like "real" shoes. Canadian made and machine washable. Sized for 0-4 years. $27.95.
Also Available at: Zappos, Amazon.com and Piperlime

Shipping: USA, Canada and select International Countries

Unlike many similar brands, Pediped uses black leather on all their soles so they won't show dirt. Another difference - most leather-soled baby shoes have elasticized ankles to keep the shoes snug on baby's feet; Pediped uses velcro fasteners across the top of the shoe instead. Pediped shoes tend to look more like "real" shoes and not Robeez-style slippers. Many of their styles are some of the most fashionable I've seen. Sized for 0-2 years. They also carry flexible rubber-soled shoes for ages 2-5+. From $32.
Also Available at: Zappos, Amazon.com and Piperlime

Shipping: USA & International

I bought these brown suede sneaker-like shoes for my baby and I get compliments on them wherever I go. ShooShoos is a South African brand - they're very similar to Robeez, but they cost less. Sized for 0-2 years. $19.95
Shipping: USA. International orders click here

The perfect gift for baby fashionistas! Super-stylish sheepskin UGGs are available in three infant-sized styles, including the popular "Erin" model shown here. Rubber-soled toddler and kid styles are also available. Sizes Infant through Adult. $50.
Free shipping on $150 in continental USA. Free outbound shipping on exchanges.
Shipping: USA & International

Unlike most of the other slipper-style shoes, which are made of leather, these shoes are 100% animal-product free and are made from Toughtek and Ultrasuede synthetic fabrics. Machine washable and dryable. Pronunciation tip: Say the word “is,” add an “uh,” and put “booties” on the end. Sized for 3-18 months. $29.
Free shipping on $75.
Shipping: USA & International

A New Zealand brand very similar to Robeez but with a greater variety of styles. They use a special eco-leather that is tanned without the use of heavy metals (like chromium). Machine washable. Sized for 0-5 years. $26.50.
Shipping: USA

Jack & Lily
This Canadian brand carries two types of soft-soled shoes: Their "Original" collection features Robeez-style, machine-washable slipper shoes meant primarily for indoor use. Their "My Shoes" collection features leather-sole shoes with rubber grip pads for indoor/outdoor use. The shoes in the "My Shoes" collection look more like "real" shoes than slippers and are fastened with velcro straps instead of elasticized ankles. Sized for 0-4 years (Original) or 0-2 years (My Shoes). From $26.
Shipping: USA & International

See Kai Run
This is a high-end, Seattle-based boutique brand. They make three ranges of shoes: Smaller (leather soft-sole infant shoes for 0-18 months), See Kai Run (flexible rubber-soled toddler shoes for 6 mo.-3 yrs.) and Eleven (ages 3-8 yrs.). From $32.
Free shipping on $60.
Shipping: USA & Canada

Preschoolians makes four types of shoes -- a suede-bottomed shoe (like Robeez) suitable for indoor use only, a rubber-soled shoe for indoor/outdoor use and 2 types of rubber-soled shoes for athletic outdoor use. All of the shoes have a neat little feature -- a clear window on the bottom of the shoe allows you to see how well the shoe fits. If you don't see any styles you like, you can even design your own custom shoe on their website. Sized for 0-5 years. From $24.95
Shipping: USA & International

You can never go wrong with a pair of Chucks. These Converse "Crib Shoes" are more of a fashion statement than a practical purchase -- the soles are made of white cloth - so be prepared for dirt to show and outdoor use isn't really an option. $19.99.
Free outbound shipping on exchanges.
Shipping: USA (no PO Boxes) & International

This online store specializes in shoes for infants and kids. Infant soft-sole shoe brands include Robeez, Pediped (pictured at left), Smaller by See Kai Run and Jack & Lily. Flexible sole toddler brands include See Kai Run, Tredz by Robeez, and Pediped Flex.
Free shipping on $20 orders. Free outbound shipping on exchanges.
Shipping: USA & International

pediped - Caroline (Infant/Toddler) (Navy W/Pink Flowers) - Kids' Shoes Zappos
This shoe superstore stocks Robeez, See Kai Run and Pediped (pictured at left) soft-soled leather baby shoes. They also carry pint-sized shoes by Converse, Ralph Lauren, Uggs, Keds, Puma, Adidas and other "grown-up" brands.
Free overnight shipping to 48 states. Free priority shipping to Alaska, Hawaii, PO Boxes. Free returns and exchanges.
Shipping: USA & International (select locations)

Endless is Amazon.com's new shoe superstore. Unfortunately, there is no "soft-sole" shoe section on the site, so you'll need to search by brand or size. If you aren't sure what size you need, just pick a random size (like 1,2 or 3 for infants under 12 months; 4, 5 or 6 for toddlers over 1 year) for browsing purposes - you can consult the size chart later. Soft-sole shoe brands include Smaller by See Kai Run, Adidas, Primigi, Umi, Robeez and Pediped.
Free overnight shipping and free returns.

The Gap's online shoe store carries soft leather baby shoes by Pediped (pictured at left), Robeez and Smaller by See Kai Run.
Free shipping and free returns on all orders.


Gucci - Super-pricey baby shoes by Gucci. $195


Target - For about half the price of Robeez, ShooShoos or Bobux, you can get Target's Ministar infant leather shoes (designed by Bobux). Like the more expensive brands, Target's feature elastic around the ankles, flexible suede soles and a leather body. $12.99. (They also carry pricier Jack and Lily shoes for $25.99.)