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Young walkers need shoes with thin, flexible rubber soles. If you cannot easily bend the soles with your thumb and forefinger, the shoes are too stiff and rigid. Look for brands that specialize in children's shoes, like Preschoolians, See Kai Run and Robeez.

looking for slippers?

Check out the selection in the Soft-Sole Shoes section. These leather-soled shoes are primarily sold as "first shoes" for newborns and crawlers, but they also make fabulous indoor slippers for older toddlers. Most brands only carry sizes up to age 2, but Jack & Lily, Robeez (up to age 4), Bobux (up to age 5) and Preschoolians (up to age 4) also make larger sizes. Preschoolians even lets you custom design your own!

baby & toddler shoes for walkers

Converse Kids - Chuck Taylor All Star Ox (Infant/Toddler) (Chocolate) - Kid's Footwear Zappos
This shoe superstore carries dozens of brands, including kids' boutique brands like See Kai Run, "grown-up" brands like Crocs, Vans, Ugg, Converse, Keen, Nike, Teva, Kenneth Cole, high-end European children's brands like Naturino, Primigi, Aster, Mod8 and Umi, and designer brands like D&G Junior, Roberto Cavalli Kids, KORS Michael Kors Kids and Stuart Weitzman Kids.
Free overnight shipping to 48 states. Free priority shipping to Alaska, Hawaii, PO Boxes. Free shipping both ways on returns and exchanges.

Endless, Amazon.com's new shoe superstore, one-ups Zappos by offering free OVERNIGHT shipping and free returns. Toddler shoe brands include Converse, Adidas, Reebok, Crocs, Teva, See Kai Run, Naturino, Umi and Kenneth Cole.
Free overnight shipping and free returns.

This childrens' shoe store specializes in flexible sole footwear from high-end boutique brands like See Kai Run (pictured at left), Tredz by Robeez and Pediped Flex.
Free shipping on $20 orders. Free outbound shipping on exchanges.
Shipping: USA & International

The Gap's online shoe store carries dozens of brands of baby & toddler shoes - They carry everything from trendy, Italian-made Supergas (pictured at left) to high end boutique brands like See Kai Run. Other popular brands include Converse, Adidas, Minnetonka Moccasins, Crocs, Puma, Kenneth Cole, Teva, Naturino and Primigi.
Free shipping and free returns on all orders.

Milk Shop
Fashionistas will love the "spare-no-expense" shoe selection at this hip L.A. children's store - they carry every "it" toddler shoe around including $100+ Sue London infant slippers, Y-3s by Yohji Yamamoto for Adidas, FreeCity "kicks", Havaianas flip flops, Ugg boots, Supergas and classic Adidas sneakers (pictured at left).

You can never go wrong with a pair of Chucks. I got my son a black pair, and I get compliments on them wherever I go. $19.99.
Free outbound shipping on exchanges.
Shipping: USA (no PO Boxes) & International

The perfect gift for toddler fashionistas! Super-stylish sheepskin UGGs are available in infant, toddler and big kid sizes. Over a dozen styles are offered. From $50.
Free shipping on $150 in continental USA. Free outbound shipping on exchanges.
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.
Also Available at:Amazon.com and See Kai Run

Free shipping on $60.
Shipping: USA & Canada
They're known for making some of the best soft-soled shoes for infants. Now, with their rubber-soled Flex collection, toddlers can wear Pedipeds, too. For ages 1-5 (US sizes 5-12).

Robeez - Dylan (Toddler) (Brown) - Footwear Robeez
Anybody who has a kid knows how hard it can be to get shoes onto a toddler. Robeez (pronounced raw-bees) has a line of toddler shoes called Tredz, which are stretchy and elasticized at the ankle, so the shoes slip on more easily. The flexible soles to promote healthy foot development. Approved by the American Podiatric Medical Association. Sized for 12-24 months.
Shipping: USA, Canada and select International Countries

Preschoolians is another company that specializes in flexible-soled shoes for toddlers. If you don't like any of their styles, you can design your own custom shoe on their website. They make four types of shoes -- a suede-bottomed shoe (like Robeez) suitable for indoor use only, a flexible rubber-soled shoe for indoor/outdoor use and 2 types of thicker 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. Sized for 0-5 years.
Shipping: USA & International

The Crocs official store carries all kinds styles you're unlikely to find in your local store - faux-fur lined crocs for winter, sports team-themed crocs, open-toed scutes, croclings with stay-on heel straps, Hannah Montana and High School Musical limited editions and more. Sizes start at 6/7 Toddler.

Sporty Brands

Adidas - Shoes come with velcro fasteners or elastic laces for easy on or off.

Puma - Like Izod, German-based Puma is another 80s brand that's making a major comeback! Free shipping on $85 orders.

Nike - Nike's official store carries Swooshwear for infants & toddlers. Free shipping on $175 orders.

Vans - Skate shoes in classic checkerboard and other limited edition patterns.

More Options:

Vincent Shoes - Former Swedish model Thomas Elbaum and Patrick Ísterman, who spent 15 years with H&M, have launched a second career as children's shoe designers. Shoes come with velcro fasteners or elastic laces for easy on or off.

Bobux -New Zealand shoe brand known for their Robeez-style slippers. They also carry a limited number or rubber-soled "i-Walk" shoes for toddlers.

Stride Rite - This store, which specializes in children's shoes, has been around for decades. A good place to go for Mary-Janes and boys' dress shoes, but their everyday styles tend to be a bit fashion-challenged.