So, when will your child be ready for their first pair of shoes? As with many things, each child's feet develop at different rates so it's also important not to put them in shoes that are too heavy before they're ready.
Your child will most likely go through three stages of walking development before they take their first independent steps. John Lewis stocks a wide range of first shoes which have been specially designed to give maximum support and comfort during each stage of development.
We recommend that barefoot is best for as long as possible, but of course there will be times when you want a bit more protection and comfort than just socks. Crawling shoes are soft and flexible enough to allow movement, while still supporting the key areas of the developing foot.
Cruising shoes will allow your child to still feel the floor whilst moving and have built in support in the toe and heel to aid standing up and give confidence before they are ready for their first pair of independent walking shoes. By this stage, your child will be able to wear more sturdy shoes, which will still be lightweight and flexible enough to allow them to run around and play.
Both Clarks and Start-rite produce these first shoes, and in our shops we fit both these brands for children. Both brands are probably best known for school shoes, but also offer casual shoes, trainers, sandals and boots, giving you confidence that whatever shoes your child is wearing, they fit properly. All school shoes are designed to be both comfortable enough to wear all day and robust enough to survive the wear and tear of the playground, while still being fashionable.