Wednesday, August 31, 2011

First Shoes: What's Best?

What's the best first shoe for your baby? Well, going barefoot is best since it provides the best grip, and therefore stability, on the floor as well as tactile stimulation while walking, but it's not always practical or socially acceptable. So you want to find the shoe that mimics bare feet as closely as possible. For Jett, I bought the Robeez brand baby shoe. They are 100% leather so his feet can breathe and his toes can move around and grip onto the floor. The soles are thin enough that he can feel the differences on surfaces. But they also protect his feet from ant bites, abrasions from shuffling on the floor and from sharp objects. I plan on continue using this style of shoe as long as he can fit into them, even once he can walk.
Here's a collection of ads and links for a variety of baby shoes that support this same concept. I got Jett's used from a friend through a forum who snatches up any Robeez she sees at garage sales. If you've tried any of these shoes, or similar, please share your experience!

Robeez footwear flex and bend with every step. They promote good balance and unrestricted growth, while protecting little feet from the world. They stay on too, with elasticized ankles to ensure a perfectly snug fit. Prices range from $20 to 48. Ebay sells them new and used. Adorable shoes! I got Jett's all to look like "real" shoes instead of the cute little themed shoes like the lion on the left.
Bobux are the original soft soled leather baby shoes with the ankle elastic system that ensures they are easy to slip on and they stay On!
Bobux are made from Eco-leather, a soft natural leather, tanned in an environmentally friendly method that is safe for your baby.
Bobux Eco-leather is Chrome(VI) free and surpasses British Safety Standard BS 5665:EN71 making Bobux safe for your baby even if they put them in their mouth. more info...

Bobux designs face your baby! After all they are the ones wearing them, shouldn't they have the best view of the cool designs.

Bobux are recommended by Pediatricians as the perfect footwear for children under two. The soft leather upper and suede leather sole allow the feet to function properly and grow without restrictions.

Bobux have no laces for kids to untie or trip over, and no fasteners to undo. a unique elastic system makes Bobux easy to slip on and they STAY ON!

Bobux are washable! We suggest occasional machine washing with like colors on gentle cycle using a mild detergent, or wash by hand. Stuff with paper towel and air dry.

Bobux are handcrafted from only the softest natural leather, which means we don't have to line them. This allows the leather to absorb perspiration, keeping the feet warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
Bobux feature a flexible, slip-resistant suede leather sole, ideal for toe gripping babies and toddlers learning to crawl or walk.
pediped Originals® are the first step in the pediped® footwear system and the best first shoes your child will ever wear. When children learn to walk, they tend to shuffle, so it is important for their feet to feel the floor. Doctors recommend shoes with soft leather soles because they most closely mimic barefoot walking and do not force children to change their natural stride. Priced around $32.
Originals® feature soft, flexible leather soles and a roomy toebox so feet can move, grip, and feel the floor. This way, little feet can grow properly and develop strength, musculature, and the grasping action of the toes. Originals® closely resemble the natural shape of the foot and are so comfortable your child will not want to take them off!
We encourage children to stay in Originals® as long as possible, but once your child is walking, he or she can transition to Grip ‘n’ Go
  • Leather sole, next best thing to bare feet
  • Soft, cushioned leather soles. Made with a double layer of durable leather plus a foam pad on the soles for extra cushioning, pediped footwear provides the ultimate in comfort and protection
  • Velcro fasteners. Pediped footwear features velcro fasteners that make them quick and easy to put on. Secure yet comfortable, they stay on babies' feet
  • Indoor/Outdoor use. Pediped footwear is ideal for both indoor and outdoor use, yet still provides the benefits of a true soft-sole
  • Pediped shoes have an extra cushion for ankle protection, flexible, and great for indoor and outdoor use
At Soft Star, we believe shoes should provide protection from the elements while doing the best to simulate barefoot conditions. Soft Star Shoes are designed wider, with flexible soft soles and natural breathable materials. All our soles are as lightweight and flexible as possible while still providing the protection needed.

For children in particular, this is important as the bones in their feet are still forming and not fully ossified until ages 9-11. Many children's shoes made today are simply scaled down versions of adult shoes with molded arch supports, stiff soles and foot beds that are too narrow to allow toes room to spread.

The Sof-TouchTM sole is low profile and non-skid to minimize trips when little ones are getting the hang of walking and running. These soles are durable and provide plenty of protection from outdoor elements. The Sof-TouchTM sole makes a very nice first shoe for your toddler and is used on shoe sizes 3 to 7.

Our classic VibramTM sole is lightweight and flexible, but tough enough to handle anything you can dish out. Vibram provides light cushioning while still giving a barefoot-like feel. It has a flat sole (no arch supports!) which will mold to the shape of your foot over time. The Vibram sole is used on shoe sizes 8 and up for children, and on the Rambler style for youth and adults.


Our moccasins start with a sheepskin fleece inner sole that works as a cozy cushion and naturally wicks away moisture. The wicking action keeps feet cool in the summer and warm in the winter. We then add an outer sole, of which there are several options.

Our traditional suede sole is flexible and soft. Suede is naturally durable and non-skid. This sole works well both indoors and outdoors with a thick suede for protection. More than one baby has made their first steps on this terrific sole. For adults looking for a minimal shoe - this sole gives you the best "barefoot" experience possible allowing your feet to move naturally as if they were inside a leather sock.Note: After extended wear, you may want to 'rough up' the surface with a wire brush to maintain non-skid properties.
The T-rex sole is a non-slip rubberized fabric bonded to the suede sole above. T-rex is made with the same material used by mountain climbers to provide extra gripping on their gloves. As well, the black soles maintain a clean appearance even after a lot of wear. The rubberized fabric adds a moisture barrier keeping feet a little drier when you walk across a wet sidewalk. This is not a rubber sole - but a rubberized layer for non-slip purposes. Over time you may wear through the thin rubber layer in spots, but you will still have the same sturdy suede sole underneath.

For added protection and durability, a tough leather sole can be added to your moccasins for an additional fee. Because this sole is needed only in extreme outdoor wear situations, we ask you to please call or email us if you want this option. This sole is nearly indestructible, yet it's still light weight and flexible. Because they are light and tough, they make a great camp or hiking shoe! Sticking close to home, these soles are wonderful for walking the dog on damp mornings or just keeping you cozy on the couch
We believe soft soles not only feel good, but they are also good for you! Our feet are complex structures, with 19 bones and 126 muscles and ligaments. Podiatrists agree, the more time spent barefoot, the better for the development of a healthy and athletic foot.

The soles on our shoes are soft and flexible with non-skid surfaces.
Balance, strength and flexibility are maximized when feet are allowed to develop naturally. When you or your child can't go barefoot, a soft sole that mimics barefoot conditions is ideal. Soft soled shoes are critical for healthy feet. So whether you are looking for soft soled baby shoes for your precious little one's first steps or a health alternative to the common heavy, inflexible soles made for children or just a comfortable slipper for you to relax in after a long day, Soft Star Shoes has just the right sole for you!


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