Sole Advice

Stage of Development

What type of shoe do you need?

Hands touching feet

A foot has 26 bones, 33 joints, 19 muscles and over 100 ligaments, which can take up to eighteen years to harden to adult form. The average person walks over 160,000 kilometers in their lifetime, it is important to give our feet the respect they deserve—and the best start possible.

The general rule of thumb for your new baby is ‘barefoot is best’ but it is not always practical if the floor is too hot, cold, rough or slippery.

Below is a guide of what shoe is best for what stage of development:

Soft Soles


& Xplorers

Step Ups

Toddler & 


Kid +
Newborn to six months
Walking Solo
Experienced Walker


Newborn to 6 months:
Shoes are not needed at this age, but if chosen to keep little socks on or finish off an outfit then the shoes must not be tight or restrictive. Babies bones are soft and should never be put in to a narrow or tight shoe. We recommend Beautiful Soles First Steps made with natural, flexible leathers, wide fit. Due to the shoes’ soft elastic ankle, First Steps go on easily but even the best Houdini can’t pull them off!

Pediatricians and podiatrists recommend a sole which simply offers protection and no restriction. Crawlers need a soft shoe that is wide fitting to allow full movement and growth – Beautiful Soles First Steps or Bobux Xplorers are made with this in mind! Being made from leather makes them more durable than fabric shoes, and our suede soles offer some traction on tiles and floorboards.

Cruising and New Walkers:
When your child starts to stand and cruise around the furniture we still recommend First Steps for indoor use. When outside we recommend Inbetweenies which are still flexible leather, but they have a little more cushioning in the sole for the rougher terrain outdoors, plus Inbetweenies are more resilient against wetter weather. Please note they are not water proof.

First Walkers:

Once they are up, you will need a something a bit more durable on little feet to protect them. We recommend Bobux Step Ups for this period. They are beautiful quality leather so will breath & not smell, and the sole is still flexible enough to not harm little growing feet.

Experienced Walkers:
Once your child is running around so fast that you can’t keep up, and they are definitely all up with no downs (landing on their bottoms) then its time they had a little more protection for their feet. The range that we offer here at Beautiful Soles all have the same ethos - great quality shoes, boots and sandals that have light and flexible rubber soles, with soft leather inner and leather outer. It is important to remember that if you can’t bend a shoe easily with one hand – do not put it on a child’s foot! We recommend shoes in the Toddlers or Kids + range depending on size.