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Viral TikTok Reveals Five Things to Look for When Buying Toddler Shoes

From a wide toe box to pull-on loop, make sure your toddler's shoes have these five things to help them get off on the right foot.
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By Wyndi Kappes, Associate Editor
Published January 5, 2024
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Image: Alextype | Shutterstock

Parents always want the best for their little ones, but sometimes it can be diffi9cult to discern what the best products are. From finding a safe car seat to the right coat and more, a new TikTok is also reminding parents to look down and consider five simple things when buying their toddler shoes.

Maura Powers, @mauraepowers, recently went viral after sharing her tips for finding the best toddler shoes on TikTok. After a recent “deep-dive” into the toddler shoe world, Powers realized that popular shoes weren’t giving her son the best of everything he needed to get off on the right foot.

When it comes to finding the best shoe for your child, Powers explains the five key things all parents should be on the lookout for: a pull-on loop, a wide toe box, a firm but flexible heel, velcro and a slight rise in the toe. While seemingly small details, each of these elements come together to make a shoe your little one can get in and out of easily, helps with their balance and fits just right.

Powers notes that along with these five things, she also discovered the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA), has an entire list of shoe brand recommendations for adults and children. On the APMA website, you can browse the list sorting by brands that are approved and what make of shoes.

“I was shocked to see that Nike only has one approved children’s shoe — the Nike Swoosh one is the only approved children’s shoe. New Balance had quite a few, but the one that was approved and then also hitting all the marks of everything I saw from like different OTs and PTs was Stride Rite, but only certain collections,” she noted from her search.

The four shoes she ended up narrowing her search to include:

Ultimately, for her little one, Powers chose the Stride Rite due to his wide feet. “My son is between a 5 1/2 and a 6, and he has wide chunky little feet … what I learned … is you’re not supposed to size up just because they have wider feet. It messes up their balance unless the shoe says to. So, part of why I went with the Stride Rite Nick sneaker is you can take the sole out for wider feet. So, I liked that because they don’t make them in a wide. Also, they’re really cute,” she noted.

Parents sounded off in the comments with appreciation for Powers sharing her knowledge and praise for the Stride Rite brand. “Yes this!! People talk so much about baby health and all that they do, but never enough about feet,” wrote one user. “See Kai Run is a favorite in our house! This is such great info, so many people don’t know how important shoes can be,” added another parent, referencing another Target/Amazon shoe.

You can learn more about toddler shoes at APMA.com. Plus, shop The Bump’s APMA-approved shoes for every activity.

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