Hot Topic Tuesday: Baby Shoes

There’s nothing that I love more than a pair of cute baby shoes.  They’re an adorable, tiny little accessory that I can easily hold in my hands later when I marvel over how much my baby has grown.  And, really, a pair of cute baby shoes can complete an outfit.

The question asked this week, though, is should babies wear shoes?

No.  They certainly don’t need shoes in the same way that adults do.  In terms of development of those tiny, cute baby feet, shoes are actually not so great.  It’s important to “set your piggies free” for bone development, et cetera.

However, there are more to owning cute baby shoes than fashion.

I live in the central interior of British Columbia.  It gets outrageously cold here, like -40 degrees cold.  We spend several months of the year below freezing.  Shoes are important, even on tiny baby feet, in order to prevent things like frost bite.  Plus, babies are remarkably adept at working off socks.  Putting on shoes helps keep them on.

Norton modeling a pair of shoes.

There’s one other reason that I put shoes on my babies’ feet when we go out: it gets them used to the idea of wearing shoes when they’re big enough to run around outside and really need them.  I frequently put shoes on my children’s feet when we leave the house.  The great thing about this is I have two boys who love shoes.  My fourteen year old thinks that shoes are awesome and has a pretty sizeable wardrobe of shoes to choose from.  Norton, at age two, thinks his “bee-ohs” (his word for shoes) are just amazing.

I credit this to having shoes on at an early age, particularly when I hear from friends about how much their children hate shoes and ditch them at every opportunity.

But.  (You knew that there had to be a “but,” right?)  When we’re home or at Grandma and Grumpy’s house, shoes are gone.  In Canada, shoes are not worn inside.  Even repairmen and delivery people slip their shoes off at the door.  This is also a cultural thing related to the weather: no one wants to drag slush inside the house.  This means that my babies always get plenty of barefoot time to allow their feet to develop and move properly.  They get time to explore those toes and learn how to move them.  I have fond memories of Norton talking to his feet when he was Eudora’s age.  I’m watching Eudora explore her feet now.

So, like most parenting issues, I come down somewhere in the middle.  What do you think?  Shoes or no shoes?

About Suzi

Suzi is an American ex-pat living in British Columbia. She's a cloth diaper addict, wife, mom of three, and President of the Prince George chapter of Cloth for a Cause.


  1. Hearthstone says:

    No shoes. I was actually a big fan of blanket sleepers or footed “jumpsuits” in the winter–they can’t kick those off either!

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