Comparison of pre-walking booties

Children don’t need to wear shoes to start walking. The shoes fulfill the protective and isolating function, but they aren't necessary for the pram or when the child barely starts crawling. Nevertheless, shoes for children are a good choice for a combination of crawling and walking, first steps in the living room when the floor is cold or slippery. Although the booties are home footwear, the child can manage short spring or summer walks in them.

It is a type of shoe that is the closest to the barefoot walk, even though it can warm the foot up, protect it against dirt, hangnails, bruised instep, or painful landing on sharp stones or heated floor on your terrace. They are labeled indoor shoes because of their soft leather sole that can wear through. If you don’t mind it, you can set out for the playground, shop or garden.

Things you need to know about buying barefoot booties

There is enough room in the toe box. Stability can restrict beginner walkers. Fully spread toes enlarge the base of the body and ease the keeping of the equilibrium. At the same time, the child's movement of the ankle and the squat and kneeling position of the foot shouldn't be limited. The first booties (not only) should be soft, without reinforcement or raised heel, which would move the center of gravity elsewhere than is natural.

Although some infants can have chubbier feet, the shoes won't rub against the instep. Children's feet have a higher amount of fat than active walkers. The infants don't have an arch, but they have a smaller or bigger fat pouch on the bottom of the foot. On the bottom of the feet, there is a fat cushion. Pay attention to the fit because the booties should not restrict or press the foot.

The child’s bootie fits snuggly at the ankle and heel - the shoe can’t slip off the foot and stick out, and we want to make sure that the shoe fits well in the ankle area and has enough room in the toe box.

Measuring the foot can be a struggle, but you can find some tips in our article with an instructive article.

Toe box shape

We don't want to deform the foot with a narrow or unsuitably shaped shoe from an early age. The ergonomic shape of the toe box is essential, particularly for children with a longer big toe. The shoe shouldn’t be narrower than the foot and should copy the natural shape. At the same time, we recommend not to overdo the width and length size excess. The first steps are unsure by themselves, so every obstacle in the form of broader shoes is noticeable and can change the movement pattern. We take booties ( when we buy new pair and consider future growth ) with a size excess of 5-8 mm, the width excess of 2-4 mm.

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Nohatka & Babice

Bootie with ideal-shaped toe box. Nicely wide, roomiest in the big and second toe area, and suitable for dominant big toe of fin-shaped toes. When I compare the booties, they have an almost identical toe box shape. Babice is slightly longer, so the proportions are narrower, and the difference is 1 mm. At first sight, Babice is slimmer in the heel and around the ankle, but Nohatka has one great advantage. Around the whole circumference is a drawstring, so the shoe is adjustable. The hem is from soft brushed leather, so it doesn’t rub against the foot. If the child crawls a lot, the drawstring can be uncomfortable, so we recommend this model to children who walk. Babice has an elastic strap in the instep and pleating around the ankle for the best fit. Nohatka has a removable merino inner sole, which increases heat comfort. Both brands are made from certified soft leather. In the sole is anti-slip brushed leather. The height of the instep is comparable, and we recommend them to children with an average foot. Nohatka is made locally in Czech Republic, and that can please some customers.

Tikki Ziggy & Shapen

Tikky shoes are ideal first booties for slim feet. The toe box is perfectly shaped and suitable for a dominant big toe. The shoe is not so wide and lower in the instep. Two velcro straps above the ankle help us to adjust the instep room around the foot. Although the photographed shoes are too long, they fit nicely around the ankle. On the outer sole is a 1 mm anti-slip rubber, and above, there is 1 mm cushioning. The inner sole is not removable. The outer sole is slightly thicker (2 mm) but still fully flexible and easily bendable.

Shapen fits the average foot and mainly fin-shaped toes with a dominant big toe. The shoes are spacious in the toes, narrower in the heel ( but not suitable for skinny ankle), not so low in the instep, and convenient for the average instep. They are similar to Babice, have elastics in the instep, and slight gathering around the heel. The outer sole is made from brushed leather, and it is anti-slippery.


Bobux & Lait et Miel

Both brands have a spacious round-toebox. They are suitable for the foot without a dominant big toe because there isn’t space for it. Bobux and Lait are higher in the instep and wide in the center of the shoe, so they are convenient for chubbier feet. (… Bobux are a bit lower and broader, Lait are slightly narrower and higher nevertheless; the leather can acclimate to the foot, and at the end, the inner shoe room is comparable.) Both are roomier from available booties. They aren’t significantly narrower and are convenient for feet with chubbier ankles. Lait et Miel is higher behind the heel, more acceptable for children who walk, and overall, stiffer because of more layers of leather. The foot doesn’t rub against the heel because of the pleated leather on the circumference. Although they are firmer, more stable, and the shoe sole is from one layer of brushed and anti-slip leather, the foot doesn’t lose perception.

Bobux brand is relatively spacious, with smaller shoe opening, suitable for feet with narrower heel/ankle than Lait. At the same time, they are softer in the heel area. The shoe sole is one layer and made from suede.



The main advantage of D.D.Step is the fastening over the instep. Velcro straps will be a better solution if the elastic booties don’t fit and you need a different fastening. The shoes can have a leather strap over the tongue or a rubber strap (the shoe tongue is practically non-existent). We can tighten the boots by the elastic straps, but the height of the leather in the instep won't be affected. The shoebox is not fully anatomical and suitable for the dominant big toe, and on the other hand, the shoe tip is quite wide but round. The cut is adequate for average feet that aren’t significantly narrower in the heel. The instep is the middle ground. The outer sole is thicker, and on the leather is a rubber logo. The brand logo creates an anti-slip feature, and inside we can find the inner sole, so the overall thickness is 3 mm, and that is why it has great isolation and protection, but it can reduce the perception of the foot. Behind the heel is cushioning, but it lacks the pleating, so the shoes don't rub against the foot.

Froddo Prewalkers & Bundgaard Tannu

Let me introduce you to Baby's shoes with rubber and anti-slip sole, which can handle a bit of water. They look similar, but the differences are significant. We recommend Froddo shoes to children who crawl, make first steps, and also spend time in the kneeling position. The outer sole is soft, and it applies to the overall upper material, and behind the heel - it is the same in all-leather shoes. They fit on a slimmer leg with a lower instep and are adjustable to a narrow ankle. There is enough space in the toe box. The shoe tip gets bigger and rounder, so it is not suitable for a dominant big toe. The shoe is the roomiest by the second toe.

Bundgaard Tannu is considerably stiffer, more like regular shoes. They are slightly higher in the heel, which is firmer, reinforced, and suitable for walking children. Overall the shoe is made from tough and less pliable leather. The sole is flexible as by Froddo Prewalkers, but above the rubber layer, there is a firm cartoon inner sole. The sole is removable, so it makes the shoe more flexible. Above the cartoon, there is one layer of leather for one mm of rubber. Tannun brand has a perfect toebox, which makes them suitable pair for a dominant big toe. In comparison to Froddo, they are higher in the instep and above the toes. Above mentioned brands can be easily tightened around the ankle, and they cling to the foot.