Livi’s favorite walking shoes + a video

Livi wanted to walk fairly early, but wasn’t ready to let go of my hand until she was 13 months on the day. Up until that point, I would guide her around by one hand (she wanted to WALK, not crawl) and everyone would say, “Watch out! When she’s walking, she’ll be all over the place!” My aching back didn’t give a flying you-know-what that she’d be all over the place, I was just looking forward to the day I would no longer be hunched over 24/7. Before I knew it, the day was here, and the good news is that she still wants to hold my hand, even though it’s lightly now instead of for dear life.

Livi walking  1 of 1

It wasn’t until she really started walking that I realized something we’d been doing was holding her back: her shoes. At the time, her main shoes were a couple of pairs of Robeez (one was the Target lookalike brand which are exactly the same), Pedipeds, and some sparkly TOMs Mary Janes. The Robeez and Pediped shoes were way too slick on tile floors, and the TOMs had no bend in them.


At home, we left Liv barefoot most of the time (we don’t usually wear shoes in the house) and she’d be walking with no problems, but as soon as we’d be out and about, she had a rough time keeping her balance.

I went on a Twitter mission for new shoe suggestions, and the popular ideas were Crocs and Stride Rite. I decided to get her a pair of each -the Crocs big for later this summer- and the Stride Rite shoes to fit her in the meantime.

The difference with the Stride Rite shoes was incredible– they gave a perfect amount of support while allowing full movement, and also have an awesome tread on the bottom so she wouldn’t slip. Those were her #1 shoes until she recently outgrew them. Lately, she’s been wearing pink TOMs (since she’s a more confident walker, the TOMs have been fine and the regular styles are much more flexible than the sparkly), and some sandals I got for her Easter dress.

Easter  1 of 1 9

They were only $12, which is good because we’re on the edge of too small and will move onto her Crocs.

Shoes  1 of 1

(The white pom-pom shoes are for Kyle and Meg’s wedding this weekend! Also Stride Rite since she’ll be able to comfortably dance in them.)

For shoes, I follow the same strategy as her clothes: I buy most of them on sale or clearance in larger sizes for later. The pink TOMs she’s been wearing were $17 on a Zulily sale!

If I could rank her shoes for quality and function, #1 would be Stride Rite, followed by Crocs, and then TOMs. I think the Robeez and Pediped shoes were better when she wasn’t quite walking, as they look cute but don’t allow the best traction and flexibility.

If you have a toddler, what are your favorite shoes for them? Any fellow Croc fans? I have a pair of my own to teach pool classes.. and they’re the most comfortable things ever.

Here’s a video of the little lady in action when we went to visit my mom at work Monday. The salon was closed and she was doing a friend’s hair, so she told us to stop by and say hi, and Liv would be able to walk around freely without disrupting any clients.

I asked her to do some of her funny things — the lizard impersonation never fails to crack me up πŸ™‚



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  1. Jazmine on May 8, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    She is ridiculously adorable.

  2. Julie @ Peanut Butter Fingers on May 8, 2013 at 5:24 pm

    I’ve been waiting for this video! πŸ˜€ Her lizard impression is just too cute! <3 it!

  3. AshleyC on May 8, 2013 at 5:25 pm

    We live in Crocs during the summer. So easy and so great for outside play…and THEY RINSE RIGHT OFF! We love our Pedipeds too..and of course Target shoes are great for price and quality, but Crocs are our pick of the summer…and ours are Zulily specials too! πŸ™‚

  4. Susan on May 8, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    Our favorite shoes for our 20 month-old son are actually Pediped ‘Grip’n’Go’. They have a flexible rubber sole (unlike the thin-soled Pediped ‘Originals’ – maybe these were the ones you had?) and we just ordered his third pair since he turned a year old. He had Robeez too, but they wore out really fast. I’m considering a pair of Stride Rite sandals for the summer, just to see how he likes them, but we love, love, love our Pedipeds (they also have a line called ‘Flex’ for more confident walkers and bigger kids I guess)! Oh, and I love Livi’s sparkly Toms! So cute! πŸ™‚

  5. Holli on May 8, 2013 at 5:37 pm

    So adorable <3 Both my kids grew up on Stride Rite πŸ™‚

  6. Brittany on May 8, 2013 at 5:46 pm

    She is a cutie-pie! She must bring so much joy into your lives. A quick tip for the wedding, have Tom hold Liv during a slow song and dance with her. Take a picture of it. Treasure it. As special as it is for a girl to dance with daddy, it is a different kind of special for a mother to see her little girl dancing with her daddy. I hope you have a great time at the wedding! Congratulations to Meg and Kyle!

  7. jen @nutcaseinpoint on May 8, 2013 at 6:00 pm

    I remember when I was younger, my dad’s godson could do all the animals. he would even fake spit when youd ask him what a camel did. my favorite was when you asked him what a witch did, and he curl his finger and say in his little babe voice “come here my pretty” hahaha cracks me up.

  8. Tara on May 8, 2013 at 6:41 pm

    Her lizard impression is too cute!! I’m going to have to teach that one to the kids I nanny. I also am in love with her shoes for the wedding, baby apparel gets me everytime!

  9. Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries on May 8, 2013 at 6:47 pm

    Little baby shoes just kill me! So cute!

  10. Ali @ Peaches and Football on May 8, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    The baby shoes are sooooo adorable. I love those sparkly white ones with the flowers! I grew up on Stride Rite shoes too – and that’s the brand I’d go-to if I ever had kids.

  11. Bethany Henderson on May 8, 2013 at 7:26 pm

    I am a huge toms fan, I have several
    Pairs and I love the wedges. I got my girls silver sparkly ones fr Disney world and they were fantastic, super comfy, no blisters… And we went
    7 days with no breaks, but they both had holes within a month. I then bought some
    Canvas toms for my 5 year old and they wore a hole in about 2 months. Now my 7 year Old has some fleece toms she got for Christmas and they are holding up great…but especially once your kids get active, I don’t recommend Toms because they just don’t last. :(.

  12. Bri on May 8, 2013 at 7:58 pm

    Cute video!

  13. Abby on May 8, 2013 at 8:18 pm

    Liv pretty much gets more adorable every day:)

  14. Courtney on May 8, 2013 at 8:20 pm

    She is so adorable my baby girl is 8 months and we are starting to look for shoes!!! They grow so quickly!!!

  15. Carrie on May 8, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    I think that finding good toddler shoes has been one of the hardest things ever! My daughter has really thick bubbly feet and stride rites all seem not to give her enough height. Nike sandles that Velcro shut are awesome and what we got for the summer, along with croc like shoes from children’s place.

    Does anyone have any suggestions for shoes that work well with babies with “fat” feet? We’re feeling desperate to find something!!

    • Kristen on May 8, 2013 at 9:31 pm

      My 14 month old also has chubby feet! We went to stride rite and they suggested we get a wide shoe. The girl said that he’ll probably need a wide for a while until he gets rid of the baby chub. They’ve been great. We’re on our third pair now.

    • Fitnessista on May 8, 2013 at 10:56 pm

      stride rite makes wide widths if you haven’t tried those yet!

      • Fitnessista on May 8, 2013 at 10:56 pm

        and i totally agree that finding good toddler shoes is extremely hard! especially since you can’t ask, “how do they feel? are they comfy? are they slippery?”

  16. kari on May 8, 2013 at 9:44 pm

    Bellisima Livi!!

    • Fitnessista on May 8, 2013 at 10:54 pm


  17. Fionnuala Darby-Hudgens on May 8, 2013 at 10:17 pm

    Since walking we are Keen fans in the summer, and Merrells in the winter (which are my fave). I love crocs for around the house and the beach, but i find them useless for running, and schools don’t allow them. Cute video.

  18. Christine@ Apple of My Eye on May 8, 2013 at 10:19 pm

    AHHHH! I can’t get over how cute she is! You also have a very pretty voice. Kind of a weird thing to make a remark on, but I couldn’t help thinking it hahah!

    I can’t wait to have one of my own… well I can, I’m only 18 ;). But I can’t at the same time!

    What a beautiful family!

    • Fitnessista on May 8, 2013 at 10:54 pm

      thank you!! <3

  19. Sarah on May 8, 2013 at 11:19 pm

    Ditto on your voice. I was thinking the exact same thing! It’s funny to read someone’s blog and then to hear the voice that goes along with the person πŸ™‚ Anyway…

    I LOVE Stride Rite too. Offer for you Gina: My daughter is 1 year older than yours, and I have several pairs of her adorable, pristine condition, Stride Rite shoes that I can sell you for cheap!! (Chetah print, sparkly ones, flowered ones, etc.) They are in seriously excellent condition so I have a hard time just donating them, because I paid at least $35 for each pair. If you are interested, I can totally send you pics of them. Let me know πŸ™‚

    • Fitnessista on May 9, 2013 at 12:57 am

      Thank you!!
      Yes please! Fitnessista at gmail. So excited

  20. Karen on May 9, 2013 at 12:06 am

    My kids wore primarily Stride Rite shoes because both needed wider widths and they were so great at fitting them in the stores. Just to issue a precaution about Crocs…make sure that your children don’t wear them while on escalators. My son had an accident on a mall escalator while wearing Crocs when he was about 5 or so. Luckily he didn’t sustain long term damage, but did get several stitches on the bottom of his big toe. You can Google “Crocs on escalators” to read more about it. I just worry about kids..or anyone really, wearing Crocs since his accident and subsequently learning more than I would have ever thought about Crocs and escalators!

    • Fitnessista on May 9, 2013 at 1:11 am

      wow, that’s scary- i had no idea. thank you for spreading the word!

  21. Jenny on May 9, 2013 at 7:22 am

    I’ve also preferred Stride Rites for my daughter (she’s now 2). She sometimes needs a wide depending on the shoe, and she has a high instep. SRs are sometimes the only things that fit her. Anything cheap from Target is usually too tight across the top.

    She likes Crocs this summer, but she’s so active now that they fall off sometimes. I’m more afraid of her tripping, so I try to get her to wear her Stride Rites as often as possible. She likes the Crocs because she can more easily put them on herself, so I sometimes lose that battle. πŸ™‚ The Stride Rite shoes and sandals that are washable are really the bee’s knees. They wash up so nicely. Can’t beat ’em!

  22. Brittany @ kitchen::candid on May 9, 2013 at 7:24 am

    Oh my gosh!!!!! Impersonating lizards?!? Who knew that would be ridiculously adorable?!?!?!

    And a word of warning about crocs, while there are easy for children to put on by themselves I’ve noticed that they can make children clumsy. (I never knew about the escalator danger but it totally makes sense.) I’ve seen my niece (who’s almost 5) and a little girl I babysat (age 2) both had problems when wearing crocs and both were NOT clumsy children UNTIL they put on the shoes. I think it is because children have a tendency to shuffle in them because they are so roomy and feel like they might fall off? Not really certain but we’ve had several spills, only in crocs. The second I put them in different shoes they have no problems.

    • Carrie on May 12, 2013 at 12:02 am

      Children’s Place Outlet has some really cute croc like shoes right now that have a strap accross the top. They have cuter details than crocs and stay on her feet so much better.

  23. Danielle on May 9, 2013 at 7:55 am

    So cute! Such an adorable video!

  24. Liz on May 9, 2013 at 8:33 am

    Thanks for this post & the comments! My daycare told me my daughter needed to start wearing shoes when she transitions to the toddler room this month (though she’s not walking yet) and I had no idea where to start.

  25. Angie on May 9, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    Ahhhh wow she is walking??? time does fly! I remember finding your blog in 09 and now here you are mommy to a walker!
    Ahh her shoes are too cute. Quite the collection for her age πŸ˜€ but i love the Easter sandals. those melt my heart everytime πŸ˜€

    Btw, sending you a little something in the mail πŸ˜€

  26. Britt on May 9, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    My boy loves vans !

  27. Sarah @ MarvelousDarling on May 9, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    A ton of my coworkers wear the Crocs ballet flats, and I have to say, I was surprised they were Crocs! I’m looking into getting a pair.

    I was born with two completely different sized feet (one is now a women’s 6 and the other is a children’s 11). I didn’t have trouble learning to walk, according to my parents, but we always went to Stride Right for shoes. They took the time to fit me properly, and the shoes always wore really well. Now I use an orthotic insert so I can just buy one pair of shoes, so most people have no idea!

  28. erica on May 9, 2013 at 3:07 pm

    when my nephew was liv’s age, he lived in crocs! he didn’t want to wear anything else!

  29. Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie on May 9, 2013 at 3:15 pm

    Livi is so adorable! I love that she made her baby dance! haha

  30. April on May 10, 2013 at 7:02 pm

    So cute! As far as shoes go, STRIDE RIGHT by far are my fav for my 18-month old. I will keep buying them because my friend is a podiatrist and always tells me how important it is to have children wear the correct shoes growing up – their little feet need to be ‘molded’ correctly:) I also love Nike! I am not sure about Crocs though…

    Have a blast at the wedding this weekend, can’t wait for the recap:)

  31. Bek @ Crave on May 11, 2013 at 12:19 am

    I’m sorry but I hate crocs- in Aus they are commonly known as the ugliest things ever ahah

  32. Bek @ Crave on May 11, 2013 at 12:20 am

    Ps. On kids and babies is the exception- then it’s dorky and cute. On adults- not so much ha

  33. Erica on May 13, 2013 at 8:13 pm

    We got our son his first pair of shoes from Stride Rite, the Level 2 shoes, when he was cruising and holding hands but not walking on his own. We got them at the Stride Rite store and we were really happy with them. After about 2 months he grew out of them and was a better walker, so we headed to Nordstrom’s kids shoe department based on a friend’s suggestion and I’m so glad we did! We wanted to get him good supportive tennis shoes because he’s running around a lot (and I’ll get him some summer sandals in a few weeks but it’s not quite warm enough yet)! We tried on several pairs and ended up with Nikes. The woman who was helping us gave us some really good tips for determining if the kid likes the shoes (our son is 13 months old so he can’t tell us what he feels like either). One is to watch them walk around in a few different pairs and see in which ones they seem the most “confident.” She says that you can tell if a kid is comfortable in a pair of shoes by the way they walk around. If they are running and not falling or tripping, then they are a good fit.

    I highly recommend the kids shoe department at Nordstrom. The customer service is a lot better than the Stride Rite store (at least the one I went to) and there are more brands (they have Toms, Stride Rite, Robeez, Nike, Adidas, Sperry, Keen, etc etc etc).

    Instead of sandals I might get Crocs for him because you are the third person who said they were good summer shoes for a toddler!

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