How Quickly Do Babies' Feet Grow?

How Quickly Do Babies' Feet Grow?

Babies' feet are cute to look at, but a minefield to understand. How fast do they grow? When do you need to buy the first shoes for walking in? And will they ever stop growing?!

These are all valid questions! Luckily, we’ve got the answers and the support you need to navigate your way through tiny toes and first shoes. Read on to find out the key milestones for foot growth and to discover which type of shoes you should buy for different stages. We also cover tips for knowing when to change your babies’ shoes. 


How fast do babies’ feet grow? A milestone guide

Every tootsie grows at a different rate and this doesn’t always correlate with age. However, there is a common pattern you can follow and, in this section, we explore what this looks like.


Newborn feet

Newborn feet might look like teeny weeny versions of adult feet, but they’re actually made of cartilage and it’s only between ages six and nine months that this hardens into bone. Constrictive or badly fitting shoes can put pressure on the feet that limit growth or cause developmental problems. For that reason, it’s important to choose specialised newborn baby shoes such as those made of soft leather as these allow your child’s feet to develop naturally.  

On average, babies go through four shoe sizes between 0 and 12 months so it’s important to keep checking that their shoes fit properly. Take a look at our size guide for support with this. 



Somewhere around eight to ten months, babies will typically begin standing on their own. These beginner walkers (or cruisers) need some time to get used to the ground underneath their feet, but you can also support their walking by giving them pre-walker shoes to wear sometimes. Pre-walker shoes should feature flexible soles to ensure your little wobbler can feel the ground beneath them and get comfortable standing. These should also have anti-slip soles and elasticated collars to help keep shoes on feet and assist pre-walkers in staying upright.


The rapid growth spurt

Between 15 months and two years, children sometimes hit a growth spurt where their feet grow half a size every three to four months! During this stage, you might find yourself buying a whole lot of shoes! And whilst it can be tempting to size up, this isn’t advised as it can cause babies to trip or develop blisters. 

Check out the next section of our guide to find out how to know when it’s time to swap them out to protect your babies’ toes. 



Somewhere between 9 and 17 months, your child will take their first steps! This is a super exciting moment, but also a sign that it’s definitely time to invest in your baby’s first shoes. 

Our range of shoes for toddlers are designed to replicate the benefits of barefoot walking to allow your child’s foot to develop naturally and outside of restrictive footwear. You’ll find the cutest designs from baby bee shoes to spotty and stripey baby shoes to give your child plenty of options to express their little (or big) personalities.

How do you know when it’s time to change your babies’ shoes?

To allow room for growth while providing a snug fit, there should be between 1cm and 1.5cm from your baby’s longest toe to the end of the shoe. This is the average width of an adult’s thumb so you can check by pressing down at the front of the shoe when your child is wearing it. 

We recommend checking every time you put your babies’ shoes on, but, at a minimum, you should check every four weeks. Make sure you also check that the shoes are wide enough by looking out for pinching or squeezing. 

Choosing the right shoes for babies

This little piggy went to market…but not before reading the most important factors to consider when buying a new pair of baby shoes! 

For ultimate comfort and support, look out for:

  • Soft leather to keep babies’ feet at the right temperature
  • Lightweight, flexible, grippy soles to aid walking
  • Adjustable fastenings for support and ease 
  • Elasticated collars for ankle support  

Inch Blue has shoes that meet every key criterion and support every stage of a baby’s development. Browse our adorable collections or get in touch if you need additional support.