Baby’s First Steps: The Infant Bootie from Ecco Shoes

December 3, 2006

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As soon as Maya took her first steps, I took her shoe shopping. Experts say it’s actually healthy for toddlers to be barefoot as much as possible and around the house, she did go without shoes most of the time. Even at neighbors’ houses a pair of Robeez was all we needed.

But once a toddler gets going, there’s no stopping the toddling. Even a trip to the local deli became a half hour practice run for the wobbly legs. So when it was time to get her in a pair of sturdy shoes, I had my checklist ready:

* Look for a flexible sole,
* Choose a breathable upper (canvas, cloth or soft leather),
* Get high-tops for ankle support (even though babies don’t necessarily need this; it makes us moms feel better),
* And of course the most important criteria was to find a really cute pair!

Recommended by an experienced store clerk at Harry’s Shoes in NYC, we picked the infant bootie from Ecco. (They didn’t carry the floral pattern then but now you can get these shoes in 11 different colors and patterns on their web site.) Originally from Denmark, Ecco shoes now represent long-lasting comfort worldwide and come in award-winning designs.

From the moment she put this pair on, Maya was able to walk in them with no problem. The soft leather protected her feet from the Spring slush on the streets while still providing the flexibility she needed to perfect this new skill.

One note on Velcro fasteners vs. laces: While the Velcro may seem like a good idea at first, it is a constant annoyance under the direction of a curious toddler. Keep that in mind when deciding.

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