Should Toddlers Wear Shoes Indoors?

Should Toddlers Wear Shoes Indoors?

As a mother, you might find toddlers’ shoes so tempting to buy, but hold on for a minute. Should toddlers wear shoes indoors? It is prudent to consider what experts say about having toddlers wear shoes indoors to answer this question. 

The answer is a no. A research finding published in NCBI found that walking barefoot helped toddlers improve their balance and bipedal locomotion. 

Since wearing shoes does not help toddlers significantly, let them walk barefooted. There are four expert reasons why you should let your toddler(s) walk barefooted indoors.

Four Reasons Why Toddlers Should Stay Barefooted Indoors

Improve Optimal Foot Development

Thanks to their developing bones, ligaments, and muscles, Toddlers’ feet are delicate.  A toddler’s muscles and ligaments continue to strengthen during development while the bones become hard. 

If a toddler wears shoes indoors, the development of the feet slows down significantly. Given that most toddler shoes are tight, stiff, narrow, or inflexible, it is hard for the feet to develop fully. Should toddlers really wear them indoors if walking barefoot helps their feet develop optimally? 

Promote the Development of Sensory-Motor

As a parent, you might have realized that toddlers have highly sensitive feet soles. Studies have shown that one foot can contain many nerve endings, which increases the sensitivity of the foot’s soles. 

Allowing the toddler to walk or stand barefooted indoors makes them more aware of their surroundings and bodies due to the nerve endings. When the baby stays barefooted, their feet get used to changes in texture and temperature, making it easier for them to walk or crawl. 

Given that staying barefooted increases sensory motors for babies, it is prudent to have them walk without shoes while indoors.

Promote Awareness

Another benefit of letting a toddler walk barefoot is to increase their awareness of different things in life. When you let the baby walk barefooted indoors, the contact of their feet soles with other surfaces makes them more aware of their surroundings. 

The direct contact of the feet with other surfaces also makes them less vulnerable to injuries. It is recommended that you let your toddler stay barefooted to make them safer and more aware of their environment. 

Improve Agility

If you have ever watched a toddler walk barefooted, you might have noticed that they appear more proactive than when with shoes on. When the baby walks barefooted, the nerves on their soles send signals to the brain, guiding their moving patterns. 

Additionally, the nerves on the feet also make them more daring and, consequently, walk in a more agile manner. Since the information is transferred through the nerves to the brain, you might notice that the baby tends to move facing up from time to time.

Shoes block signals from the feet to the brain, causing toddlers to topple over easily. As a parent, you should let your toddler stay barefooted indoors to make them more agile. 

When Should Toddlers Wear Shoes Indoors?

Although wearing shoes indoors does not offer any benefits to toddlers, you might have to reconsider in some cases. The following are exceptions that might force you to allow your toddler(s) to wear shoes indoors:

Knees Knocking Together

In some cases, you might realize that your toddler’s knees knock together when standing or walking. In this case, the toddler’s feet have weak support to the upper body, and it is only sensible to allow them to wear shoes indoors.

Feet Soles are Injured.

If your toddler’s feet soles are injured or have calluses or blisters, it is advisable to ensure that they are well protected with light shoes indoors. Allowing the toddler(s) to wear shoes in this condition prevents them from further injuries and extreme temperatures. 

Toes Do Not Point in the Right Direction.

If the toddler’s toes turn outwards instead of pointing straight, it is advisable to allow them to wear shoes indoors. The shoes play a crucial part in straightening the toes to their proper positions without causing injuries.

Toe Walking

If your toddler has persistent toe-walking, it is advisable to let them wear enclosed shoes when they are indoors. Although toe walking is a temporary stage in some toddlers, you should consult your pediatrician in addition to ensuring they are in shoes when indoors.  

Which Shoes Should Your Toddler Wear Indoors?

Choosing the right shoes reduces injuries and allows the toddlers’ feet to grow healthy. Here are the types of shoes that you should buy for your toddler to wear indoors:

Low Tops

Low tops shoes allow the toddler to move their ankles without restrictions, consequently improving comfort. Additionally, this allows the foot to develop uniformly, which is every parent’s dream.

Strong Ankle Support

When choosing shoes for your toddler, you should go for those that support the ankles strongly. Remember, your toddler might not be able to support their ankles like an adult, hence the need to get shoes with strong ankle support.

Wide Front

When choosing shoes for your toddler to wear indoors, you should go for ones that are wide at the front. Wide shoes at the front allow your toddler’s toes to move freely and spread, which is recommended for the healthy development of the feet. In addition, the front of the shoe should also be flexible enough to enable the foot to move with minimum resistance. 


The temptation of having to see your baby rocking on the best shoes is irresistible. However, as much as you want to see your baby pose and walk with the classy footwear, hold your fire. The benefits that toddlers gain from walking barefooted are unmatched. Unless there is special justification for wearing shoes indoors, let them walk barefooted. Should toddlers wear shoes indoors? You have the answer.