How to Buy Trainers for a Baby

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How to Buy Trainers for a Baby

A baby does not even need to outgrow the "bootie" stage to wear their first trainers today. Manufacturers of popular adult trainers from Converse to Nike offer soft-soled infant booties that give the impression of trainers, including in the former case, high tops and the famous star logo. Baby trainers are offered in kids' styles, such as pink polka dotted versions for little girls. They are also available in "mini-me" styles including posh silver or grey leathers with bright accent colours and real laces that mimic classic adult sports trainers.

When selecting trainers for baby, parents need to consider the child's age since this affects whether trainers are designed to support mobility or simply to keep the child's feet warm. Sizing trainers properly involves planning for the child's rapid growth and measuring regularly to ensure that those being worn have not already been outgrown. Buying trainers is an exercise that parents repeat frequently over the child's first three years as they seek to ensure properly fitted shoes protect growing feet. The wide selection of baby trainers on eBay gives parents the opportunity to find trainers they like in a range of prices to fit any household budget.

Different Kinds of Trainers

Trainers for young children are made by the same manufacturers as trainers for adults, such as Nike and Converse, sportswear and shoes manufacturers such as Clarks and Lacoste, as well as well-known children's lines such as Mothercare. Trainers are also offered in unbranded lines, many of which offer excellent quality. Trainers for children at different ages are designed with slight differences to accommodate their different needs.

Baby Trainers or Crib Trainers

For the youngest infants, soft soled baby trainers offer the look of a trainer without the construction. These shoes are more nearly a bootie than a proper trainer. The trainers designed for this age are often made entirely of soft fabric, suede, or suede-like material, with the uppers and bottoms of the same material. Their designs may mimic trainers, but they are truly more characteristic of soft leather slippers.

Creeper Trainers

Babies who have begun to creep are beginning to be ready for trainers that do not slip if they start to pull up onto their feet. The more the child is attempting upward movements, the more important that the trainers be fitted so that the shoes do not slip and so their non-slip bottom surface can help the child remain stable.

Trainers for Babies Starting to Walk

When baby is beginning to walk, the first true trainer may gain its place in his or her wardrobe. Expert advice is divided regarding whether children at this stage should wear high top shoes with stiff soles or low top shoes with flexible soles. Those recommending traditional high top shoes focus on the support provided to young ankles and feet. Those recommending softer, lower shoes like trainers say they offer foot and muscle development benefits similar to those a child gains walking barefoot but with better protection. The correct shape for the sole of this kind of trainer is slightly rounded upward at the front, helping the child to learn the rolling movement of a heel-to-toe walk.

Recognising the Time for New Trainers

The newborn child's feet are not fully formed, which means that ill-fitting shoes can damage them. The 26 bones in the infant's foot are easily manipulated cartilage, not fully ossified bone. Therefore, when fitting shoes for a young child, allowing "room to grow" is perfectly appropriate.

The normal foot shape of an infant is flat and wide. Children are born with a pad of fat under the bottom of their foot, which gradually disappears as muscles strengthen, causing arches to develop. More than 97 per cent of babies have flat feet. Arches often are not fully developed until sometime between the sixth and eighth birthday. Up to age three, the vast majority of children, about 85 per cent, have wide feet.

Measuring for New Trainers

Baby's feet grow very rapidly. In their first year, they are likely to outgrow three or four pairs of booties. During the first year, their feet should be measured every month. During the second year, a child is likely to outgrow a pair of trainers in four or five months. The baby is still unable to tell you that his or her shoes are too small, however. Feet should be measured every two months during the child's second year, from 12 months to 24 months, and every three months from 24 months to 36 months.

The parent may take an approximate measurement at home to determine whether shoes have been outgrown by having the baby stand barefoot on a piece of paper and tracing around the feet. Cut out the tracings and compare them to the size of the trainers. If the foot size appears to be larger than the trainer, it is time to go shoe shopping. Should the child be unsteady on his or her feet, an adult may hold the child upright during this process. The child's feet spread significantly when standing, and it is important that shoes fit the feet at their largest.

Shoe Size Chart

The table below shows the U.K. and European shoe sizes for children through approximately three years of age based on foot length in centimetres. Use it as a guide to figure out baby's shoe size.

Foot Length (cm)

UK Size

Euro Size

Typical Ages




Up to 6 months




Up to 6 months




Up to 6 months




Up to 12 months




Up to 12 months




Up to 18 months




Up to 18 months




Up to 24 months




Up to 24 months




Up to 24 months




Up to 36 months




Up to 36 months




Up to 36 months

The shoes should be fitted to the largest foot. If one foot is longer than the other, use that measurement when determining what size shoe to buy.

Room Enough and Room to Grow

Children whose feet appear to fit perfectly in a half-size shoe are only a third of a centimetre shorter than the next whole size. That typically represents only two month's growth. Buying the next half-size up gives the child about four months in the pair of shoes. Children's growth is rapid in their early years, and their toes need room to grow. Choose a pair that allows at least a half centimetre and preferably a full centimetre from the tip of the longest toe to the end of the shoe.

How to Keep Trainers Fresh

It can be hard to imagine a sweet baby's trainers developing that musty aroma that perfumes locker rooms. Unfortunately, it may happen. Indeed, it may even be more likely to happen. Baby feet work hard. Learning how to stand and balance requires so much exertion that an infant's feet may sweat twice as much as an adult's feet, producing up to half a pint a day.

Just as parents give their shoes a rest between each time they wear them, so should baby. Alternating among more than one pair of trainers, or a pair of trainers and a pair of leather shoes, allows baby's closet or chest to remain sweet smelling. It also protects baby's feet from the various bacteria that produce those scents. Trainers with antimicrobial linings may also be a good idea. And wearing cotton socks and trainers made with breathable natural materials makes baby much more comfortable.

Useful Features in Baby Trainers

When selecting baby trainers, a parent may consider several characteristically valuable features, some fun features, and one open choice:

Valuable Features

It is recommended that parents choose trainers with these features: breathable materials, a fabric lining, flexible and slip-resistant bottoms, and an inner sole. Doing so ensures a practical, purchase decision.

Fun Features

Every child enjoys shoes that light up when he or she runs. A pair of trainers with lights in the heel or under the arch area makes it even more fun to do what a child is inclined to do anyway.

Choosing Between Velcro or Laces

Velcro fastenings on shoes get the baby dressed more quickly. They may also allow a clever baby to unfasten the shoes and toss them. This is not a fun game for a busy parent. Laces, on the other hand, take longer to fasten and require a double knot to stay fastened. This is the parent's choice. Some recommend laces for early walkers in particular to maximise the support provided by the shoe. Velcro can then be chosen when baby begins to dress him or herself.

Buying Trainers for Baby on eBay

A wide selection of trainers in baby and toddler sizes is available on eBay, which makes it easy for parents to choose appropriate footgear for their young children. Many are offered new or new with the box, while others are used. Given how rapidly small children outgrow their trainers, used trainers may often be in very good condition. If a particular brand or material is preferred, that may be specified in the search window. If you have found your way to listings of baby and toddler trainers, then you can enter, for example "size 4", into the search window in order to narrow your search to children's size 4 trainers.

Other Items to Consider

While you are shopping for trainers, you may wish to buy some cotton socks for a toddler who is walking or soon to walk. It may also be wise to buy more than one pair of trainers: the pair you expect to fit the child today and a pair to grow quickly into, or perhaps two pairs that should fit today to allow for swapping out on alternate days.


Baby trainers are available for even the tiniest of infants. The trainers offered for these little ones are not what are conventionally considered to be trainers but instead soft baby shoes designed to look like trainers. As children grow, however, the shoes available to them are more like the trainers their parents wear. Important features in trainers for toddlers include breathable materials and non-slip bottoms. These keep them safe as they begin walking.

To size trainers properly to a child's feet, the child's feet should be measured, preferably while standing, and the shoe size taken from the largest foot. Parents must expect to replace trainers very regularly due to the very rapid growth of children's feet during their first three years. Keeping up with the growth of their child's feet ensures that the child's feet are able to grow properly. Taking advantage of the wide selection of trainers on eBay can allow parents to keep up with their child's rapid growth while enjoying the fun of picking fashionable trainers for the little one.

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