barefoot to boots, 7 stages of kids shoes Bubbablue and me
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Barefeet to boots – the 7 stages of children’s shoes

Children grow so quickly, but when you see them every day, it’s hard to see it until they grow out of their clothes.  Or are stood next to someone else’s child and you realise they’ve shot past them in height.

But I’ve noticed that footwear can make a real difference in how they look.  Put them in a certain type of shoe, and all of a sudden they look 2 years older, and you’re wondering where the years have gone.

I’ve really noticed it recently having a little school boy, and now having to cater for more shoe occasions.

Forget the 7 stages of man, here’s my 7 stages of children’s shoes (for boys) from barefeet to boots.

barefoot to boots, 7 stages of kids shoes Bubbablue and me

1, Bare feet of a baby

The natural state, and really cute to look at and watch wiggling away.  A baby’s foot always looks so small, until you put them next to another smaller baby, and your child looks like a giant.  Mostly bare, because socks will be fall off or be pulled off numerous times.

Just say no to pram shoes!  Bad for the feet, and just look silly. Why would you cover up those cute little toes?

Feet - barefeet of a baby

2, The toddler’s first shoes

Usually bought in Clarks, if only because it’s the only place a first time mum knows about for buying children’s shoes, and to ensure you get the first shoe photo.

Feet - My first shoes
Well, he wasn’t happy!

The first time you realise you have a little child and not a baby, wearing their shoes, cruising shoes or first shoes.  And the surprise that they have feet that are a size on the board.

Feet - first pair of shoes

3, Summer shoes or sandals for pre-schoolers

For us it was Doodles first of all, with little buckles, and wearing shoes without socks.  The worry in case of blisters.  The little legs poking out of shoes with the pumps on the ends.

Feet - clarks doodles

Open or closed toe sandals?  The worry that they’ll trip up.  But looking really cute, even if they insist on wearing socks with sandals.

4, Wellies for jumping in puddles

Bright plain colours, or funky patterns.  Wellies are an essential for children, meaning there’s no excuse for not spending time outside in all weathers.

My experience is that children would live in wellies permanently if given the chance!

Feet - kids wellies

The big second stage is moving from kiddy ‘shorter’ wellies, to proper boots that come right up high nearly to the knee.  Very important if you’re on a farm like us.

5, Trainers

The first time I looked at N and realised that he was no longer a young pre-schooler, but was looking more like a little boy was his first pair of trainers rather than doodles or pumps.  Proper trainers, with the turned up front (and lights – damn that nearly new sale quick purchase!).

They totally changed how I saw my son.

Feet - first trainers

6, School shoes

After a baby’s first shoes, school shoes are next massive milestone.  Generally boring black.

It’s that point when you realise they’ve definitely left those free toddler years behind, and are going off on their own adventure without you to be there to lead the way.

feet - school shoes

7, Boots

Not wellies, but casual boots.

We were getting ready to go to the pub for a meal, and realised that at 4 years old, N had no suitable casual shoes. His trainers were filthy, wellies were a no, so the poor boy had to go wearing his school shoes.

So next step was to find some casual shoes or boots which could be worn outside of school, and for doing anything other than mucking about on the farm or going to the park.  Boots were the answer, and he has his first pair of non-welly boots.

They make him look so grown up, tall, and someone with his own mindset about what he wants to wear (he poo-poo’d one pair I’d shown him, and chose the pair he wanted himself).

practising his golf swing

He’s growing up, and seemingly faster in the shoe stakes.

Do you find the same with shoes?  Do your children have minimal shoe options, or are they a mini shoeaholic?

Why not take a look at these similar posts.

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school uniform
buying new wellies


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  1. Aw what a lovely post, I love the shoes though the year, that is so lovely. I think it is true that there are many stages but I love the Clark’s first shoes photo, I love looking at ours. My boys all have feet as big as mine now and we are firmly in the ‘too bloody expensive’ phase!

  2. My kids used to have lots of different shoes when they were younger, but now that they’re older they are more expensive, so they only have a few pairs. Hiking shoes, regular trainers and wellies, mainly! 🙂

  3. I was welling up reading this (I blame the hormones!!). Agree that baby feet are the best thing ever and I left my little boy barefoot as much as I could, in fact I still do and he’s nearly 2! I’ll be getting him some little sandals for the summer. The school shoes milestone terrifies me, thankfully there are a couple more years until we need to think about that!!

  4. Aw, this is adorable 🙂 Baby feet have to be the cutest thing ever, they are so tiny and soft! I remember getting first shoes for our eldest and she had a pair of floral doc martins when she was little – they were my favourites by far. And now she’s 20, she’s back to wearing doc martins again.

  5. I have never really thought about it before, but you are so right. Shoes make a difference and can make them look very grown up all of a sudden. Love the first photo of the cute feet 🙂

  6. I love little shoes although I am very reserved!! We have got to the trainer stage, Monkey got some earlier than we expected only because we did a lot of city walking on our Summer holiday last year. Sept will be when he’s gets his first school shoes. Love the little feet photos xx

  7. You haven’t got to the next stage yet – the Converse or Vans stage 😉 They are all my teens wear! Lovely post – I so love babies feet! Kaz x

  8. There’s nothing cuter than baby feet, and little shoes. Mine are at the stage now where I am buying shoes, trainers and football boots all the time – not nearly as cute, but it wont be long before they get to my size and I’ll be able to have their cast offs! (Its the little things that make me grateful nowadays lol)

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