Updated on November 3, 2020 by Lyric Fergusson
If you’re looking for a durable but flexible shoe for your little one, moccasins are the way to go. They can be worn indoors or outdoors, and are often made from all-natural leather or suede. Moccasins are great for your baby’s developing feet and encourage the muscle development necessary for walking. Not to mention – they’re super cute, and go with pretty much any outfit!
Here are our top seven picks for the best baby moccasins of 2020:
The Best Baby Moccasins
(Best value — $)
Why it’s great: YALION First Walking Shoes feature an all-leather sole and elastic closure to help the moccasins stay on your baby’s feet. There are over 20 different colors to choose from, as well as a few cute designs, like frogs, cars, and foxes. The shoes are easy to clean with a damp cloth, but don’t put them in the washing machine. At less than $15 per pair, these are a great value, too!
Keep in mind: Several reviewers noted that the sizing on these shoes was best measured by inches, and not age. Be sure to measure your baby’s foot before choosing the best size. YALION recommends purchasing moccasins that are slightly larger than your baby’s normal size.
Good for: A great budget option for quickly growing little feet.
(Best quality — $$)
Why it’s great: BirdRock Fringeless Moccasins are made with 100% genuine leather, and not just the soles. There are nine designs, including a very cute “Home Run Baseball” design for baseball fans. The moccasins have hidden elastic around the ankle to keep them in place, and the leather is very high quality. If you’re looking for moccasins to last, these are the way to go!
Keep in mind: BirdRock backs these moccasins with a 100% Lifetime Guarantee, so If you’re not happy with them, you can simply return for a full refund or exchange. They also feed a child in need for each pair of shoes purchased through their partnership with Feed My Starving Children.
Good for: High quality moccasins that go with a variety of outfits.
(Most classic design — $$$)
Why it’s great: Minnetonka moccasins are a classic for a reason, and their baby moccasins are no exception! The Velcro Back Flap Booties have a classic design, but with a few practical features. The back opening makes it easy to put the moccasins on and take them off. The moccasins also feature a padded insole for comfort and support. The moccasins are made of flexible, soft suede leather and are available in five different colors.
Keep in mind: These moccasins run large, so Minnetonka recommends ordering a half size smaller than your baby’s normal shoe size. These are definitely not safe for the washer, so spot clean only.
Good for: A classic design with extra support and quality that will last.
(Most stylish designs — $)
Why it’s great: iEvolve Soft Sole Baby Moccasins are a bit more lightweight than other options, making them a great choice for warmer weather. They come in over 40 adorable designs, from dinosaurs, to elephants, to skulls and crossbones. The shoes also feature an elasticated ankle and suede, slip-proof soles.
Keep in mind: The soles are very lightly colored, so these are best for non-muddy surfaces that won’t stain the bottom of the moccasins. For sizing, iEvolve recommends measuring your baby’s foot and adding .3” for growth space.
Good for: Anyone looking for lightweight moccasins and cute designs at a great price.
(Cutest fringed moccasins — $$)
Why it’s great: Like the BirdRock Fringeless Baby Moccasins, the BirdRock Baby Moccasins are also made of 100% genuine leather. The only significant difference between the two is that these have the classic moccasin fringe. There are over 30 designs, including basic single-color options that would be great for special occasions, and fun designs like polka dots, leopard print, and an American flag pattern.
Keep in mind: Some of the designs have leather soles, and others have suede, so if you have a preference for one or the other, be sure to check the specific design that you order. Like the fringeless moccasins, these come with a lifetime guarantee, and each pair purchased provides a meal for a child in need.
Good for: Parents looking for high-quality, durable moccasins with a classic design.
(Best for dino lovers — $)
Why it’s great: These adorable SAYOYO moccasins are a must-have for dinosaur lovers. The moccasins come in dark brown, black, or beige. The design is similar to more expensive brands of baby moccasins, but these come at a fraction of the price. SAYOYO moccasins feature an elasticized ankle and soft, lightweight suede soles, making them a great choice for early walkers.
Keep in mind: The soles on these are pretty thin, so they are not ideal for heavy use outdoors or in wet conditions. However, they are a great pick for babies who are just learning to walk and want to feel the earth (or floor) beneath their feet!
Good for: Early walkers who love dinosaurs!
(Best for special occasions — $$)
Why it’s great: The Ella Bonna Oxford Baby Moccasins are unique from the others on this list, because some of the designs feature rubber soles. In terms of design, they resemble a classic tennis shoe, but they are made of leather. They are easy to clean with a damp cloth, or you can even use shoe polish for serious stains.
Keep in mind: Some of the colors have a rubber sole, while others have suede soles, so be sure you double-check before purchasing. The soft suede soles are great for early walkers, while the rubber soles are ideal for older babies and toddlers.
Good for: The rubber soles make these a great moccasin option for babies and toddlers who need extra support. The design is also very classy, making these a great pick for special occasions.
FAQs about baby moccasins
1. What are the benefits of baby moccasins?
As babies learn to walk, the contact between their feet and the ground stimulates neurological signals that help them become better walkers. If you’ve tried putting tennis shoes on your baby or toddler and had little success, this is why: shoes with hard, inflexible soles make it more challenging for your little one to feel the ground and develop basic walking skills. The softness and flexibility moccasins provide make them an ideal shoe option for young babies, early walkers, and toddlers.
2. Are baby moccasins safe?
Baby moccasins are the perfect combination of flexible and supportive. Under most conditions, they provide plenty of padding to protect your baby’s feet from hard objects like small rocks. Moccasins also stay on your baby’s feet much better than socks, but still allow your baby to grip the ground, providing stability and support as your little one learns to cruise, walk, and run. If you’re looking for a moccasin that will offer more protection from the elements, look for moccasins with an insole or rubber sole, such as the Minnetonka booties or Ella Bonna Oxford moccasins.
3. What age is best for baby moccasins?
Baby moccasins are completely safe – and comfortable! – from infancy until toddlerhood. Paired with socks in colder weather, they can be an effective way to protect small babies’ feet from the cold, since they stay on the feet much better than slippery socks. Crawlers will benefit from moccasins’ ability to grip the ground, encouraging your little one to learn to stand. And as noted above, moccasins are a great choice for early walkers.
4. What material is best for baby moccasins?
Most moccasins that have a leather body and leather soles – either regular leather or suede. Some moccasins are made of a more lightweight leather, while others are more heavy-duty. Either is fine, depending on your preferences and personal needs. For example, if your little one will be wearing these in the summer or mostly indoors, a lightweight option is best, while heavier leather is better for cold weather or rougher outdoor terrain.
5. How should baby moccasins fit?
Moccasins should be snug, but not tight. Ideally, your little one will have a bit of wiggle room in the toe box area. This sizing allows your little one to better develop his or her walking skills. It also provides room to grow, which is especially beneficial during the early years, when growth can happen quickly! Make sure to check manufacturer recommendations for sizing before you make a purchase.
6. How do I clean baby moccasins?
Generally speaking, baby moccasins should not be washed in the washing machine to avoid damaging the leather. However, they are usually very easy to spot clean with soapy water and dry with a clean towel. Again, be sure to check manufacturer recommendations before cleaning to avoid damage.
At this age, it can be hard just to keep socks on your baby. When I first discovered baby moccasins, I was sold right away, just because they stayed on my child’s feet so well! Learning about the physiological benefits of moccasins was the icing on the cake.
Whether you’re looking for a daily shoe or a great option for a special occasion, check out the options on this list. There’s something for everyone!