European Baby Shoes

Differences and Top Brands

Stride Rite shoes
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Most people (at least most people with young children) have heard of brands like Stride Rite and Robeez. But some of the best baby shoe brands are European companies that you may not be familiar with. Not only do European baby shoes have a distinct look, they actually tend to fit differently than American shoes as well. Here is a brief overview of European baby shoes.

The Fit

European baby shoes tend to fit narrower in the heel and wider in the toe box. In other words, European baby shoes are generally tighter around the heel and roomier around the front of the shoe, where the toes are. Adult European shoes tend to be designed in the same way, making them a good choice for men and women with wide feet. Since pretty much all babies have chubby/wide feet, European baby shoes fit the majority of babies' feet very well.

As far as sizing goes, European baby shoes generally run a bit bigger than American shoes. For example, if your baby measures at a size 6, you should probably buy a size 5.5 or 6 in a European shoe, whereas you might go up to a size 6.5 in an American brand. Here's a helpful chart with more information about US and European baby shoe sizing.

The Style

It's usually pretty easy to tell a European baby shoe from an American baby shoe just by looking at it. For one, European shoes tend to have a very classic, clean look to them. Where many American baby shoes feature sparkles and bright patterns, a lot of European shoes are solid colors without a whole lot of extra "bling."

European shoes are also known for using high-quality materials. It's rare to find a European baby shoe that's not made of leather. It's also pretty common for European baby shoes to feature higher quality extras like metal buckles

The Price

Because they are high-quality, European baby shoes are also usually more expensive than American baby shoes. For example, the average Stride Rite first walker is somewhere in the $35 neighborhood while the average Umi first walker is in the $50 to $60 range.

The Brands

Here are a few of the more popular European and European-inspired baby shoe brands:

  • Umi (classic European style shoes for babies, toddlers, and kids. Retail prices range from $40 to $70)
  • Primigi (Italian-based company that specializes in bright and colorful European walking shoes for babies and young children. Retail prices range from $60 to $100)
  • Naturino (European baby shoe brand that is known for their "Sand Effect System" which mimics the feeling of walking on sea sand. Retail prices range from $50 to $75)
  • Geox (Known for their "Geox Breathes" technology which allows air and moisture out, without letting water in. Retail prices range from $50 to $65)
  • Ecco (Unfortunately, Ecco recently stopped producing baby shoes, but you can still find them online at places like Amazon. They are lightweight and incredibly lightweight)
  • Star Child (British soft-soled leather baby shoes. Very similar to Robeez but with classic European styling. Retail price is around $30 for classic crib shoes)
  • Vincent (Trendy Swedish shoes made specifically for babies and young children)