Soft shoes help your kidlet build proper foot muscles and feel the ground while running about. They also provide necessary protection from hot pavement or cold air. But baby feet grow fast and come in many shapes and sizes, so making your own soft shoes is a great way to get a custom fit at almost no cost. Even with an incredibly active kid, the vinyl or leather bottoms wear through at about the same time the feet explode out the front. Perfect.

These are based on the soft shoes (fleece booties, really) I made for Corvidae when she was first starting to walk. As she became more mobile, she soon needed shoes with a proper sole - covering several miles a day on concrete and other hard surfaces wears through fleece booties in no time flat. There are a couple of tweaks to the basic design necessary to accommodate the addition of a sole, and the changing shape of a child's foot. Read on for details.

Step 1: Modify bootie pattern

First, be sure to read over my original fleece bootie Instructable. Trace your child's foot, then draw a shoe-shape around it, leaving about 1/2" buffer around each bit of foot. Unlike the booties, an oval won't do at this stage - your kid is GOING PLACES, and the shoe has to fit a bit better. This shoe-shape determines the shape of the bottom and sole of the shoe.

Next, draw the upper part of the shoe.  Again, it's different than the booties - it needs to be significantly wider to accommodate the growing height of your kid's arch.  Also, the sole makes the shoe more rigid, so you've got to build in more space than if you were putting booties on the same pair of feet. Check out the second picture below - I find it easiest to match the right side of the shoe, and add about 2/3" on the left-hand side.  Err on the side of too much space here; you can always make them smaller.  Continue the upper about 1/2" past the end of the sole pattern.

The heel should be a rectangle long enough to go from mid-point on one side of the sole, and tall enough to run from that equivalent location to the back of the upper.  See bootie Instructable for a deeper explanation.

I date each of these patterns, so I can see exactly how quickly the kiddo's foot grows.  Sometimes it's scary fast.
Mauigerbil: haha me too! THEY SHALL BE MINE. JUST YOU WAIT.
Babies? BABIES?!?!? I NEED these!
Shiver my bits and call me crusty
Are vinyl and/or leather soles grippy enough to prevent slipping? Poppy is super prone to slipping and falling in her footed pajamas, and these soles don't look much more grippy. :/
Thanks for the cool Instructable. The shoes are very cute!
Thanks for sharing these cute shoes! Seems simple to make and very cozy! Sunshiine

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Bio: I've been posting Instructables since the site's inception, and now build other things at Autodesk. Follow me for food and more!
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