The bones in your infant's feet are soft. They won't harden fully until your child is approximately 5 years old. The first 5 years of life are therefore a critical time for foot development.
Bare feet stage
Before your infant takes their first steps, bare feet, socks and soft booties are appropriate. If you like the aesthetics of shoes, or want your infant to wear them to help keep their socks on, choose comfortable breathable footwear that will keep their feet warm and dry.
During the brief stage when your baby is taking their very first steps over very short distances, with you to catch their fall, bare feet or anti-skid socks are usually suitable indoors. They'll have an easier time learning how to balance by using their toes to feel the floor beneath them.
Hard bottom walking shoes for infants
As soon as your child is able support their weight to walk on their own, indoors and out, it's time to buy quality infant hard bottom shoes.
Choose shoes that are flexible, breathable and made of non-toxic materials to ensure both good foot development and hygiene.
Choosing the right shoes will protect your child's feet from injury, keep them clean, and help your child maintain balance as they walk, turn and run. Shoes can also express your child's unique personality. There are many fashionable options to choose from - your choices definitely aren't limited to white baby boy shoes and pink baby girl shoes.
How to Measure Your Infant's Feet
It's important to measure your child's feet carefully before buying infant hard bottom shoes rather than choose a size based on age alone. Measure them every 3 months to track changes. You can also use the pinkie rule to check for best fit: your baby's shoe should be one adult pinkie width longer than their foot.
Here are several simple ways to measure your infant's feet: http://www.wikihow.com/Measure-Baby-Feet
What size do infant shoes start and go up to
As a general guideline, between the ages of 8 months and 2 years, a child's feet will usually fit between US infant shoe size 4 and 6 (size 19-22 European sizing). Size 4 infant shoes are 4 3/8" long, and size 6 are 5" long. Not a lot of difference, but crucial for the proper comfortable fit.