There is actually a bit of controversy about this question. Some pediatricians recommend that your baby not wear shoes until at least 15 months of age. Others feel that a child should start to wear shoes as soon as they're walking. However, you have to consider where your baby is walking. If they are cruising around your own home, then there is usually no need for shoes. But what about outdoors? Obviously you wouldn't want your child running around barefoot on cement or in the dirt. Babies should be wearing a firm shoe in this case to prevent injuries (and dirty socks).
Shoes are also protection from sunburn, cold weather, scratches and bumps. Just make sure that when your baby has the opportunity to go barefoot, let them. And don't keep shoes on for too long at a time.
If you do purchase outdoor shoes for your baby, make sure they fit properly. Their tiny toes should not be cramped.
Also, make sure they are flexible enough that their feet can still wiggle in them. Mothers and pediatricians recommend soft soled shoes or booties.
Whatever you decide to do, make sure it's for the best interest of your child.
Don't make them wear shoes all the time for the sake of looking cute.
Barefoot is best at home, and when they are outdoors, make sure they have a soft sole for the most natural fit.
Cassandra Germsheid is the owner of Baby Tips Online (http://www.babytipsonline.com ). She is a stay at home mother but sometimes works part time for her local newspaper.