It might seem a bit strange that the minion, who’s over 1 year old, should just now be getting shoes, but until now she hasn’t needed them. Babies who aren’t walking outside or on other dangerous surfaces don’t need shoes. I understand that in some places it gets cold. I live in Georgia but I have heard myth of this thing called winter. In those cases socks and soft shoes can be used to keep your baby’s feet warm, but hard soled shoes should be used sparingly.
Stiff shoes can constrict a baby’s foot if they are worn too often and cause the foot to develop differently than if it were in its natural, unrestricted state. The bones in babies’ feet don’t harden until they are about 5 years old, so anytime before that, they are much easier to mold. This is an extreme example, but think about the damage Chinese foot binding did. Even once your baby starts walking, you want to keep their shoe wearing to a minimum so that their feet can continue to develop naturally.
Once you are ready to put your baby in shoes, make sure you find the right ones. There should be a pinky width behind your baby’s heel and you should be able to lay your thumb in front of their toes. Keep in mind, though, that these measurements are using a stereotypical mother’s hand. If you’re a man or a larger woman, take that into account. Firm but flexible soles are the way to go and a fabric upper is best. You should be able to pinch a bit of the fabric off the top of your baby’s foot to make sure they’re not too tight. And when in doubt about sizing, go with the larger size.
Finally, once your baby starts walking around in their new shoes (only outside right?) keep an eye out for any red spots, rubbing, or blisters and try to prevent problems before they get bad.