Parents are sharing their favorite summer shoes for kids! These tried-and-true kicks stand out as the best shoes to wear during those epic summer months of open outdoor play!
From camp to playgrounds to running through sprinklers, and playing all of our favorite active backyard games, here is a list of the best summer shoes we buy year after year for toddlers and kids.
Share your expertise, too! Upvote, comment, and add your family's favorite to the list below.
Check out parent's favorite walking shoes for toddlers, too!
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Toddler Shoe Size 4+
Shila: Keens are really good summer shoes for kids as all of their styles feature lost-lasting, durable, waterproof material. What I like best about their sandals (closed and open toe) is the super strong rubber-gripped and grooved soles. In addition to regular outdoor play, these shoes are especially tough enough for hiking, camping, or climbing rocks. The shoes are machine washable, too!
Sarah Calamita: My kids love slip on shoes in the summer! Easy to run in and out. These are great quality, cushioned inside and cute designs!
Kids Lightweight Watersport Sneakers
Sunshine Girl: These shoes are the best all purpose summer shoes. They work as covered toe sneakers and as water shoes with the holes on the bottom for the water to drain. They’re the best water shoe for lake life because they securely stay on your feet while draining the sand and water out and have a solid sole to protect from rocks and other debris. We have a pair for everyone in the family. There isn’t any particular brand to recommend, but there are many different styles to chose from on Amazon.
Toddler Shoe Size 2+
Shila: I liked TOMS year round, but especially as summer shoes for kids. You can wear them with or with out socks, and their slip-on design makes it easy for kids to run in-and-out of the door fast. They are moderately light weight and the rubber sole offers good traction, too.
What I especially like about TOMS are their pretty designs. To me, their styles are a bit more appropriate for all occasions (as compared to rubber shoes with air holes) and cooler summer evenings outdoors.
Known for their sustainability and grassroot efforts world wide, TOMS is also committed to using earth-friendly materials and processes in their products and packaging.
Salt Water Sandals
Sarah Calamita: Lightweight, waterproof and adorable unisex sandals.
Toddler Shoe Size 4+
Shila: Some of the best summer shoes for toddlers and kids are made by Native brand. These shoes feature a grippy sole that's great for stability, include air holes to keep the feet cool, and are made of super lightweight, water resistant material. I found these to be excellent toddler summer shoes for running through city splash pads, jumping in rain puddles, and climbing up slides (yes, up). What I especially enjoyed, too, was how simple it was for my young toddlers to slip these shoes on and off independently with ease. There are no straps or ties to distract.
Native offer styles for both narrow and wide feet, so you'll just need to measure before you buy!
PLAE Kids' Mimo Sneaker
Toddler Shoe Size 5+
Shila: My favorite summer shoes for kids have been Mimo Sneakers by Plae.
Like other brands, these higher-end seasonal shoes are waterproof, have breathable air holes, and are easy to wipe (or hose down!) clean. However, what sets Plae kids shoes apart for me are the shape of its soles by comparison. While some brands feature a flat-footed base, Plae soles are more form-fitted to a natural arch and therefore more comfortable for my kids to run in better. I also like how the velcro straps contribute to a customized, tighter fit. They offer helpful half sizes, too.
I recommend Plae shoes year round, as well. Their winter shoes are warm and comfortable, water resistant, and come in a ton of stylish colors.
Mommyx3 (Monique H): They come in a variety of different, comfortable styles. From sandals to tennis shoes, Skechers has the best shoes for children of all ages. They are also very reasonable and very stylish from the light up style for both boys and girls to the glitz and glitter for just girls. Found at Shoe Carnival, Kohls, Skechers Retail, Target.
Toddler Shoe Size 2+
Shila: Crocs are popular summer shoes for toddlers, kids, and adults too! They feature a closed-toe clog design with a cushioned insole that molds to the shape of your foot for all-day comfort. Crocs are bacteria and odor resistant, and completely water proof. Parents, get ready to select from a ton of unisex designs!
Kids also love to decorate their Crocs with Jibbitz, too. These trendy little charms fit snug atop the shoe's air holes by design. Kids often collect and trade Jibbitz with each other.
Primary photo: Kasturi Laxmi Mohit on Unsplash
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