Best Dress Shoes for Toddlers in 2023 – Stylish, Affordable, and Fit Different Foot Shapes!
Have you been looking for the perfect pair of dress shoes for your toddler? Does your toddler have a “complicated” foot shape that makes it challenging to find dress shoes (or shoes in general) that fit? I have been fitting children’s shoes for over a decade, and over the years I became familiar with the best shoe brands and the best shoe styles among each brand. I am going to show you a list of the best dress shoes for toddlers in 2023 based on my many years of shoe fitting experience.
Finding a pair of dress shoes might sound like an easy task, as there is a variety of options out there. However, finding a pair of dress shoes that are versatile, comfortable and that can accommodate your toddler’s specific foot shape? That can be a tough one!
Dress shoes are usually not comfortable, as they tend to be stiffer than sneakers and provide less padding and cushion. They usually have pointier toe-boxes instead of round ones, so if you are not careful about the shoes you pick they might end up pinching your toddler’s feet.
What Makes the Dress Shoes that I Recommend Ideal for Toddlers?
The dress shoes that I recommend provide 3 key features that will help guarantee to keep your toddler’s feet healthy:
1️⃣ Extra Cushion and Padding to Increase Comfort and Prevent Blisters
The dress shoes that I recommend provide extra padding around the heel area to increase comfort and prevent the formation of blisters. This is an area where children develop most blisters, so it’s important that there is enough cushion and padding to prevent friction between your toddler’s heels and the back of the shoes.
2️⃣ Round Toe-Boxes to Prevent Your Toddler’s Toes from Rubbing Against One Another
You will notice that the dress shoes will have rounded instead of pointier toe-boxes, which is a key feature that helps prevent your toddler’s toes from overlapping one another or rubbing against the side of the shoes. Most toddlers that I have helped at the shoe store have either wide or extra wide feet.
3️⃣ Extra Depth for Easy On and Off and to Accommodate Toddlers with High Insteps
Some toddlers might have high insteps, which can make it a lot more challenging to find shoes that fit comfortably. The instep is the top part of the foot, and some toddlers might carry some extra baby fat. Do you usually struggle to get your toddler’s shoes on and off? That might be a sign that your toddler has a high instep.
Those are the 3 most important features that the dress shoes I recommend provide, but they also have these additional features:
- Lightweight and Flexible
- Oversized Openings for Easy On and Off
Forget About All the Bells and Whistles – The Importance of Getting the Correct Fit
I have noticed that most parents place more focus on the look of the shoe instead of the fit. Making sure that the dress shoes fit your toddler’s foot shape correctly should be your number one priority.
This article is mostly for those families who don’t have a specialized children’s shoe store in their area. I have noticed that most independently owned shoe stores have been closing down, but luckily there are a few still standing. You should take a look at a map I created where I describe the best fitting children’s shoe stores by state.
Can’t Find a Shoe Store in Your Area? – Find Out Your Toddler’s Shoe Size Online
If after looking at that map you don’t find a shoe store in your area, then you should take a look at a great resource I created where I help parents find out their toddler’s exact foot length and shape from home (this is a free resource).
Through this resource, I help families determine their child’s exact foot shape (narrow, medium, wide, extra wide, high instep), as well as their exact foot length to make sure they order the correct shoe size online.
All of the dress shoes that I recommend below have been fitted by me at the shoe store where I work. Disclosure: Some links in this post may be affiliate links and we may receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you) when you click our links and make purchases. This allows us to create free content and resources for many families around the world.
Best Dress Shoes for Toddlers in 2023 – Stylish, Affordable, and Comfortable!
Below each dress shoe that I recommend I describe the following important information:
- The foot shape that specific dress shoe can accommodate
- The materials the dress shoes are made of
- The shoe size you should order to allow for the correct amount of growing room
All of the dress shoes that I recommended can be worn for a variety of special occasions, including birthday parties, weddings, church, holidays, visits to their grandparents’ and just a nice dinner out with the family.
Should You Order Your Toddler’s Dress Shoes a Half or Whole Size Bigger?
This depends on how each dress shoe fits. Some dress shoes might fit shorter or longer than others, so you will need to adjust the final shoe size that you order.
To make things easier for you, in each of the descriptions of the shoes I indicate whether you need to order a half a size or a whole size bigger than your child’s foot size to provide the correct amount of growing room.
*A half a size bigger translates to 3/16 of an inch or 0.4 centimeters of space between your child’s longest toe and the end of the shoes.
*A whole size bigger translates to 3/8 of an inch or 0.8 centimeters of space between your child’s longest toe and the end of the shoes.
Do Your Toddler’s Shoes Need to be Made of a Specific Color?
If you can’t find a pair of dress shoes that you like or if you are unsure about what dress shoe might work best for your toddler’s unique foot shape, you can ask your question in the comments section below or contact me via email:
Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Fitting the Dress Shoes Correctly
Many parents assume that since their toddlers will be wearing their dress shoes occasionally and only for a couple of hours that they don’t have to worry about how well the shoes fit. If you are one of those parents, you might want to reconsider this. It only takes a couple of wears in the wrong shoe size for toddlers to develop foot issues.
During the early years of your child’s development, well-fitted shoes help maintain good posture and encourage walking.
Do You Also Need a Pair of Dress Socks?
I always recommend parents put on socks every time their toddlers are wearing shoes. Socks play an important role in keeping your toddlers’ feet healthy, especially for toddlers whose feet are still developing. Because your toddler’s feet are soft, socks help cushion your toddler’s feet and prevent the shoes from rubbing against your toddler’s feet — as this can lead to blisters and other foot issues.
If you have been looking for a pair of good quality and seamless socks for your toddler, you can find below a selection of the best toddler dress socks:
Helpful Resources for Toddler’s Dress Shoes Based On Their Foot Shape
You can help me make this resource even better by adding your own dress shoe recommendations! I am sure other families will benefit from learning about your experiences.