Do you like to provide your kids’ with a pair of flip flops for the summer? Do you love how easily kids can put them on and take them off? While parents love how practical and affordable flip flops are, they should be aware of the damage they can do to their kids’ feet and legs if they allow to wear them for longer periods of time.
Kids’ flip flops have been a long-standing go-to summer footwear, but many parents have asked me how long should they allow their kids to run around in flip flops. Most flip flops are meant for walking to the swimming pool and back, or being worn to the beach! When it comes to providing flip flops for your kids, there are definitely certain styles that are more supportive and have better structure than others.
I have been fitting children’s shoes for the last 10 years, working for a specialized children’s shoe store where we specialize in children with foot issues such as flat feet, overpronation, knock knees – just to name a few. These children require good, supportive every day footwear for their feet. The same applies to their seasonal footwear, and finding a pair of supportive summer shoes is extremely important for keeping their feet and legs healthy.
With the summer season approaching us, you must start thinking about the type of shoes your kids will wear.
My main concern of allowing a child to wear a pair of flip flops is the lack of stability and support that they provide. Imagine yourself running in a pair of flip flops, it would not only be uncomfortable, but dangerous, too!
It’s highly likely that your child will still want to run around even when wearing flip flops, so take this into consideration before you decide to get them a pair.
Some parents have even raised the question of whether flip flops should be banned for kids. I believe that there is nothing wrong with providing children with a pair of flip flops as long as they wear them for short periods of time.
It is your responsibility as a parent to prevent your child from wearing flip flops all day. I believe flip-flops are a great choice if they are worn for no more than 4 to 5 hours a day!
With that said, there are certain flip flops styles that will provide more support and stability to your child’s feet, and I will describe them below.
There is a certain type of flip flop that provides more stability since it comes with a strap in the back to secure your kids’ ankles, and some flip flops even offer arch support. In this post, I will describe the best flip flops for kids’ and the best alternatives to flip flops to wear during the summer season.
Are Flip Flops Good for Every Day Wear? – Let’s Find Out!
The answer is no.
You shouldn’t allow your kids to wear their flip flops all day no matter how much they love wearing them. Even the best quality flip flops with more support are not appropriate to be worn for longer periods of time.
There are certain flip flop styles that are better than others, and at the kids’ shoe store that I work for, we carry the most comfortable and supportive styles.
I will describe these styles below, but remember that you should NEVER allow your child to wear flip flops for more than 4 to 5 hours a day!
Most flip flops don’t provide any arch or ankle support, and they also don’t hug your child’s foot properly to make him or her feel more stable.
The other issue with letting your child wear flip flops for long periods of time is that they get used to the loose fitting that flip flops provide, and have the hardest time wearing their every day sneakers since they will always complain about how tight they feel.
The Best Flip Flops for Kids – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
If you are looking for a substantial, supportive, and comfortable pair of flip flops for your child, then you have come to the right place. Since we fit countless children with foot issues at the shoe store that I work for, we only carry good, supportive, quality footwear.
There is a type of flip flop made by Teva that comes with a built-in arch and a substantial supportive sole. Even though this type of flip flop is much more supportive than the rest, I still don’t recommend wearing them more than 4 to 5 hours a day. Remember that flip flops don’t have a heel counter, so they don’t provide any ankle support.
If your child is suffering from foot pain, or you just want to provide him or her with the best pair of flip flops in the market, below you can find a selection of the best fitting and supportive flip flops for children:
Do wide flip flops for children exist? In other words, will flip flops fit a child who has wide or extra wide feet? They will, but certain styles will fit better than others! In the selection I provide above, the styles made by “Crocs” will fit a child with wide feet!
Don’t Let your Kids’ Run when Wearing Flip Flops! – Here’s Why!
I always emphasize to parents to not let their kids’ run around too much when they are wearing a pair of flip flops. They can end up hurting their feet and legs due to the lack of stability that they provide.
Did you know that wearing the wrong type of footwear is the main reason of why children develop foot and leg pain? It will also create several issues such as blisters, calluses, and corns, just to name a few!
I provided you with a description of the best kids’ flip flops so you can have the peace of mind that your child is walking around in good, supportive summer shoe. If you don’t like how your child walks when they are wearing flip flops, then you can find the best alternatives to flip flops below.
Best Alternatives to Wearing Flip Flops – Crocs, Natives or Keen Sandals?
Probably, the first summer shoe alternative that comes mind is Crocs. I am sure you have heard of Crocs shoes for kids’ before, and how most parents hate Crocs, but their kids’ love them!
This is how a pair of Crocs looks like:
Are Crocs more supportive than flip flops?
The answer is NO!
They will provide more protection to your kids’ toes.
They actually provide the same support as flip flops, and they are both not meant to be worn as every day summer shoes. Parents are always complaining how their kids’ won’t take their Crocs off and how that’s all they like to wear. Several parents have asked me if their kids’ can hurt their feet or legs if they wear Crocs, since they already lack the reputation of being the safest type of footwear for kids.
IMPORTANT UPDATE: Crocs recently released a new style that provides more support and stability to children’s feet. This new styles come with a more substantial sole and a Velcro strap that will hold your child’s feet in place. Here is how the style looks like:
The reality is that Crocs won’t hurt your kids’ feet, as long as they wear them for short periods of time. I actually wrote a post where I describe the best Crocs styles for kids’ and how they may or may not end up hurting your kids’ feet. You can find that post here:
The other alternative to flip flops is providing your child with an all terrain type of sandal, such as Keens!
This is how Keen sandals look like:
Yes, they are more expensive than flip flops, but they provide way more support and stability. Keen sandals are the number 1 choice for summer play and summer camp. Parents love them because they protect their kids’ feet (they come with an indestructible rubber sole), and they support them at the same time!
This is the type of summer sandal that your child can play and run around all day!
If you are interested in learning more about the best Keen sandals for kids, go to the link below:
There is another summer alternative to wearing flip flops that parents actually love (mostly moms do…dads don’t care so much) called Native shoes!
This is how Native shoes look like:
They are awesome for the summer since they are waterproof, dry fast, and provide more support than flip flops. Here you can learn all you need to know about Native shoes:
How to Make Sure that your Kids’ Flip Flops Fit – Let’s Find Out!
I always recommend parents to take their children to their closest fitting children’s shoe store that they trust. You can have their feet properly measured and their shoes properly fitted there. The issue is that most fitting kids’ shoe stores have been closing down, and parents don’t have a place to take their kids to be properly fitted for shoes.
If you identify with this, START by reading an article I wrote where I describe the simplest, yet most effective way to figure out your child’s foot size form home:
While flip flops are a great summer choice for kids’, you learned here that there are several other alternatives.
Most children do love wearing flip flops and now that you know which are the best flip flops for kids, you can keep their feet and legs healthy and get them ready for a great summer!
Do you allow your child to wear flip flops during the summer time? Is there a particular style that has worked better for his or her feet? Please share your experiences below so other parents can benefit from them as well!