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Flip Flops for Kids – The Best Styles for Your Kids’ Feet!


Editor’s Note: This post has been updated and revised for accuracy on April 2022 and reflects an up-to-date selection of flip flops for kids.

Do you like usually 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 them 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.

My Experience Fitting Children’s Shoes

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 everyday 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, you must start thinking about the type of shoes your kids will wear.

My main concern with 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 consider this 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 hours a day.

With that said, there are certain flip-flops styles that provide better 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 Everyday 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.

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 everyday sneakers since they will always complain about how tight they feel.

What Makes the Flip-Flops I Recommend Better? – Let’s Find Out!

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 outsole. Even though this type of flip-flop is much more supportive than the rest, I still don’t recommend wearing them more than 4 hours a day. Remember that flip-flops don’t have a heel counter, so they don’t provide any ankle support.

Below you can find a selection of the best fitting and supportive flip-flops for children. Disclosure: Keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases.

The Best Flip-Flops for Kids ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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!

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 from home:

How to Measure Your Kids’ Foot – 2 Simple Steps to Determine Foot Length and Foot Width

In that article I help parents determine their child’s exact foot size and whether the child has narrow, medium, wide, or extra wide feet. I also will be able to tell you whether your child has a high instep or not.

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 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 shoes. 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 to mind is Crocs. I am sure you have heard of Crocs shoes 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 better protection to your kids’ toes.

They actually provide the same support as flip-flops, and they are both not meant to be worn as everyday summer shoes. Parents are always complaining about 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.

The reality is that Crocs won’t hurt your kids’ feet, as long as they wear them for shorter periods of time. I actually wrote a post where I describe the best Crocs styles for kids.  You can find that post here:

Crocs for Children – Is Your Child in Danger when Wearing Crocs?

The other alternative to flip-flops is providing your child with an all-terrain type of sandal, such as Keens! 

Yes, they are more expensive than flip-flops, but they provide way better 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:

Keen Sandals for Children – The Best Summer Sandal

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 better support than flip-flops. Below you can learn all you need to know about Native shoes:

Native Shoes – The Must Have Shoe for the Summer

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.

Are Any Other Shoe Choices Available?

Do not hesitate to contact me directly at my e-mail if you have any further questions or if you need a different pair of shoes for your child. My e-mail address is:


Do you allow your child to wear flip-flops during the summertime? 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!


I created this webpage to help parents understand the importance that shoes have in healthy foot development and how they can prevent foot problems in the future.Join the rest of the parents who are taking care of their kids feet and get my guide for free: 10 Mistakes Parents Must Avoid When Buying Shoes for their Kids.

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12 Comments on Flip Flops for Kids – The Best Styles for Your Kids’ Feet!

  1. Hi Juan Pablo

    I didn’t know there’s so much to learn when it comes to kids’ footwear. This article is quite an eye opener. I thought flip flops were the best natural option for hot and dry seasons but I didn’t know there could be so many disadvantages associated with them.

    To imagine being the cause of my kid’s blisters, or other foot problems for not being careful in choosing appropriate footwear for them is quite sobering!

    How much better in terms of material and design could you say Crocs’ are when it comes to protecting kids feet and keeping them as comfortable as possible in the hot and dry seasons?

    • Kids flip flop are great for walking to the swimming and coming back, or when walking to the beach. They are not meant to be worn for long distance walking, just an easy thing for your kids to put in and out without the help of the parents.

      Crocs are no different than flip flops, but they do provide toe protection. That is the main difference between Crocs and flip flops! If your kids like to run around a lot, they will be probably better off with a pair of Keen or Jambu sandals!

  2. Extremely informative website, and many of these things not many people I doubt have even thought of as far as flip flops are concerned! Love the way you show us the best flip flops for kids! My kids are always falling when they wear flip flops, so the ones that come with the straps on the backs are the ones I ordered.

    • Hello Holly,

      Yes, the one that come with the straps will provide your child with more stability and hopefully he or she will STOP falling. Remember that flip flops are meant to be used to go to the swimming pool and come back, or when you are walking on the beach. If your child needs a shoe that provides more stability and support, you should take a look at this post:

      Keen Sandals for Children – The Best Summer Sandal

  3. Hi Juan,

    You have written a very informative article about children’s shoes and flip flops. Reading this article lets me realize how dangerous flip flops can be for my grand kids!

    While I would not suggest that they be banned, I definitely think children should be supervised when wearing flip flops and should not be allowed to play in them.

    Maybe they should put a warning sign on then when they are being sold so parents can see the dangers before they purchase them.Do you think flip flops can permanently damage children’s feet?

    Native shoes are comfortable and will protect the children’s feet, unlike flip flops. I would prefer to give my grandkids native shoes to wear but my grandkids only wear flip flops around the house and to the beach. Can I order Native shoes through your website? Where is the cheapest place to buy them?

    • Hello Luna,

      Flip flops are not dangerous as long as they are worn the way they are supposed to be worn. Flip flops for kids are meant to be sued to go to the swimming and come back, or walk around the beach. Basically when your child is doing short periods of walking, it’s okay for them to wear flip flops. However, flip flops should never be worn for long periods of walking or when your children are running around.

      Native shoes are awesome, but I wouldn’t allow my child to run around in them. You can definitely order Native shoes from my website, and you will notice how Amazon offers the best prices for them!

  4. Yay for flip flop season! I admit that I do buy flip flops for my kids, but they only wear them if we’re running out to the store real quick or they just need to slip something on real quick for a fast errand. They definitely do not run in them.

    What do you think about swim shoes? My kids wear these when we go to the pool or the beach, but it seems like they aren’t much better in terms of support. Is it harmful for them to wear them all day? My kids like them because the pavement is often hot when going to and from the pool or when they get out to jump in or stand in line at the diving boards. Where can I get swim shoes for my kids? Do you have any recommendations? Good quality yet affordable?

    • Hello Theresa,

      That’s exactly what flip flops are meant to be worn for, short distance walking! I wouldn’t recommend wearing swim shoes all day since they don’t provide any type of support to your kids feet.

      Swim shoes are great for wearing around the pool and inside it, but not for wearing the whole day! Have you ever heard of Keen sandals for kids? They are great summer shoes that your children can wear after the swimming to run round and play with. They provide great support and stability, and they are the number one choice for parents when it comes to choosing summer shoes! I wrote a post about Keen sandals and you can find it here:

      Keen Sandals for Children – The Best Summer Sandal

  5. Are slides better than flip flops? My son prefers to wear Nike slides, what do you think about them? He always looks so unstable in them, specially when he tries to run. What is a good summer shoe that provides good stability and support? We also buy our kids shoes from Amazon since they offer the best prices, do you agree with this?

    • Hello Marie,

      Slides and flip-flops are practically the same and serve the same purpose. They are meant to walk comfortably around the house, or around the beach. However, they don’t provide any stability whatsoever, so I would’t allow my child to wear them around the swimming pool. A good summer shoe that provides good support is called Keen sandals. I describe these sandals in this post:

      Keen Sandals for Children – The Best Summer Sandal

      Amazon definitely offers the best prices for kids shoes!

  6. Your articles are great! i just discovered them recently, and have certainly benefitted. my 4 year old so has long narrow feet, and i have had such a hard time finding shoes that he can run in (he is VERY active). I tried the Asics you mentioned, and they fit great! He runs so much better in them! Now, are there any flip flops that could work for narrow feet? It seems like his toes can be hanging over the edge, but the straps are still so loose above his foot. All he has right now are his sneakers, but we live in a super hot climate, so I’d like him to have something to slip on easily for short periods of outside time or water play. Thanks for all your information. It’s been really helpful to us!

    • Hello Jules,

      Wearing the correct type of shoes has a direct impact on the way we walk and run, and you were able to experience it with your son.
      It’s hard to fit a pair of narrow feet in a pair of flip flops. Why don’t you provide him with a summer sandal that he can play with and run around all day? Have you ever heard of Keen sandals? There is a particular style that will fit the shape of your son’s feet and you can find it Here:

      Narrow Sandals for Boys

      You can learn more about Keen sandals in an article I wrote called:

      Keen Sandals for Children – The Best Summer Sandal

      I hope this helps!

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