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Native Shoes – The Must Have Shoe for the Summer


Have you been looking for the perfect pair of summer shoes for your child? You probably want a shoe that is versatile and durable, easy to put on, waterproof, and yet still looks stylish! Native has become one of the most popular summer shoe brands for kids and parents love how versatile and stylish these summer shoes are. With that said, certain Native shoes work a lot better than others, and I will describe those models shortly.

Are you tired of your child wearing Crocs? How about the smell from constantly using Keen sandals? If this is the case, Native might be your children’s go-to summer shoe. Native shoes are super breathable, easy to wash out, and feature a secure fit, so they are less likely to fall off your kids’ feet!

Parents are choosing Native shoes for their kids over flip flops and Crocs.

Native shoes are as easy to wear as they look! These shoes are:

1️⃣ Washable

2️⃣ Waterproof

3️⃣ Odor resistant

4️⃣ Shock absorbent

5️⃣ Durable

6️⃣ Comfortable

7️⃣ Traction

8️⃣ Animal by-product free

My Experience Fitting Children’s Shoes – Over a Decade of Shoe Fitting Experience!

I have been working at a specialized children’s shoe store for the last 10 years, and Native shoes are most parents’ favorites as far as summer shoes concern. They’re closed-toed and yet breathable, so children can wear them everywhere, from preschool to the beach, and in all seasons except for winter.


I only recommend kids’ shoes that are made of high-quality materials, are comfortable, and provide good support for their feet.

Most children have a hard time wearing flip flops. Kids will typically complain that flip flops bother them between the big toe.

Crocs offer better protection than flip flops, but most parents don’t like the way Crocs look and how unstable they are for their children. Native shoes provide similar features but fit a lot better than Crocs. Parents also prefer the looks of the Native Shoes over Crocs.

Most children find Native shoes comfortable, stylish, and they love how breathable they are! Below you can see how Natives summer shoes look like:


If your children haven’t tried these shoes before, I believe they are missing out on a versatile, fun shoe for the summer. 

If you need a pair of summer shoes that your child can wear pretty much everywhere, you came to the right place! I will show you a selection of the best Native shoes for children and tell you how each shoe style fits —short, long, narrow, or wide.

Native Shoes for Kids – The Perfect Summer Shoe!

Most children feel super comfortable in these shoes, and they will also get many compliments on them. Are you looking for something comfortable and practical for your kids to wear during the summer? Then, look no further!

Keep in mind that Native shoes are meant to be worn for a maximum of 4 hours a day. Your child should switch to his or her sneakers after that point. If you are looking for a summer shoe that provides good support, please refer to my post describing the most supportive summer shoes:

Keen Sandals for Children – The Best Summer Sandal

Keen sandals remain the best summer sandals for children in terms of support and durability.

Native shoes are different than Keen sandals in the sense that Native shoes are very easy to put on and look more stylish.


What are the Advantages of Wearing Native Shoes?

The advantages of providing your child with a pair of Native shoes are:

  • They come in a lot of different fun styles and colors and most of them are gender neutral.
  • They are durable, and your child will typically outgrow the shoes before wearing them out.
  • They are easy for children to put on and take off.
  • They are easy to clean, and you can even throw them into the washing machine.
  • They are flexible, super lightweight, and comfortable.
  • They are odor-resistant.
  • They are animal by-product free. Even better, Native strives to be environmentally responsible, by using a low emissions manufacturing process and recyclable packing materials.

Why Natives? – The Perfect Summer Shoe for Your Child!

Let’s take a look at the most common questions parents ask about Native shoes:

Will these shoes make my children’s feet sweat and stink?

Not at all! They actually are a much better alternative to Crocs or flip flops when it comes to the smell. These Native shoes are obviously not for hiking, walking long distances, or running around in general, but they don’t smell like other summer shoes do.

Will my children be able to wear them in the water?

I wouldn’t recommend swimming with them. They are water shoes meant to be worn around the swimming pool, the boat, or the beach.

If my child is a shoe size 1.5, should I order a size 1 or 2?

I would advise you to get a size 1, since they run really long.

Will these shoes work for my child who has wide feet?

Yes, they will typically fit a wide foot, but not an extra wide foot.

Will these shoes fit my child who has a high instep?

Yes, they usually will. The upper part of the shoe is flexible.

Can my child wear these shoes with socks?

Yes, but style-wise, this type of shoe is not meant to be worn with socks. It would be like wearing a pair of sandals with socks.

What are Native shoes made of?

They are made out of plastic. The material is similar to that of Crocs, but softer.

How do Native shoes compare to Keens?

It is hard to compare Native with Keen sandals as they are of a different category. Keens are rugged, supportive, and durable. Natives are fun, lightweight, easy to put on and take off, but they are not built like a Keen sandal.

Are Natives shoes machine washable?

Yes, they are machine washable, but do not put them in the drier since they might shrink!

What is the difference between the Jefferson style and the Miller style?

The Jefferson style fits more narrowly than the Miller style. If your child has a wide foot, I would recommend you consider the Miller style. The Jefferson style is also more breathable than the Miller style.


Will Natives Fit a Child with Wide Feet? – How Do They Fit?

Natives can fit children with wide feet, but not children with extra wide feet. If your children have narrow, medium, or wide feet, they will be able to fit into Natives.

You will want to choose a particular Native shoe style that is appropriate for the specific width of your child’s foot. For example, The Jefferson style fits narrower than the Miller style. If your child has a wide foot, you should choose the Miller style.

Slip-on shoes are the hardest to fit when it comes to children’s shoes. If you are having a hard time finding the right size Natives for your child, contact me directly, and I will be able to answer your questions: fittingchildrensshoes@gmail.com 

Without further ado, let’s take a look at the best Native shoes for kids. Disclosure: Keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases.

The Best Native Shoes for Kids ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Native shoes are ONE of the best summer choices for your children! Your kids can wear them to the beach, swimming pool, or any other wet area since they have excellent traction! You will find their two most popular styles: “The Jefferson” and ” The Miller”.

Keep in mind that the shoes tend to fit really long!

With most seasonal footwear, I usually recommend purchasing shoes half a size larger than the size your child measures in the standard foot measuring tool (Brannock device) to allow for growing room. However, since Natives shoes already fit “long”, then you will have to provide your child with the same size that your child’s feet measured on the shoe measuring scale.

 Unsure About What Shoe Size You Should Order?

I created an article that describes how to determine the size of your child’s feet from home. The post is called:

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

I am always emphasizing to parents to provide their kids with the correct shoe size to prevent all sorts of foot issues such as blisters, calluses, and corns.

These shoe styles look very similar, but they fit different types of kids’ feet according to which shoe style you choose.

➡️ The Jefferson style fits children who have narrow feet.

➡️ The Miles style fits children with wide feet.

➡️ The Juniper style will work best for children who have narrow heels since it comes with a velcro strap.

Give these summer shoes a try. You can thank me later 😉

Does your child already own a pair of Native shoes? Do you prefer Crocs rather than Natives? What is the best summer shoe your child has ever worn? Please share your thoughts and experiences below so we can all benefit from them!


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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36 Comments on Native Shoes – The Must Have Shoe for the Summer

  1. Thank you soooo much! My daughter will most likely be walking soon so I’m been trying to scout shoes for her. While winter just started in this part of the world, I’m pretty sure that when summer hits, this would be perfect! She loves the water and this looks perfect for the beach! Thank you for such a great idea!

    • She is definitely going to look stylish in those shoes!They are the perfect shoe for the beach, lightweight, flexible, and super easy to get the sand out!

  2. I have 2 nieces, one is 4 and the other is 18 months (just started walking about 4 months ago). They love running around and playing, as any child would. But they HATE shoes, could just be me but the barefoot life is the life for them I guess. My sister and the family were planning on taking the kids to the beach this summer, do they make Natives in toddler sizes? For my niece that’s 18 months? Thanks!

    • Jeremy,

      Yes, they do make them in toddler sizes. They smallest size they have is a size 4. I would make sure that they are wearing the right pair of shoes. Children tend to not want to wear shoes that are too short, or too narrow. Hope this helps!

  3. Awesome shoes! Got one pair for each of my kids and they love them! You are correct that many shoes are expensive and they are of lower quality than the cheaper shoes just because of the brand name and it is important for people to be informed on this when purchasing shoes.

    • Native shoes are awesome! I hope they have fun wearing them this summer. They are great for the pool, beach, or just walking around in the hot weather.

  4. These shoes are really cute. I’ve never heard of this brand before. I tend to go a little crazy with buying shoes for my kids. They might have more pairs than I do! I like that you say these shoes are durable. I have three boys and we can never hand down shoes. They are so worn out, I have to toss them before they ever grow out of their shoes. Do you know if these shoes are completely flat? Or is there a difference in the height of the toe versus the height of the heel? Thanks for showing me this brand!

    • Candace,

      Native shoes don’t offer a lot of support. They are slip-on shoes without any arch they tend to be flat. The main reason for this is that they are not meant to be worn all day, I usually recommend not wearing them more than 5 to 6 hours a day. Hope this clarifies!

  5. Never mind the kids – I want a pair of these!!! They look great and the material is so versatile. And animal friendly too. Perfect!!
    I wear Crocs. I know they’re ugly, but the pros outweigh how they look. I can wear them in the summer and I can dip my feet into the paddling pool out in the garden. I can also wear them in the winter when I’m going outside to get coal. They’re comfy and waterproof and easy to clean. I’ve been a huge supporter of Crocs for years. Until now I’m afraid….. I’m loving these Native shoes…. Looks like I’m going to have to get myself a pair…!! 🙂 Great post, thanks 🙂

    • Jyl,

      Crocs are comfortable and children love them because of the roomy fit. Native shoes are the same idea, the only difference is that most parents believe they look better than Crocs. You should try a pair and let me know what you think!

  6. My son is measuring at a size 6. We recently just bought him the Jefferson in a 5 and a 6. He’s 18 mo old and I know they tend to run big so we tried the 5 first. He doesn’t seem bothered by them as if they are too small, but they are really hard to put on. The 6s are way easier. His heel doesn’t fall out of them, but they are certainly more roomy. How are these supposed to fit?

    • Hello Elise,

      The reason why the size 5 might be hard to put on is because he might have a wide foot or a high instep. You can’t leave a ton of growing room in these type of shoes, since they don’t have a velcro strap to hold your child’s feet in place. How many more months of summer do you have in your area? If summer is just starting I will go for the size 6. If you have 3 to 4 more months of summer I will go for the size 5. Hope that helps!

  7. Hello,
    I also found natives for my kids a while ago. Last year we successfully used them for my 2.5 year old in the miller style. This year I ordered the miles style for my now 3.5 year old and passed down the miller style to my almost 2 year old.

    The problem is the shoes didn’t work this year. They are plenty long enough but I can’t get their feet into the whole for the foot to put the shoe on. They don’t have particularly fat feet so I don’t know what to do. Any suggestions?

    The 2 year old would wear a C7 and it is definitely long enough but can’t get his foot in. The 3.5 year old is probably a c9 now although the c8 was fine at the start of summer I can’t get his foot in anymore.

  8. Hi Juan,

    I bought two pairs of these shoes for my daughter. The 6 slipped right on but her heel slightly came out when she would walk. For that reason, I went with the 5. I can feel when I put it on that there is enough room but I do have to pull it on rather than simply slip on. I just noticed after her wearing them at the park for a couple of hours that she has Indents all over the top of her foot from the holes. I’m not sure what to do so am hoping you have a recommendation. Is this normal at all or is this style shoe potentially not right for my daughter? I really don’t like the way crocs fit so I’m hoping natives will work!

  9. Hello,

    I seem to have a similar problem to the last post – this shoe slips off the heel of both of my children, even when I go a full size down. They seem to have very narrow feet. You mentioned that the Miller style is slightly wider than the Jefferson (which is what we have), but what about the other styles – Juniper or Verona? Would either of those be narrower?

    • Hello Christine,

      The Jefferson is the narrowest style. The Juniper fits a medium width foot and the Verona also fits a medium width foot but it has a wider opening. There are certain shoe styles that just won’t work for our particular kids’ feet. I believe your kids’ might have a narrow heel. Slip on shoes are also really hard to fit so maybe you need something with a velcro strap that will hold your kids’ feet in place.

  10. I love the Natives and I bought the stars pair for my 3 year old and they give him blisters in the back. Do you know what might cause that? The shoe doesn’t look too small and we didn’t go down a size, we just bought his regular size 7. It doesn’t slip off either. I would love to buy more but the blisters really hurt him.

    • Hello Alicia,

      Your child might have sensitive skin around the ankle. Keep in mind that not all children can wear slip-on shoes, are you looking for an easy on and off pair of summer she’s for your child?

      If the shoe is the correct size (not too long nor too short) then it means that the Natives might not be the correct shoe for your child.You can also try a different native “style” to see if they work together. Did you try the new Juniper style? It comes with a strap accross the instep of the foot to keep the shoe in place and minimize ankle movement which leads to blisters.

      I hope this helps!

  11. Both of my kids are getting blisters on the bottom of their toes… every single toe. They both have the Jefferson style. The shoes aren’t causing blisters anywhere else. Now, I’m rethinking buying these anymore or even letting them wear it on our beach vacation.

    • Hello Seng,

      Certain children react different to certain shoe styles. Because of the fact that they are developing blisters I would recommend that they stop wearing them right away and you provide them with a different type of summer shoe style. Maybe something that prevents their feet from moving too much and with a substantial sole that cushions their feet and toes.

      Have you ever heard of Keen sandals? It’s a very functional summer shoe that children can run and play all day. You can learn more about them here:

      Keen Summer Sandal For Children – The Best Summer Sandal

      I hope this helps!

  12. What is the difference between the Miller and the Miles style? I dont see the Miles mentioned in this article.


  13. Hi, do you know the skechers “native” style? There is a Guzman model. I was wondering if they are also a good option for kids similar to the Native shoes

  14. Hi! I just bought my 2 year old his first pair of Natives in the Jefferson style. He wore them around the house for about 30 minutes and had indentations/bumps on the tops of his feet from the holes. Is this normal? I’m not sure if they would turn in to blisters or not with further use. They are a bit long on his foot, which I expected, and he does not have a particularly “chubby” or wide foot. So I’m thinking they are the correct size.

    • Hello Amanda,

      I can’t tell you with 100% confidence whether your son might get blisters on his feet from wearing the shoes. It sounds to me like the Natives are not deep enough for your child’s feet. When children have marks on the top of their feet it either means that they might have a high instep or the shoes are not deep enough.

      It sounds like Natives are not the correct type of shoe for your child.

  15. Hi I just recently bought natives size 7c for my almost 2 yr old and I noticed she has blister or irritation on the inside of her heel, looked similar to a callus but was itchy Is this normal ? She didn’t wear all day just for a hr or two.. it was on both feet so had to be the shoes.

    • Hi Trinity,

      No, it’s not normal. I recommend that you return the shoes and provide your daughter with a summer shoe that provides more padding around the heels.

      Unfortunately, not all children can wear Natives. Let me know if you need specific shoe recommendations.

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