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Saddle Shoes for Kids – The Best Classic Oxfords for Your Kid!


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

Most parents know what saddle shoes are from having worn a pair themselves or from purchasing a pair for their kids. However, there are a lot of parents out there that still don’t know what they are. This style of shoe is required by certain schools as part of their children’s school uniform code.

Saddle shoes are low-heeled casual oxford shoes —hence the alternative name “Saddle Oxford”— characterized by a plain toe and distinctive saddle-shaped decorative panel placed in the middle of the shoe.

Private and Catholic schools tend to require these shoes as part of their school uniform code. Saddle shoes are made by several different shoe companies, but I will show you which styles are the most supportive, durable, and popular among children.

Not all saddle shoes provide the same support or are made from high-quality materials, and certain styles are capable of accommodating the shape of a child with wide feet and high insteps.

There are a lot of different shoe companies that make saddle shoes, and while they all might look alike, different companies make shoes differently. Some saddle shoes are better made than others and will provide more structure and support to your kids’ feet. In addition, some saddle shoes are made of higher quality materials than others.

My Experience Fitting Children’s Shoes

I have been working for a specialized children’s shoe store for over 10 years now that focuses on helping children with foot and leg problems, but we provide regular shoe fittings as well. We carry some of the most supportive children’s shoes and orthotics, and I am familiar with which shoe brands and which shoe styles are better than others in terms of support and fit.


For the last 5 years, I have been helping families find the perfect pair of shoes for their children online.

Saddle shoes can be worn by boys or girls, and they come in different widths, styles and colors. They are still popular even though they were first introduced in 1906. The main reason why this style of shoe has been around for so many years is that it’s considered a functional shoe. Whether your child needs these shoes for school, church, or any other casual occasion, saddle shoes are one of the best footwear choices for children.

I will describe the best saddle shoes for kids shortly —available for children with medium, wide ad extra wide feet— but I first want to make sure that you know your child’s exact foot size, especially if you are going to be buying your kids’ shoes online.


Are You 100% Sure of Your Child’s Foot Size? – Get it Right!

I always recommend parents to take their children to their local children’s shoe store that they trust, the issue is that most stores have been closing down and parents need to end up buying their kids’ shoes online. There is nothing wrong with this, but you must know your child’s exact foot size to know what size to order.

I created a resource that showcases the best fitting children’s shoe stores by state:

The Best Kids’ Shoe Stores In The United States – Where To Go For Proper Fittings

If after looking at that resource you still can’t seem to identify a shoe store in your area, then proceed to take a look at an article I created that describes 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.

The Best Saddle Shoe Brands – Footmates and School Issue!

When choosing a pair of saddle shoes for your child, you might feel overwhelmed by the different styles that different shoe brands have to offer. When parents shop for their kids’ shoes, they tend to compare prices and choose the most affordable one, which is understandable since everyone is looking to save some money. However, it is important that you choose shoes from a reputable brand that is known for making good quality shoes.

The 2 best shoe brands that make the best saddle shoes for children are called Foot mates and School Issue. I have fitted this style multiple times and parents love how sturdy yet comfortable it is. Perfect for those school days when your child is running around at recess.

They have stood the test of both boys and girls! Both genders have approved of saddle shoes. They also will hold up well to scuffs and/or tears after being worn for a long time, and you know children are hard on shoes.

I only write reviews of shoe styles that I have fitted before, otherwise, I wouldn’t know how well-made they are, the amount of support that they provide, and how they fit. Disclosure: Keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases.

The Best Saddle Shoes for Kids ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Some of the features that good saddle shoes provide are leather uppers, leather linings, padded collars, cushioned insoles and non-marking outsoles. The saddle shoe styles that I recommend is available in different widths, which will be perfect if you have a child with wide or extra wide feet.

While working at the children’s shoe store, I have heard lots of different stories related to kids’ shoes. I remember one story a parent told me that involved a pair of saddle shoes:

The parents bought a pair of saddle shoes online for their daughter that ended up hurting her feet. Apparently, the manufacturer used thick industrial staples in the construction of the shoe and one of the staples was not fully closed between the bottom of the upper and the sole.

After two days of use, one end of a staple pushed through the insole of the footbed and left a small puncture wound on the bottom of the child’s foot!

This is a wake-up call for parents to understand the importance of choosing their kids’ shoes carefully.  


Please remember that before buying a pair of saddle shoes for your child, there are many factors to take into consideration such as the quality, the width, and the support that the shoes have to offer.

I provided you with a description of the best styles of saddle shoes for children. Buying the right type of shoe for your child doesn’t mean buying the more expensive ones, you just need to know which styles are better-made than others, to make the most informed decision. That way you can be certain that your child’s foot health is not being jeopardized by poorly made or improperly fitting shoes.

Keep in mind that depending on the brand and saddle shoe style that you chose, the shoes might stain or scuff! That’s why having a shoe polish at home might come in handy. I wrote an article where I describe the best shoe polish product for saddle shoes. Go to the link below:

The Best Shoe Polish Brand – Perfect for Kids and Adult Shoes

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:


Is there a particular saddle shoe style or brand that has worked well for your children? Please share your comments below so other parents can benefit from your experiences.


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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Shoe Sizing Chart

10 Comments on Saddle Shoes for Kids – The Best Classic Oxfords for Your Kid!

  1. This site is great! You have so much information here that it’s almost hard to know where to start. I’m so glad to see that someone is doing a website like this because I have always felt that the first pair of shoes were the most important for any of my two children when they were babies.
    I now have a grandchild who is almost two and running around like crazy at home in her socks. I told her mom that I would be happy to buy her first pair of shoes but that they needed to be fitted by a professional shoe source.
    I have forwarded a copy of this site to her in hopes that she will read and understand what it is and how important those first shoes really are.
    Thanks again for doing such great work. Extensive but needed.

    • Rene,

      My goal is to inform parents about the important role that shoes play when it comes to taking care of our kids feet. I believe newer generations are not informed, or don’t care as much, about the importance that shoes play in our kids healthy feet, legs, and backs. I know that the information might seem overwhelming at first, but my goal was also to create a webpage that will have every single answer a parent might have about their kids feet.

      In the homepage, you can find a “search” option, where you can type whatever it is that you are looking for, and it will pop up.

  2. Children’s shoes, the eternal dilemma, to buy expensive pair or two pairs but cheaper ???? I am the mother of two children three and six year old, and in the beginning I was very careful about all the features that you mentioned: quality of the shoe, the width and the support and these shoes are usually quite expensive. Children wear 2-3 months and need new because their foot rises. I think it is a good to buy quality shoes if you can afford it, because avoided later deformation of legs, wrong gait and irregular backbone.

    • Deva,

      Your three year old child should be wearing shoes for 3 1/2 months, if you are fitting his or her shoes properly.

      The size year old child should be wearing shoes for 4 1/2 to 5 months, again, if you are having his or her feet measured and fitted properly.

      Please make sure you are having your children shoes fitted properly.

  3. Ooh my gosh! Thank you for this article, your whole website is simply fantastic!

    I LOVE saddle shoes and was just talking to my sister who needs them for school uniforms. So, this was the perfect article to send her!

    They last SO much longer than these canvas shoes they are always getting. They are also great for “hand-me-down” shoes since these kids grow so dang fast! I wear cowboy boots – so I am a huge fan of real leather shoes. They are getting harder and harder to find for children.

    Thank you for posting the links – I did not know they came in other colors, the boys will be very happy with the blue and grey pair!

    • Most people don’t even know tat they still make saddle shoes! However, I wouldn’t recommend you using them as a hand-me-down shoe. I actually wrote a post about the negative impact and how you can compromise your kids foot health by using hand-me-down shoes, the post is called:

      Second Hand Shoes for Kids – Stop Hurting Your Child’s Feet.

      I know children feet grow fast, that’s why it is important to measure their feet properly, to leave the proper amount of growing room for them.

      Remember that they are also available in wide widths!

  4. Great reading and I have not seen saddle shoes for a long long time!

    I think one of the problems of today is there a lot of shoe options and of course the prices vary, but lack the quality and for me this is a big thing.

    So many times I have bought shoes for my children (and for myself for that matter) and within a couple of months they are falling to pieces.

    I always remember one boy when I was in school many years ago and he had some saddle shoes. If I remember correctly he had them for the whole of the high school period – 5 years.

    Now on a kid, that is what you can call quality!

    Thanks for this info 🙂


    • Chris,

      A lot of parents are not even aware that they still make saddle shoe. They are great quality school shoes, that guarantee that your child will outgrow the shoes before anything happens to the shoes.

  5. Great website. I haven’t seen or heard of people with saddle shoes in for ever. The other thing that I noticed in the last few years because of my grandbabies is….I couldn’t find the white high top shoes that we started walking in that were referred to as walking shoes.
    All the best to you.

    • Michelle,

      I know which shoes you are talking about, they are made by Jumping Jacks and they are the cutest shoes! We sell them at the store but I haven’t been able to find that particular shoe online.They are still popular as first walking shoes and also for children who need extra support around the ankles.

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