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

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.

What Are Saddle Shoes?

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.

What Schools Usually Require Children to Wear Saddle Shoes?

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.

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 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 different resource that describes the simplest, yet most effective way to figure out your child’s foot size from home.

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 Footmates 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: 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.

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.

Are Any Other Shoe Choices Available?

Do not hesitate to contact me directly at my email if you have any further questions or if you need a different pair of shoes for your child.

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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.