I have been working for a specialized children’s shoe store fitting shoes and orthotics for the last ten years, where we specialize in children with foot and leg problems, but we provide regular shoe fitting as well. Throughout the years, I got familiar with the best shoe brands and the best shoe styles for children with narrow, medium, wide, and extra wide feet.
I am an expert in fitting children from when they start taking their first steps, all the way up to their teenage years.
I am always emphasizing to parents that choosing the correct type of shoes for their children is key in order to keep their feet and legs healthy, specially for toddlers who might not be fully stable.
There is a particular shoe style made by Saucony called the “Saucony Baby Ride”, that I have found to be the best fitting shoe style for toddlers.
The shoe style is available in different widths, so it will fit a child with narrow feet, as well as a child with wide or extra wide feet (as long as you choose the shoe width accordingly). These shoes come with a durable, supportive sole and with a firm heel counter that provides ankle support, but they are lightweight and flexible at the same time.
All of these features make it really easy for your toddler to walk and run with confidence!
At the children’s shoe store that I work for, we used to sell a ton of these Saucony shoe styles since as soon as their children outgrew their shoes, parents will ask for the same shoe style. Saucony offers them in different colors and parents love the quality and the price of the shoes.
Just so you know, I only review shoes that I have fitted before, since that is the only way for me to tell the quality of the shoes, the amount of support that they provide, and the way they FIT.
One common mistake I see parents make is thinking that once they get their child’s feet measured, that size will automatically translate into their kids’ shoe size. This is one of the main reasons why children end up wearing the wrong sized shoes.
The reason why it doesn’t work like this is that shoes can fit short, long, narrow, or wide, and depending on how the shoes FIT, you will need to adjust what size you provide for your child.
For example, if your son measures a shoe size 10 in the Brannock device (this is the standar foot measuring tool), but the shoes “fit short”, then instead of going a half a size longer to provide growing room you will have to go a whole size longer and choose the shoe size 11.
If you don’t have a children’s shoe store where you can take your child to be properly fitted for shoes, please take a look at an article I wrote where I describe the simplest, yet most effective way to figure out your child’s shoe size from home:
Below I will provide you with a selection of the best sneakers for toddlers.
Saucony Baby Ride – The Best Sneakers for Toddlers
Now that you know how to make sure that you are providing your child with the correct shoe size, let’s take a look at the best sneakers for toddlers:
All of these shoe styles fit “SHORT’, which means that you need to go a WHOLE SIZE LONGER of the size that your child measures in the shoe measuring scale in order to allow for growing room.
One important thing that you should keep in mind is that if your child has really wide feet (extra wide with a high instep), I would recommend that you try a New balance shoe style that I have fitted before that will provide a rounder toe-box compared to this shoe style. You can find that shoe style here:
Why is this shoe style so popular among toddlers?
Most parents will tell you that the shoe style is offered at a really good price for the quality it provides. The shoes are made of leather and textile which provides durability and breathability (both features that most parents request in their kids’ shoes). The shoes also come with an antimicrobial treatment lining to minimize the risk of odor causing bacteria.
Another awesome feature of this shoe style is how it provides a non-marking sole that covers high impact zones to reduce the impact that your toddler’s feet and legs take every time they come in contact with the ground.
This shoe style will cushion, support, and FIT your toddler’s feet better than any other toddler shoe style, and here are the reasons why:
- Depth: There are certain toddler’s shoes that are deeper than others. Shoes that come with extra depth will allow your child’s feet to sit deeply inside the shoes, making your child’s feet feel more comfortable and preventing your child’s heels from coming out of the shoes. IMPORTANT TIP: Shoes with extra depth are also ideal for fitting an orthotic inside them.
- Support: It’s important for your toddler that is already walking to have supportive shoes that are still lightweight and flexible. We need the shoes to be supportive to minimize the impact that your toddler’s feet take every time they come in contact with the ground, but they can’t be too heavy, since certain toddlers lack the strength to bend a harder sole.
- Quality materials: Your toddler’s shoes must be made of good, quality materials that will allow the shoes to last and prevent your toddler from destroying the shoes before they outgrow them. Shoes that are made of quality materials will also allow your child’s feet to breathe and prevent smelly feet and the formation of bacteria inside the shoes.
- Widths: Since children’s feet come in different shapes and sizes, it’s important for the shoes to be available in different widths such as medium, wide, and extra wide (there are only a few kids’ shoe styles that come in narrow widths).
What are Parents Saying About this Shoe Style?
THESE ARE THE BEST SNEAKERS EVER!
Our family is a huge fan of Saucony sneakers, and in particular the Baby Ride style. We love how durable they are, easy to clean, and they don’t break the bank. We also buy them because they fit wide feet (my son is extra wide). I bought this shoe style in the next two sizes because they are such great sneakers. Oh, and they are easy to put on, and my kids don’t try to take them off.
LOVE LOVE LOVE!
Great shoes! My 3-year-old daughter doesn’t like her shoes to feel too tight so I order these shoes in wide (even though she doesn’t have a wide foot). I always had a hard time finding wide shoes that are cute, durable and reasonably priced, so we are sticking with this shoe style. I have found all those things in these shoes. My daughter and I like the fact that they are available in different colors
They must be very comfortable because she wants to wear them every day. One feature I love is how they are very easy for her to put on and take off with the velcro strap which is very important for this busy mom. When she outgrows them, I will look for a second pair in a different color because she likes them so much and she is so picky!
THEY DON’T RUN AS WIDE
My son has wide feet and we always used to get him Stride Rite or New Balance, until we tried this shoe style in a wide width for him. They are fine, and prices were more reasonable than those two brands but comparing Stride Rite or New Balance wide sneakers, Saucony wide sneakers are not as wide as those two brands, so if your child has wide feet you should order the extra wide instead of the wide.
Before you leave, I wanted to let you know that socks play a key role in keeping your kids’ feet healthy.
The Best Socks for Toddlers? – Seamless and Breathable
The reason why I mention this is that I have seen several parents that allow their kids to wear their shoes without socks, and this can lead to the formation of bacteria inside the shoes.
I always recommend parents to always make sure that their kids are wearing socks with their shoes, since they act as a barrier between your kids’ feet and the shoes and prevent the buildup of bacteria inside the shoes.
If you have a child that refuses to wear socks because he/she feels every lump and bump, you should check out an article I wrote where I describe the best seamless socks for kids.
Have you provided your child with this shoe style before? If you had, please let us know how it worked out for your child so other parents can benefit from your experiences!