The Best Summer Shoes for Toddlers – Crocs, Natives, Stride Rite, or Keen Sandals?
With summertime being around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about what type of summer shoes your toddler should wear. Have you always wondered which are the best summer shoes for toddlers?
The most popular shoe brands for kids are Keen, Natives, Stride Rite, and Crocs. There are several choices out there, but not all sandals provide toddlers with the support, stability, and comfort that they need to keep their feet and legs healthy during the summer.
If you’re pressed for time, you can jump directly to the selection of the best summer shoes for toddlers.
The summer shoes that you choose for your toddlers play a key role in keeping their feet and legs healthy. During the summer season is when I have noticed that toddlers develop blisters, calluses, and corns.
Several parents have asked me what type of summer shoes they should provide for their toddlers. Especially since there are many options out there and among the most popular ones are Crocs, Natives, Stride Rite, and Keen. Surely you have heard of some of these shoe brands before. The big question is: Which one of these shoe brands should you provide for your toddler?
Crocs, Natives, Stride Rite, or Keen Sandals?
I have fitted sandals from all of the most popular shoe brands, and I came up with this conclusion:
➡️ Crocs and Natives are both extremely popular among young children, but they don’t provide any support or stability, and they might end up creating several issues with your toddler’s feet. The main issue with these 2 shoe brands is that they don’t come with any velcro closure that can hold the toddlers’ feet in place. Parents love how Natives look, but if you want to prevent your toddler’s feet from developing a foot issue, you might want to look for a different type of summer shoe.
➡️ Stride Rite and Keen sandals come with a substantial and supportive outsole, and toddlers can wear them for longer periods of time.
Are Keen and Stride Rite Sandals the Best Summer Choice for Your Toddler?
Keen sandals are the #1 summer choice for toddlers who need a versatile sandal to play and run around for most of the day. They are practically indestructible, which means that if you leave the correct amount of growing room your toddler will wear them for the whole summer season —you can even pass them down to a younger child.
Stride Rite sandals offer great versatility as well in terms of support and fit, since it manufactures sandals that are available in wide (W) and extra wide (XW). It is a fact that most toddlers tend to have wide or extra wide feet, so sandals that are capable of fitting wide or extra wide feet are extremely versatile.
I am going to show you a selection of the best summer sandals for toddlers, but I want you to get familiar with what features these sandals provide and how you can make sure that you get the correct sandal size for your toddler.
Toddler’s Sandals – The 5 Most Important Features!
There are 5 important features that the sandals I will recommend below provide:
1️⃣ Substantial outsoles: This feature provides shock absorption and minimizes the impact that your toddlers’ feet take when they come in contact with the ground. A substantial outsole also allows your toddler to wear the sandals for longer periods of time.
2️⃣ Good traction: This feature helps prevent your toddler from slipping and falling, especially when walking around wet surfaces.
3️⃣ Secure velcro closure: It’s important for the sandals to come with a velcro strap to hold your child’s feet in place, and prevent the feet from moving too much inside the sandals. This feature also allows your toddler to play and run around feeling more stable.
4️⃣ Quick Dry Technology: This feature allows the sandals to dry fast and prevent your toddler from walking around with wet feet.
5️⃣ Lightweight and Flexible: It’s important for the sandals to be supportive, but they must be lightweight and flexible at the same time to prevent your toddlers’ feet and legs from easily getting tired.
Before I show you a selection of the best summer shoes for toddlers, I want to make sure that you know how to provide your toddler with the correct shoe size. I am always explaining to parents that it doesn’t matter how many features a particular shoe provides, if the shoes are not the correct size, your toddler won’t get any of the benefits that the shoes have to offer.
Are You Certain of Your Toddler’s Foot Size? – Let’s Find Out!
Let’s first make sure that you don’t have a good fitting children’s shoe store in your area. Start by taking a look at a resource I created where I describe the best fitting children’s shoe local store by state.
If after looking at that resource you still can’t seem to find a good fitting children’s shoe store in your area, then proceed to take a look at an article I created where I describe the simplest, yet most effective way to figure out your toddler’s foot size from home.
Now that you know what features a good sandal provides and how to make sure that you provide your toddler with the correct sandal size, you are ready to take a look at a selection of the best summer shoes for toddlers. 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 Summer Shoes for Toddlers
Make sure that you look at the description below the image of each sandal to check whether that style can fit the shape of your toddler’s feet.
Many of the sandals featured below come in several color options, so if you like a specific model, please make sure to click through and see if they have the desired color.
What Shoe Size Should You Order?
Most sandals are not available in half sizes; they are available in whole sizes only. This factor will also play a key role in which size you will end up ordering for your toddler.
Let’s take a look at a couple of different scenarios that will help you identify which sandal size to order for your toddler.
- If your toddler measures a foot size 5, you will order the size 6 and your toddler will still get the correct amount of growing room.
- If your toddler measures a foot size 5 ½, you will order the size 6 and your toddler will get the correct amount of growing room.
Does Your Toddler Have Narrow Feet?
If you have a toddler with narrow feet, you should take a look at two articles I wrote where I describe the best narrow sandals for toddlers with narrow feet.
Why is your Toddler Developing Foot Issues During the Summer?
There are several reasons why toddlers are more prone to develop foot issues during the summer:
- Wearing sandals that are too stiff: Sandals should always be made of soft and comfortable materials.
- Excessive foot movement inside the sandals: The constant friction between the feet and the sandals can lead to blisters, calluses, and corns.
- The sandals are not drying fast enough: Walking around with wet feet for most of the day makes the skin soft and more prone to blisters.
If you can’t seem to find a particular shoe style for your toddler, please do not hesitate to contact me and I will help you find it. It doesn’t matter how narrow or wide your toddler’s feet are, there is always at least one particular shoe style out there that will fit the shape of your toddler’s feet perfectly.
Do you have a favorite summer sandal that you like to provide for your toddler? Is there a particular brand that you can recommend? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below so other parents can benefit from your experiences.