What are the best shoes for toddlers? Seems like an intimidating shopper’s question, but it needn’t be. The following list contains 10 of the best shoes for toddlers to get you started, including the best shoes for toddlers learning to walk, the best summer shoes for toddlers and the best toddler shoes overall. Pairs range in price from $10 to $100 as of 2018. The shoes on our list are durable, breathable, flexible and engineered to provide cushioning, support and shock absorption.
10. OshKosh B’Gosh Domino Bumptoe Sneaker
Let them run, jump and get rough in these Domino Bumptoe sneakers by OshKosh B’Gosh. Engineered to absorb impact and reduce collision-related damage, these unisex sneakers have mesh and elasticized uppers for flexibility and airflow. The upturned toe also prevents tripping and falling, making them some of the best shoes for toddlers learning to walk.
- Non-toxic material
- Machine washable
- Hook-and-loop closure for a custom fit and easy on/off
- A bit bulky
Bottom Line: Overall, these are dynamic, well-made, soft yet durable shoes that are ideal for potty training, rough play, sports and learning to walk.
9. Dadawen Running Shoes
Watch your toddler master walking and then running in these sturdy unisex shoes by Dadawen. Made of durable synthetic material, these running shoes have rubber soles for enhanced traction and shock absorption. Lace-up fronts provide a secure fit and an opportunity to introduce your toddler to the art of tying shoelaces.
- Economical yet sturdy
- Rubber sole prevents slippage
- Odor-proof insoles minimize smelliness
- Bizarre sizing chart
- Lace-up fronts not entirely convenient for all toddlers
Bottom Line: If you need a basic, well-made shoe to protect your toddler’s feet as they learn to use their legs, these are the pair.
8. Native Jefferson Slip-On Sneaker
Offer these unisex Native Jefferson slip-on sneakers to your kid as a potential go-to option for impromptu play dates. Odor-resistant, these waterproof slip-ons are a cinch to don or remove. Their shock-absorbing EVA footbeds protect your kid’s developing feet and bones, and provide comfort during extended standing and playing.
- Total PETA-approved/vegan-friendly synthetic material
- Traction outsoles enhance grip for safer treading in slippery locations
- A rather mysterious pricing per size
Bottom Line: These are a smart choice if you want an affordable, durable pair of summer toddler shoes.
7. Stride Rite Phibian Sneaker/Sandal Water Shoe
Give Stride Rite’s water shoes to your amphibious toddler for hours of safe fun around the pool. Unisex, lightweight and durable, these water shoes have Velcro straps with hook and loop closures for quick fastening, secure wearing and easy removal. Outsole rubber pods provide optimal grip for safety on wet, slippery ground, while anti-stink lining prevents brain-numbing foot funk.
- Machine washable for easy maintenance
- Non-slip grip for safety
- Anti-stink ensures lasting freshness
- Slightly pricey
Bottom Line: These Phibians by Stride Rite fulfill the requirements of comfortable, pro-safety shoes for active toddlers who love the summer and watery sports.
6. Under Armour Engage 3 Running Shoe
Treat your little warrior to the height of plantar support and cushioning with these Engage 3 running shoes by Under Armour. Although this is a boy’s pair, the brand also manufactures girls’ versions in the Engage 3 series. Made of leather and textile for optimal reinforcement and flexibility, these running shoes have mesh uppers that increase ventilation, expedite dryness and keep odors at bay. Gridded rubber soles offer maximum traction and stability for darting and running on the playground.
- Adjustable closure for a custom fit
- Brightly colored for high visibility
- Perhaps too bulky for some
Bottom Line: Under Armour is a leading national brand in sports apparel, and this pair is one of the best shoes for toddlers who love sports, so these are worth the splurge.
5. Lonsoen Toddler Slip-On Loafers
Arrive fashionably early with your little one in tow wearing these handsome, classically cut, durable unisex slip-on loafers by Lonsoen. Made of split leather, these understated, unisex loafers breeze from casual to formal events, complementing a wide variety of toddlers’ outfits. Soft yet resilient, these lightweight, sturdy slip-ons have water-resistant rubber soles, with grids that reduce slippage on smooth floors.
- Soft yet resilient
- Anti-slippage soles prevent accidents
- Restricted to clement weather
Bottom Line: A standard pair of casual/dress shoes are a must for any toddler, so consider this pair by Lonsoen. They are easily one of the best shoes for toddlers with a social calendar.
4. Adidas Originals Superstar Sneakers
Keep it retro and simultaneously on-trend with these unisex rubber-shell-toe Originals Superstar sneakers by Adidas. Channeling the 80s Adidas heyday, these rubber-soled shoes with synthetic leather uppers sheathe your toddler’s feet in soft yet dense protection.
Ortholite sockliners absorb sweat and odors, and yield full plantar reinforcement.
- Rubber shell toe guards digits against impact
- Sockliner keeps smells and wetness down
- Might be too showy for some
- Somewhat pricey
Bottom Line: Adidas are a fashion mainstay, unrivaled in workmanship and durability, and among the best shoes for toddlers. These are a wonderful toddler birthday pair or milestone reward.
3. Saucony Jazz Hook & Loop Sneaker
Watch your toddler put these sneakers on and take them off in three seconds flat, thanks to hook-and-loop closures. Engineered for rough-and-tumble wear, these leather and textile sneakers have low profiles for more even footing, while mesh sock liners optimize internal ventilation, keep feet drier and minimize odors.
- Light, sturdy leather and textile
- Breathable mesh sock liners
- Not great for water sports or wet weather
Bottom Line: These standard Saucony sneakers are affordable, well-made and available in more than 20 colors, which is good news for penny-pinching parents and color-loving toddlers.
2. Puma ST Runner Shoes
Help your tyke look sharp with these Puma running shoes. Hardy rubber soles provide stability on a variety of surfaces, while classic nylon uppers with suede overlays look handsome and allow air to circulate freely.
- Just plain gorgeous
- Velcro closures for a secure, custom fit
- Classic Puma suede-on-nylon sneakers tend to take a beating in no time
Bottom Line: These shoes are comfortable and supportive but unabashedly more of a fashion statement.
1. Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Core OX Shoes
Go back to basics with a pair of Chuck Taylors. They come in nearly 30 colors, they’re unisex, and their tough canvas bodies buttress your child’s feet without restricting flexibility. Thick rubber soles designed for skaters maintain friction, which improves stability. Chuck Taylors are also ridiculously breathable, machine washable and timeless, so you can re-buy them in new colors as your child’s feet grows.
- Classic and unpretentious
- High-quality yet affordable
- Not great for colder weather
Bottom Line: Chuck Taylors are a rite of passage, one of the best shoes for toddlers. The availability of colors and competitive price point is hard to beat.
There are no hard and fast rules to determine the best shoes for toddlers. Nevertheless, there are mistakes to avoid, mainly regarding fabrics & materials. Our list includes the best shoes for toddlers that are durable, supportive, flexible and breathable. Your idea of the best shoes for toddlers might include other criteria, such as fashion appeal and brand name. Use our list merely to brainstorm, and (most of all) have fun shopping for your toddler.