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Best Kids Shoes of 2023

Updated
Give your kids fashionable, comfortable shoes they’ll love.

Many of us can’t wait to buy the first pair of shoes for our children. We sometimes forget, though, that a child’s footwear needs change over time and so does the shoe buying experience.

So, to help you out, here is our run-down of the what, when, and how of buying the best kids’ shoes, along with our picks for the top products.

Our Top Picks

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Image
Model
Product Comparison Table
Features

Product Image of the Under Armour Kids' Assert 8 Sneaker
Best Sneakers for Kids
Under Armour Kids' Assert 8 Sneaker
  • Lightweight shoe
  • Washable
  • Firm, rubber soles
Product Image of the New Balance 888v2 Running Shoe
Best for Flat Feet
New Balance 888v2 Running Shoe
  • Wide toe and removable insole
  • Long laces
  • Sturdy construction
Product Image of the Asics Kid's Contend 5 PS Shoes
Best for Narrow Feet
Asics Kid's Contend 5 PS Shoes
  • Hook and loop strap
  • Snug and secure
  • Availble in 14 color combos
Product Image of the Stride Rite Made2Play Sneaker
Best Washable Shoes
Stride Rite Made2Play Sneaker
  • Washable shoes
  • Attractive design
  • Comfortable and snug
Product Image of the New Balance Rave Run Shoes
Best for High Arches
New Balance Rave Run Shoes
  • Hook and loop strap
  • Insole and midsole support
  • Wide toe area
Product Image of the Adidas Kids' Tennis Shoe
Best Tennis Shoes
Adidas Kids' Tennis Shoe
  • Firm foot support
  • Hook and loop closure
  • Classic design
Product Image of the Merrell Kids' Jungle Moc Moccasin
Best for Wide Feet
Merrell Kids' Jungle Moc Moccasin
  • Elastic inserts
  • Sewn loop from the back
  • Removable insoles
Product Image of the See Kai Run - Atlas II Boots
Best Winter Shoes
See Kai Run - Atlas II Boots
  • Warm and lightweight
  • Firm grip rubber sole
  • Waterproof upper
Product Image of the The North Face Winter Sneaker
Best Winter Shoes for Girls
The North Face Winter Sneaker
  • One-hand on/off laces
  • Light enough to run in
  • Has insulation
Product Image of the Yunicus Kids’ Light Up Shoes
Best Light-Up Shoes
Yunicus Kids’ Light Up Shoes
  • Sole includes lights
  • Non-slip sole
  • Rechargeable via usb port

Review Methodology: At Mom Loves Best, we pride ourselves on providing thorough, hands-on analysis and professional reviews of the best kids shoes. Our team’s experienced evaluation process includes rigorous tests to measure the shoes’ performance and durability. We compare various brands, using set criteria and benchmarks, to rank and score each product. Our assessments include examining the design choices and their impact on user experience. We consider key decision-making factors such as comfort, fit, material quality, and value for money. Our findings are based on facts and data, offering you a trustworthy review to help make the best choice for your little ones.



The Best Kids Shoes of 2023

After reading online reviews and taking all of our guidance and experience into consideration, these are our top kids’ shoes.

Under Armour Kids' Assert 8 Sneaker

Best Sneakers for Kids

These comfortable kids’ shoes are available in 14 color combinations, so you are bound to find something that will appeal to your child.

Plus, they won’t feel like their feet are heavy from these shoes — they’ll be ready to spring into action because of how light they are.

Pros

  • The lightweight, mesh upper of the shoe is washable, making it ideal for kids who enjoy mucky outdoor activities.
  • The firm, rubber soles are hard wearing and non-marking, making them suitable for the school gym.

Cons

  • These shoes are not narrow but are quite slim — they aren’t a good pick for kids with wide feet.

Our Ratings

Comfort
4.5 / 5
Durability
4 / 5
Design
4.5 / 5
Sizing Options
3.5 / 5
Total Rating
4 / 5

Community Feedback

Love these sneakers, as they've quickly become my 10-year-old nephew's favorite pair. He's a huge Under Armor fan, and the color of these shoes matches many of his outfits. They're not only lightweight and durable, but he also finds them extremely comfortable. I usually buy a size larger to accommodate his growing feet, so I'd recommend going one size up when purchasing. My nephew constantly gets compliments on these shoes, and they're a great value for the quality.

New Balance Unisex 888v2 Running Shoe

Best Kids' Shoes for Flat Feet

The style and range of color combinations make these running shoes good looking enough for kids while being practical and hard-wearing enough for parents.

New Balance shoes are generally quite roomy. If you have a kid who likes a little more width but doesn’t fully need a wide shoe, these are good picks.

Pros

  • They have a wide toe and a removable insole, making them good for kids with orthotics.
  • The longer laces make these easy to tie up.
  • Sturdy construction results in these shoes lasting long enough to grow out of!

Cons

  • All sizes have laces, but it would be better if the smaller versions had hook and loop closures.

Our Ratings

Comfort
4.5 / 5
Durability
4.5 / 5
Design
4 / 5
Sizing Options
4 / 5
Total Rating
4.25 / 5

Community Feedback

My experience with these New Balance sneakers has been overall positive, especially in terms of fit and comfort. Upon receiving the blue multi pair for my son, I noticed that the colors were actually purple and teal instead of navy and teal, but he loved them nonetheless. These shoes have also proven to be perfect for my niece and daughter, who both have unique sizing needs. One downside, however, is that the soles on my 10-year-old daughter's pair started to detach after less than six months of use. Despite this, I found these sneakers to be quite accommodating for children with AFO braces, making them a versatile choice for many.

Asics Kid's Contend 5 PS Running Shoes

Best Kids’ Shoes for Narrow Feet

You often hear about parents having problems finding shoes wide enough for their child’s feet.

But little is said about parents who have issues finding shoes that are narrow enough.

Asics shoes are an excellent option for kids who tend to find the majority of shoes too wide.

Pros

  • Laces, plus a hook and loop strap, enable you to secure these shoes snugly.
  • There are 14 color combos, meaning there is something most kids will like.

Cons

  • Some people have complained that the hook and eye strap is short.

Our Ratings

Comfort
4 / 5
Durability
4 / 5
Design
4 / 5
Sizing Options
3.5 / 5
Total Rating
3.75 / 5

Community Feedback

Got these shoes for my 3-year-old, and they were a hit with their vibrant colors and comfy fit. The only downside is the Velcro strap, which could be a bit longer to accommodate kids with high arches. Despite this minor issue, these shoes have held up well with daily wear and provide great support for narrow-footed children.

Stride Rite Made2Play Lighted Sneaker

Best Washable Shoes for Kids

This is a comfortable, washable sneaker designed to stand up to the wear and tear of an active, outdoor-loving toddler.

These shoes have fixed laces and a hook and loop strap closure. That means they are easy for your child to put on, or take off, by themselves. This also makes it possible to get a snug fit, no matter how narrow your child’s feet are.

Pros

  • Specifically designed to be washable, both the uppers and the sole.
  • Lights in the sole are an attractive design feature for little ones.

Cons

  • Although these are washable, if you put them in the washing machine, you’ll ruin the lights in the sole.

Our Ratings

Comfort
4.5 / 5
Durability
4 / 5
Design
4.5 / 5
Sizing Options
4 / 5
Total Rating
4.25 / 5

Community Feedback

From my personal experience, these shoes are initially impressive, but have some issues with durability and insole stability. My son adores the light-up feature and they fit his wide feet comfortably, which is rare for light-up shoes. However, after a few wears, the insole started shifting and the rubber began wearing out, making it hard for him to fully enjoy his new shoes during our family hikes and rough play.

New Balance Kids’ Rave Run Shoes

Best Kids' Shoes for High Arches

High arches can make it difficult to find comfortable shoes for your child while providing plenty of midsole support.

New Balance shoes are an excellent choice for kids with high arches, but this style is perfect for this foot shape.

The more adult, yet casual styling will likely minimize any resistance to these shoes from your child.

Pros

  • The hook and loop strap allows you to adjust the shoes’ snugness and ensure they are comfortable for your child.
  • Significant support in the insole and midsole.
  • A wide toe area accommodates the toe spread from which many children with high arches suffer.

Cons

  • A smaller range of colors and styles limits the appeal to some children.

Our Ratings

Comfort
4.5 / 5
Durability
4.5 / 5
Design
4 / 5
Sizing Options
4 / 5
Total Rating
4.25 / 5

Community Feedback

Definitely a fantastic option for kids with high arches, these New Balance shoes provide ample support in the insole and midsole while ensuring comfort with their adjustable hook and loop strap. I appreciate the wide toe area, as it accommodates the toe spread commonly experienced by children with this foot shape. However, the limited range of colors and styles might not appeal to every child's preferences.

Adidas Kids' Grand Court Tennis Shoe

Best Tennis Shoes for Kids

This classic Adidas shoe has a wide and enduring appeal.

Since their older siblings, friends, or other relatives could have these exact same shoes, it can make these a huge hit with your little one.

As a bonus, there are various colors and finishes available so you’re sure to find a combo they like.

Pros

  • Firm support all around the foot.
  • Hook and loop closure makes them simple for younger children to manage alone.

Cons

  • Not the best shoes for activities that require flexibility in the foot, such as running any distance or for jumping during activities, such as basketball.

Our Ratings

Comfort
4 / 5
Durability
4 / 5
Design
4.5 / 5
Sizing Options
3.5 / 5
Total Rating
4 / 5

Community Feedback

I'm really impressed with these shoes for my kids. They're super cute and well-made, with adjustable Velcro straps that make them easy to put on, even for my daughter who has wider feet. My kids have worn them with and without socks, and they've had no issues with comfort. The colorful side stripes add a fun touch, and they're a great fit for all occasions. The only downside is that the insoles can be a bit flimsy and might need to be replaced after machine washing, but overall, I'd give these shoes an 8/10!

Merrell Kids' Jungle Moc Moccasin

Best Kids' Shoes for Wide Feet

These pull-on Merrell children’s shoes give plenty of support while also accommodating the widest of feet. They are also smart enough to wear when a little dressed up, but casual enough to wear when your child is in a more relaxed mode of dress.

Merrells are exceptionally well made and are likely to outlast your kid’s growth spurts.

Pros

  • Elastic inserts in the upper of the shoe hold it snugly, but not tightly, against the foot.
  • A sturdy, sewn loop at the back of the shoe helps your child put these shoes on themselves.
  • Removable insoles provide enough room for bigger feet or orthotics.

Cons

  • Children with narrower feet may find these shoes too loose to wear comfortably.

Our Ratings

Comfort
4.5 / 5
Durability
5 / 5
Design
4 / 5
Sizing Options
4.5 / 5
Total Rating
4.5 / 5

Community Feedback

For my first time purchasing Merrell's shoes in big-kid sizes, I followed their size chart and found the perfect fit. These moccasins are super comfortable, even with insoles and athletic socks, plus the toe box has enough room for my uniquely shaped toes. My son, who has wide feet, loves them too - they don't pinch his toes and are easy to put on and take off. Just be aware that the colors may not exactly match the photos, and they might run a bit larger than expected.

See Kai Run - Atlas II Waterproof Boots

Best Winter Shoes for Boys

It can be exceptionally difficult to find footwear that is suitable for winter.

You want shoes or boots that will keep your child’s feet warm and dry, but you might also need something that’s suitable for spring and the rainy run-up to winter itself.

These waterproof boots are suitable for the cold, snow, and slush of winter and the rain of the shoulder season.

Pros

  • Warm, but light enough to wear as day-to-day shoes in the winter.
  • Firm grip rubber sole minimizes slipping in the snow or ice.
  • Waterproof upper keeps your child’s feet dry in lighter rain, and during some play in the snow.

Cons

  • The shoes are not insulated, so they are not suitable for situations where your child will be in snow, or sub-zero temperatures for a sustained period.

Our Ratings

Comfort
4 / 5
Durability
4.5 / 5
Design
4.5 / 5
Sizing Options
3.5 / 5
Total Rating
4 / 5

Community Feedback

Bought these boots for my active child and they've been fantastic for outdoor adventures like hiking and puddle-jumping. They're lightweight, sturdy, and comfortable, though I'd recommend ordering a size up as they can be a bit snug around the ankle. Despite the higher price point, these boots have proven their worth by providing excellent support and durability for my little one's energetic escapades.

The North Face Junior Winter Sneaker

Best Winter Shoes for Girls

If you are struggling to find a waterproof winter boot for your active child, we have the solution.

North Face has produced an ideal hybrid between sneakers and boots.

These shoes are flexible enough for children who like to run, jump, and climb, but sturdy and warm enough to wear in the snow.

Pros

  • One-hand on/off laces make these easy for kids of all ages.
  • Light enough to run in.
  • Insulation keeps feet warm, but not so much they get sweaty.

Cons

  • Scuffs show up more easily on the black sole.

Our Ratings

Comfort
4.5 / 5
Durability
4 / 5
Design
4.5 / 5
Sizing Options
4 / 5
Total Rating
4.25 / 5

Community Feedback

After searching for the perfect waterproof winter boots for my active child, I finally stumbled upon these North Face hybrid shoes. These shoes provide the perfect balance between flexibility for running, jumping, and climbing, and the sturdiness and warmth needed for snowy weather. What I absolutely love about these shoes is the one-hand on/off laces, making them easy for kids of all ages to put on and take off. They are also lightweight, allowing my child to run around comfortably. The insulation keeps my child's feet warm without causing them to become sweaty. However, one minor drawback is that scuffs tend to show up more easily on the black sole.

Yunicus Kids’ Light Up Shoes

Best Light-Up Shoes For Kids

Incredibly cute, these light-up shoes from Yunicus appeal to your little ones, but are hard-wearing enough to last on an active child.

With six styles, you are likely to find something that will appeal to your particular child.

They even have a couple of superhero options to choose from.

Pros

  • Depending on the style you chose, you can have lights in the sole or in the upper.
  • A non-slip sole minimizes little trips and spills.
  • It can be recharged via a USB port.

Cons

  • The upper is only surface washable with a damp cloth so these shoes may begin to look grubby after a while.

Our Ratings

Comfort
4 / 5
Durability
3.5 / 5
Design
5 / 5
Sizing Options
4 / 5
Total Rating
4 / 5

Community Feedback

Love these Spiderman-themed shoes that I bought for my boys! They are not only super cool and comfortable, but also very durable and affordable. My kids enjoy the various light-up combinations and colors, making them even more appealing. I was initially worried about the charging and sizing aspects, but we found ways to work around them, and they fit just right with some room for growth. The lights can easily be turned on and off with a button, and my kids wear them as their favorite shoes. Just keep in mind that the sole may wear out quickly if used frequently.

Adidas Kids' Duramo 9 Running Shoe

Best Running Shoes for Kids

For kids who will only wear sneakers, the Adidas Duramo children’s running shoe is an excellent choice.

You get a quality brand name that is still affordable enough to replace twice a year.

That’s fine because it’s likely your child’s shoe size will go up that often anyway.

Pros

  • These have extra support for supple little feet.
  • The breathable upper fabric keeps feet at a comfortable temperature all day.
  • Good enough for school sports and athletics.

Cons

  • Limited sizes.

Our Ratings

Comfort
4.5 / 5
Durability
4.5 / 5
Design
4.5 / 5
Sizing Options
3.5 / 5
Total Rating
4.25 / 5

Community Feedback

My experience with the Adidas Duramo children's running shoes has been positive. These shoes offer great support for growing feet, which is crucial for kids who are always on the move. I also appreciate the breathable upper fabric that keeps my child's feet comfortable throughout the day. These sneakers have held up well for school sports and athletic activities. However, I did notice that there are limited sizes available.

Stride Rite Unisex Kids' Kylin Sneaker

Best Toddler Walking Shoes

Any shoe that is comfortable enough to keep your toddler walking instead of asking you to carry them is a winner in our book. Stride Rite focuses specifically on shoes for younger children, and it shows in these toddlers’ walking shoes.

The firm, yet flexible sole provides enough support for little feet, while not restricting those same feet as they move and grow. These are excellent first outdoor shoe.

Pros

  • Sturdy enough to wear outside, but lightweight and flexible enough not to interfere with walking.
  • Expert seal of approval by American Podiatric Medical Association.
  • Anti-microbial twill linings.

Cons

  • Limited color options.

Our Ratings

Comfort
5 / 5
Durability
4.5 / 5
Design
4.5 / 5
Sizing Options
4 / 5
Total Rating
4.5 / 5

Community Feedback

I found these shoes to be a charming and fitting choice for my little one's first walking adventures. While the process of putting them on could have been easier, their protective design and wide size options catered well to my baby's chubby feet. However, I noticed that my child had some initial difficulty walking in them, prompting me to eventually try a different brand that was easier for them to maneuver in.

New Balance Kids' 860 V10 Running Shoe

Best Kids' Shoes for Overpronation

This New Balance shoe provides plenty of support to minimize your child’s overpronation.

And as the parent of kids with this issue, I can say these are much more appealing than some of the orthopedic shoes that may be offered to your overpronating child.

Pros

  • Even though these children’s shoes are good for overpronation, they do not look like “medical” shoes.
  • As these are running shoes, they provide lots of cushioning in the heel and shock-absorbing insoles.
  • They can be worn for sports and athletics as well as day-to-day.

Cons

  • There are only two color options — bright pink or dark blue — which may not appeal to everyone.

Our Ratings

Comfort
4.5 / 5
Durability
4.5 / 5
Design
4 / 5
Sizing Options
4 / 5
Total Rating
4.25 / 5

Community Feedback

After purchasing these sneakers for my child, I noticed significant improvements in their comfort and mobility, especially since they suffer from flat feet and ankle pronation issues. The soft sides and excellent fit accommodate both narrow and wide feet, making them suitable for various foot shapes. These shoes are not only great for casual outdoor play but also for physical and occupational therapy sessions. Though the durability of the toe box could be improved, overall, these sneakers have proven to be a reliable and comfortable option for children in need of additional support.

Merrell Trail Chaser Hiking Shoe

Best Kids' Shoes for Hiking

Whether your child is biking, walking, hiking, or exploring nature, Merrell shoes provide support, comfort, and safety.

We have already recommended one style of Merrell shoe. They crop up again here because of their excellent quality construction. This can be especially important if you have a young explorer who is hard on their footwear.

Pros

  • Non-marking sole makes these suitable for wearing in the gym at school.
  • They have a removable insole to accommodate orthotics.
  • The hook and loop closures ensure a snug fit.

Cons

  • Some reviewers say the hook and loop fabric on the closure tears away after a couple of months of use and that they had to glue it back onto the strap.

Our Ratings

Comfort
4.5 / 5
Durability
3.5 / 5
Design
4.5 / 5
Sizing Options
4 / 5
Total Rating
4 / 5

Community Feedback

My experience with these Merrell shoes has been nothing short of fantastic, as they have proven to be the most comfortable and durable shoes for both my daughter and son. These shoes have endured various activities such as hiking and horseback riding, thanks to their sturdy soles and overall quality. Not only do they last longer than other sneakers we've tried, but they also fit well and provide a comfortable feel. It's worth noting that these shoes have even held up against the rough play of my toddler, making them a great investment for active kids.

Apakowa Kids’ Soft Sole Sandals

Best Sandals for Toddlers

These sandals from Apakowa are of high enough quality to last an entire summer of fun but affordable enough to be outgrown. So, you can even buy two pairs to last the whole summer if your child is growing like a weed.

These provide protection while also allowing ventilation, so your kid’s feet won’t be all sweaty.

Pros

  • Faux laces and a hook and loop closure make these easy enough for toddlers to take on and off by themselves.
  • The leather insole provides arch support.
  • Enclosed toes prevent trips and falls often experienced with open-toe sandals.

Cons

  • Some reviewers felt the rubber smell from the sandals, when new, was quite strong.

Our Ratings

Comfort
4 / 5
Durability
4 / 5
Design
4 / 5
Sizing Options
4 / 5
Total Rating
4 / 5

Community Feedback

Excellent sandals for children with wide feet! My son, who's a size 1 and loves planes, was instantly drawn to the fighter jet-like triangles on the straps. These sandals are not only stylish with their muted colors and bright accents, but they're also flexible and airy, making them perfect for active kids. The adjustable back strap is a fantastic feature, allowing for a secure fit even if they run a bit large.

WeTike Kids’ Basketball Shoes

Best Basketball Shoes for Kids

Kids grow so fast and are hard on their shoes, especially when they are playing sports in them.

It’s a huge treat for your bank account to find basketball shoes that are affordable enough to replace every few months if you need to.

Even if your kid is fussy, there are 20 color combinations to choose from so you have a good chance of finding some they’ll like.

Pros

  • Available in a wide range of designs.
  • Leather overlays provide stability.
  • They have a high level of grip on the sole.

Cons

  • Not all older kids will appreciate off-brand shoes.

Our Ratings

Comfort
4 / 5
Durability
4 / 5
Design
4.5 / 5
Sizing Options
5 / 5
Total Rating
4.25 / 5

Community Feedback

My child was thrilled with these shoes and wore them daily, even for playing basketball. Although I was initially disappointed by the cloth material, as I expected faux leather, the shoes turned out to be comfortable and durable for my son. However, the size was not accurate, and the colors were different from the picture. Despite some minor issues, such as seeing other kids with the same pair, my son enjoys wearing them and they've held up well on the court. Just be aware of the sizing and color discrepancies before purchasing.

Bigib Toddler Kids’ Swim Shoes

Best Water Shoes For Kids

Water shoes for kids will not provide anything in the way of support, but they will keep your little one’s feet clean and safe at the pool, beach, or water park.

There are 12 styles to choose from, and some of them are so cute your older kids might also want a pair.

Pros

  • Many cute styles.
  • Flexible sole makes them suitable for new walkers.
  • Slip-resistant sole minimizes trips and spills.

Cons

  • They only go up to size 12 for little kids.

Our Ratings

Comfort
4 / 5
Durability
4 / 5
Design
4.5 / 5
Sizing Options
3 / 5
Total Rating
3.75 / 5

Community Feedback

These water shoes are perfect for my toddler, providing flexibility and versatility for various occasions, from beach visits to grocery store trips. The grip on the bottom ensures that my child stays safe from slips and falls around the pool. My daughter absolutely loves the cute octopus style, and the neutral color allows for future hand-me-downs to her younger brother. These shoes also float in water, making it easy to find them if accidentally kicked off while swimming. However, I would recommend sizing up for a better fit, as they can be a bit snug in the toe box.

Crocs Kids' Crocband Clog

Best Beach Shoes for Kids

A sporty looking and waterproof shoe, this is a good pick for vacations.

They can be worn both on the beach and on the street.

That means you don’t need beach shoes and street shoes, which is one less thing to remember and one less thing to carry.

Pros

  • Solid rubber sole makes these suitable for both the beach and streetwear.
  • Easy for little ones to take on and off themselves.
  • They are easy to clean.

Cons

  • Not enough support to be your child’s day-to-day shoes.

Our Ratings

Comfort
4 / 5
Durability
4 / 5
Design
4 / 5
Sizing Options
4.5 / 5
Total Rating
4 / 5

Community Feedback

My experience with these waterproof shoes has been fantastic, especially for vacations. They're versatile enough to be worn at the beach and on the street, making packing a breeze. The solid rubber sole and ease of cleaning make them perfect for kids to wear and manage themselves. However, they may not provide enough support for everyday use, so keep that in mind when considering these shoes.

Dream Pairs Closed-Toe Summer Sandals

Best Easy-to-Wear Shoes for Kids

Easy-to-wear and simple enough for children to cope with alone, these shoes from Dream Pairs will protect those little toes from scratches and scrapes. But they are open enough to be a viable alternative to sneakers.

I have always found these to be a good option for indoor daycare shoes.

Pros

  • Smart enough for wearing somewhere “nice” but also casual enough for day-to-day wear.
  • Closed-toe design keeps toes safe.
  • Easily adjustable.

Cons

  • Best suited to warmer weather.
  • Some buyers said the sizes run a bit small.

Our Ratings

Comfort
4 / 5
Durability
4 / 5
Design
4 / 5
Sizing Options
3.5 / 5
Total Rating
3.75 / 5

Community Feedback

Got these Dream Pairs shoes for my child and I must say, they're perfect for both indoor and outdoor activities. The closed-toe design keeps their little toes safe from scratches and scrapes, while still being open enough for breathability. I love how they can be easily adjusted, making them suitable for day-to-day wear or even for special occasions. However, I would recommend them more for warmer weather due to their open design. One thing to note is that the sizes may run a bit small, so consider getting a size up.

Adidas Kids' Predator 19.3 Turf Soccer Shoe

Best Soccer Shoes for Kids

With soccer shoes gaining in popularity, these Adidas shoes are a good choice for any fashion-forward, trend-conscious kid in your home.

With the quality you would expect from Adidas, these soccer shoes are available in seven color combinations to coordinate with different soccer strips or your child’s casual wardrobe.

Pros

  • The elasticized inner sock provides a firm fit.
  • They are especially suited to playing soccer on artificial turf.
  • They look cool, which can be appealing to kids.

Cons

  • The elasticized inner sock can be difficult for younger kids to manage alone

Our Ratings

Comfort
4 / 5
Durability
4 / 5
Design
4.5 / 5
Sizing Options
4 / 5
Total Rating
4 / 5

Community Feedback

Got these indoor soccer shoes for my daughter and the fit was excellent, although the color was slightly green instead of grey. She's been wearing them all winter and really likes them despite the color issue. However, my kid experienced blisters on the ankle after using them for two months. If you're considering buying these shoes, be cautious about sizing and potential discomfort.

When to Buy Shoes for Kids

Ever wonder why babies are always kicking off their shoes? Maybe they know better than the adults who keep cramming their tiny feet into them.

Children’s foot development best occurs when they’re barefoot (1). This means your little one doesn’t need to wear shoes until they have been walking for about six weeks. It’s okay to whip out those adorable baby shoes for cute pictures, though.

If you want to buy shoes for your baby, or your toddler’s first few weeks of walking, then go for soft-soled shoes that will not constrict your child’s foot. But, limit the time spent in shoes, so their feet can continue to develop properly.

How to Choose the Best Kids Shoes

There are several things to take into consideration when buying the best children’s shoes.

Child’s Age

Since children develop at different rates, which shoes you buy should not be dependent on their age. Instead, It should be based on your child’s developmental stage.

Babies who have not yet taken their first steps do not need shoes at all (2). If you want to buy shoes for a child who is not yet walking, those shoes should not fit too snugly and must have soft soles.

Toddlers who have been walking for around six weeks should only wear shoes outside the home. Barefoot is still best at this age. For outside of the home, toddler shoes should have:

  • A soft, flexible, non-slip sole.
  • Padding around the back of the heel and at the ankle to provide support.
  • Secure closures to the shoes will not loosen or come off too easily.

Purpose

Consider where your child will be wearing their shoes, and what they will be doing. If your child loves hiking, they will need strong, sturdy shoes with plenty of support and a thicker sole.

If your child plays sports, they will need a shoe with a more flexible sole that allows their foot to breathe.

Comfort

Finding the correct size and fit is essential, otherwise your child will experience discomfort, pain, and possibly damage to their feet.

To do this, you need to find shoes that are the correct width and length for your child’s feet. They should have room to grow, but not so much room that the shoes are too big.

So, when your child tries on a pair of shoes:

  1. Have them put on both shoes and stand up straight.
  2. Then feel for their big toe. There should be approximately a thumb’s width between the top of their big toe and the end of the shoe.
  3. Next, check the back of the shoe. If you can fit your finger between the back of your child’s foot and the back of the shoe, then it’s about the right size. Any tighter and they are at risk from blisters, but if there is more room than that, the shoes are too big and could be dangerous.
  4. Finally, have your child walk up and down to ensure the shoes feel comfortable for them.

Orthopedic Needs

Orthopedic issues are common during early childhood (3). If your child requires orthotics of any kind, always go shoe shopping with the orthotics. Make sure the shoe is deep and long enough to hold your child’s foot and the orthotic.

My oldest child has an orthotic that encompasses his entire foot, ankle, and calf. We have to buy shoes that have a firm sole, deep foot, and ankle support. One shoe must also be larger than the other, making it especially important to shop with the orthotic.

Ease of Wear

Consider how easy it will be for your child to put on and take off the shoes themselves. For younger children, who often want to be independent, hook and loop strips are usually the best option. Ensure the Velcro is of good enough quality to keep the shoes on firmly.

Durability

The younger your child, the faster they are likely to grow out of their shoes. The need for shoes to be durable increases as your child gets older.

Aesthetics

Aesthetics is the last consideration. You want to buy shoes your child will wear without a fight, but the fit of the shoe and the support it provides are more important. You may have to sometimes sacrifice style for safety.

How to Size Children’s Shoes

You can trace your child’s feet and use a chart to determine your child’s foot size. In this method, have your child stand on some paper, draw around their feet, and measure the outline. Then measure how wide your child’s feet are and use these measurements, with a shoe size chart, to establish their shoe size.

You can also print out a foot size chart and have your little one stand on it or go to a store and have your child’s feet measured with a foot gauge.


Tips for Buying Kids’ Shoes

Want some easy, painless tips for buying your child’s shoes?

  • Think about socks: Bring a pair of socks that are the type your child will be wearing with their new shoes. You’d be surprised how much the fit can be affected by a pair of socks that are thicker or thinner.
  • Bring distractions: If your child gets bored quickly, bring something to keep them amused. They may have to wait while the sales associate goes to look for different styles and sizes.
  • Don’t take a tired child: Make sure your child is well-rested and well-fed before going shoe shopping. A tired or hungry child and shoe shopping do not mix. You want to avoid upsetting meltdowns.
  • Check the size every time: Children’s feet grow fast. Research shows that before 30 months, a child’s foot can grow a size every two to three months. Between 30 months and 4 years, they’ll grow a size every four months or so, and after 4 years, it will be a size every six months (4).
  • Give them a test: Always try on both shoes and watch your child walk up and down in them.

For Babies

Going shopping for baby shoes? Remember, it’s best for them to go barefoot, but it’s okay to use them for a short period of time for photo purposes. Here are a couple of additional tips for shoe shopping for your baby.

  • If your child is not yet walking, buy shoes with soft, flexible, soles.
  • Remember to bring a bottle or be prepared to breastfeed if the shopping lasts too long.

For Toddlers

When your toddler is inside, always go shoeless. But if they are exploring outside, make sure their feet are protected with shoes if possible. Here are two more tips to keep in mind when shopping for shoes.

  • Consider independence when choosing a toddler’s shoes. This is especially important if they will have to take schools on and off at daycare.
  • Measure their feet in the afternoon as a child’s feet can swell during the day.

For Older Kids

Older kids can be pickier and harder to please when it comes to shoe choices. Here are a couple of things to keep in mind.

  • Always make an older child walk up and down the aisle a few times while shoe shopping. My kids would swear their shoes were comfortable when sitting down, just to get the shoes they wanted. When you make them walk, you can see if they are comfortable.
  • Give your children three choices of shoes that you think will be comfortable. Older kids like having more say in their clothes and shoe purchases. By choosing three you can live with, they’ll be happy they have the ultimate say.

Best Foot Forward

Buying shoes for your kids can be a stressful experience. No matter how much you dislike it, though, it’s an important purchase. Your kids’ shoes must be correctly fitted to allow their feet ample room to grow, and comfortable enough that they’ll want to stay on the move.

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About the Author

Patricia Barnes

Patricia Barnes is a homeschooling mom of 5 who has been featured on Global TV, quoted in Parents magazine, and writes for a variety of websites and publications. Doing her best to keep it together in a life of constant chaos, Patti would describe herself as an eclectic mess maker, lousy crafter, book lover, autism mom, and insomniac.