Stride Rite Kids’ Athletic Sneaker
Last updated date: November 29, 2019
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We looked at the top Kids Shoes and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Kid Shoe you should buy.
In our analysis of 31 expert reviews, the Stride Rite Stride Rite Kids' Athletic Sneaker placed 5th when we looked at the top 5 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.
Editor's Note January 10, 2020:
Checkout The Best Kid Shoes for a detailed review of all the top kids shoes.
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From The Manufacturer
Colorful accents, lightweight materials, and an easy-on strap make the ocean by Stride Rite a perfect year-round athletic sneaker. If they start to get dirty no problem, throw them in the washing machine for a fresh start. Stride Rite designs and engineers footwear specifically to meet the needs of growing children. Stride Rite's mission is to encourage kids and support parents by developing and marketing products that help children embrace life's possibilities and adventures with confidence. Stride Rite shoes aren't like any other shoes you'll buy. They're better. With more than 85 years of experience, they've learned a few things about their craft. Stride Rite is the one company that's been helping kids run, jump, leap, grow, and playfully express themselves since 1919.
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An Overview On Kids Shoes
Buying shoes for yourself can be enough of a headache. But picking them out for a toddler whose feet grow seemingly every month and can’t sit still for a fitting? That’s enough to make you want to buy a cheap set of flip-flops and call it a day.
Those of us with kids know that their feet don’t exactly go “pitter-patter.” It’s more like a heavy metal drum solo at all hours of the day. Those feet need shoes with protection, traction, and enough style to make sure they’ll actually wear the things.
But the trickiest part of all will undoubtedly be determining the fit. When buying your little one’s shoes, it’s always best to head to the shoe store and have a trained professional measure them first. If that’s not an option, you can always look up kids’ shoe size measurement charts on the web. Make sure your child is standing up and standing as still as possible while you do the measuring. Wiggling feet can throw off the size by crucial amounts.
Got a size? Great. If you’re buying sneakers, you may want to allow a little bit of extra space for socks, which tend to be thicker for kids. If your child’s feet are in between sizes, you will want to err on the larger side.
It can be tempting to just buy a full size larger than they need, especially when you confront the inevitable fact that those shoes will probably be too small in the relative blink of an eye. Up to their first or second year, you can expect baby feet to grow a size every two months on average. Toddlers will shed a shoe size every 3-4 months. It’s best to just figure that into the cost of living and go for their exact size or slightly above. Shoes that fit too loose can result in slips and falls.
To make sure the shoes fit, ask kids the questions that you intuitively ask yourself when you buy your own footwear. Does your heel slip out of your shoe or slide from side to side? Can you wiggle your toes? If they can, apply the “rule of thumb” to make sure they’re not too big: You should be able to press a half-inch — about the size of your thumb — in between the tip of their toes and the tip of the shoe. Quality children’s shoes shouldn’t have to be “broken in,” which can hurt your kid’s feet, alter their gait, or cause your child to refuse to wear the shoes at all.
Now, what type of shoe to buy? Regardless of whether you’re shopping for sneakers or dress shoes, the material should be a major factor. Avoid plastic or rubber footwear for anything other than beach kicks. They may seem durable in the short term but can be subject to cracking and chafing — and can make active feet sweat profusely. Go for uppers made of mesh or other breathable fabric that will let some air in and be flexible enough for growing feet.
Kids’ shoes get sized out so quickly, parents can be tempted to save a little on hand-me-downs or used shoes. That’s fine — just make sure that the treads are still in good condition. The sneaker bottoms should have a noticeable groove but shouldn’t be too deep on brand new shoes, as those crevices can catch on small playground obstacles.
DWYM Fun Fact
With Velcro replacing shoelaces in most kids’ shoes (and a few adult ones), children aren’t learning to tie their shoelaces quite so early these days. But if your kids need a goal to shoot for, look to Khaled Abdul Aziz Alhosari of the United Arab Emirates. In 2009, he set the Guinness World Record for speed-tying shoelaces by lacing up 31 pairs in one minute. (And yes, he made a complete bow.)
The Kid Shoe Buying Guide
- The older kids get, the more you can play around with different shoe styles. But during the developing years, it’s best to stick with sneakers or something with sufficient traction, even when you’re dressing them up for a special occasion. Bear in mind that your child is still learning to walk, and a well-fitting, non-slipping shoe is going to be crucial in that development.
- When it comes to the look of the shoe, your kids are going to have opinions. And those opinions are often going to involve multiple colors, garish characters and even flashing lights. When they’re in their early toddler years, consider letting them take the reins when choosing a shoe. They’re the ones who have to wear them, after all. And don’t worry about their tastes changing: Your kid may not like Batman in a few months, but by then it will probably be time for their next pair of shoes anyway.
- For toddler or grade school kids, light-up shoes are a common request. Also known as LED shoes, they incorporate tiny lights (usually in the sole) that light up every time your child takes a step. Some models even have controls built in that let you change the color, pattern or frequency of those lights. For the most part, these fun additions can be a real perk. They will not only entertain your child but make it easier for you to find them in a crowd. Needless to say, you’ll want to buy a non-blinky backup set for occasions like weddings or formal affairs.
- Another popular feature is the roller shoe. Sneakers with these “wheeled heels” can incorporate a tiny wheel in the back part of the shoe so that nimble kids can glide along on flat surfaces. They are typically retractable or removable, and some even have two wheels in each shoe for added stability. These shoes can be great a starter kit for aspiring skaters, but keep in mind the places they might be wearing them. Certain schools might have restrictions on wheeled heels (as well as LED shoes), so check your child’s dress code before buying.
- Lastly, your kid is going to go through shoe sizes at a dizzying pace. Even if they say their shoes are comfortable, it’s best to measure a child’s shoe size every three months or so. Children can get attached to certain shoes and try to hang on to them long after they should be trading up a size.