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The Best Kid Shoes

Last updated on January 10, 2020

We looked at the top 5 Kids Shoes and dug through the reviews from 29 of the most popular review sites including Review Meta, Good Housekeeping, Shoe Advisor, WalkJogRun, Shoe Hero, Mom Loves Best and more. The result is a ranking of the best Kids Shoes.

Best Kid Shoes

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Our Picks For The Top Kids Shoes

Show Contents
Our Take
Experts Included
Pros
Cons
  The Best Overall

Native Shoes Kids’ Slip-On Sneakers

Native Shoes

Kids' Slip-On Sneakers

Overall Take

Waterproof and WearableThese breathable Native Shoes Kids' Slip-One Sneakers can be worn anywhere, even wet weather.

Experts Included
DWYM Baby and Kids Experts plus Shoe Hero, Let’s Cruise Kids, Verywell Family, Shoe Advisor, Experienced Mommy, Good Housekeeping and 12 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon and BestOneHour.
Pros
" These injection-molded EVA shoes from Native are perfect for endless hours of summer fun. They are easy to pull on and they are waterproof making them perfect for a day at the beach."
Cons
"It is not good for children with wide feet."

Adidas Kids’ Sneakers

Adidas

Kids' Sneakers

Overall Take

Solid, Stylish ShoeAdidas Kids' Sneakers look just like their adult counterparts with materials to match.

Experts Included
DWYM Baby and Kids Experts plus BestReviews, Review Meta. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" Classic rubber shoe toe. Signature gold tongue emblem. Classic heel logo. Comes in black, white, black with white, white with black. Full grain leather upper, Ortholite moister-wicking sock liner, cushioning EVA midsole, herringbone pattern rubber outsole."
  The Best Value

Converse Child Low Top Sneakers

Converse

Child Low Top Sneakers

Overall Take

Built For ActivityFlat soles and good traction make the Converse Child Low Top Sneaker a good choice for active kids.

Experts Included
DWYM Baby and Kids Experts plus Review Meta, Shoe Advisor, WalkJogRun, Shoe Hero, Mom Loves Best. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" The canvas construction is breathable and comfortable for growing feet. These trendy sneakers have been designed for day-long play and are certain to make your pre-schooler one of the coolest kids in class!"
Cons
"It runs narrow"

PUMA Kids’ Sneakers

PUMA

Kids' Sneakers

Overall Take

Easy To WearThe PUMA Kids' Sneakers are a solid around-the-house shoe that's easy to fasten.

Experts Included
DWYM Baby and Kids Experts plus Review Meta, Good Housekeeping. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" Reviewers call out these sneakers for running narrow compared to other shoes, which is ideal if most sneakers your kid tries on are too loose and wide. They're what the brand calls "casual athletic" sneakers, meaning they're made for your..."
Don't just take for granted what one reviewer says. Along with our own experts, DWYM analyzes the top expert reviews of the leading products and generates a score you can actually trust.
12

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the kids shoes available to purchase.
5

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products for our team to review.

View All Product Rankings

29

Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources including: Review Meta, Good Housekeeping, Shoe Advisor, WalkJogRun, Shoe Hero.

12,785

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including Amazon, BestOneHour.

Our experts reviewed the top 5 Kids Shoes and also dug through the reviews from 29 of the most popular review sites including Review Meta, Good Housekeeping, Shoe Advisor, WalkJogRun, Shoe Hero, Mom Loves Best and more. The result is a ranking of the best of the best Kids Shoes.

DWYM is your trusted roduct review source. Our team reviews thousands of product reviews from the trusted top experts and combines them into one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in their category.

The Best Overall

Native Shoes Kids’ Slip-On Sneakers

Our Expert Score
9.0
18 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
9.0
5,593 user reviews
Our Take

With socks or without, the perforated uppers on these Native Shoes Kids' Slip-On Sneakers let feet breathe and cut down on odor. They're made from acetate which is not only durable but fully waterproof. Environmentally conscious parents will love their low-emission manufacturing policy and materials that don't harm animals.

What other experts liked
These injection-molded EVA shoes from Native are perfect for endless hours of summer fun. They are easy to pull on and they are waterproof making them perfect for a day at the beach.
- Shoe Hero
August 14, 2019 | Full review
The odor resistant and massaging footbed molds to your feet which makes it comfortable for all-day wear. This sneaker can be worn with or without socks and the perforated upper allows feet to breathe.
- Let's Cruise Kids
September 26, 2019 | Full review
Parents and kids alike praise these shoes for their look and feel. They say they’re nearly indestructible, fit well, and are a great everyday shoe.
- Verywell Family
October 18, 2019 | Full review
They are made from 100% Ethylene Vinyl Acetate with a rubber sole. These materials are washable, odor-resistant and very comfortable to wear.
- Shoe Advisor
October 3, 2019 | Full review
A summer shoe that is waterproof simply makes your life easier if you go to the pool regularly, play in the sprinkler, or even for those quick summer showers that come through. They also dry quickly and can put on...
- Experienced Mommy
September 12, 2019 | Full review
The ventilated holes throughout keep them feeling breathable and there's traction underneath to help prevent slips. These come in more colors than you can imagine with sizes for the entire family.
- Good Housekeeping
October 25, 2019 | Full review
These shoes are 100% waterproof
- Business Insider
June 18, 2019 | Full review
Rubber insole assures the kid’s great comfort as they move around.
- Canny Buyer Reviews
April 16, 2019 | Full review
The shoes are made entirely of rubber, with no mesh for dirt and muck to get caught in. Holes around the side and top of the shoes, as well as in the sole, ensure that the shoes drain extremely quickly.
- Women Today
September 12, 2019 | Full review
We finally found a durable, warm weather shoe my son could wear in all warm weather environments, even as a water shoe.
- Lucie's List
They have perforations all over to allow your kid’s feet to dry rapidly while preventing bacteria and mold.
- List Outdoor
For the environmentally-conscious parent, Native uses a low-emission manufacturing process, and the shoes have a PETA-Approved Vegan Footwear seal of approval, so no animal products have been used in the creation of these shoes.
- Morning Chores
There’s just as much for parents to love. The lightweight material is odor-resistant and easy to hand wash with a quick-dry design that won’t hold water. These slip-on sneakers protect kids’ feet with slip-resistant traction outsoles and a rubber toe...
- Best Kid Stuff
June 30, 2019 | Full review
A warm-weather alternative to heavy, clunky rubber rain boots, these rubber-soled slip-ons clean up easily, making them great puddle stompers. They’re also useful beach shoes for toddlers who have difficulty walking in flip-flop style slip-ons.
- Trips To Discover
May 6, 2019 | Full review
Made out of synthetic material called Ethylene Vinyl Acetate (EVA), these shoes are comfortable, waterproof, stable, and can withstand wear and tear.
- Best Fashion Nova
November 2, 2019 | Full review
There are modest holes all close to the shoe for air circulation.
- Baby Boy Shoes Review
December 2, 2018 | Full review
The rubber sole ensures the shoes do not slip while walking. At the same time, it provides a form of shock resistance. The inside of the shoes is lined with EVA foot-bed which cushions your child’s leg, ultimately enhancing comfort.
- Swim Network
October 10, 2019 | Full review
What other experts didn't like
It is not good for children with wide feet.
- Let's Cruise Kids
September 26, 2019 | Full review
The main drawback that parents noted is this shoe may not be best for little ones with chubby or thicker feet.
- Experienced Mommy
September 12, 2019 | Full review
Your child will need to break them in, and that process can rub skin raw and even cause blisters.
- Business Insider
June 18, 2019 | Full review
Keep in mind that rubber can cause chafing against your child’s feet. The heel in particular doesn’t add any fabric material to keep your child’s feet from rubbing, so you shouldn’t expect them to walk particularly far in these shoes....
- Women Today
September 12, 2019 | Full review
It can lead to formation blisters if you choose the wrong size
- List Outdoor
Not ideal for long periods
- Morning Chores
The plastic-foam material can shrink or warp if left out in the sun or heat for an extended time
- Best Kid Stuff
June 30, 2019 | Full review
Few of them also recommended to keep them away from hot temperatures like in cars as they may deform.
- Best Fashion Nova
November 2, 2019 | Full review
Shoe is incredibly cute but the sizes are soo off and not ment for chunky babies.
- Baby Boy Shoes Review
December 2, 2018 | Full review
It may not be a good option for those allergic to rubber.
- Swim Network
October 10, 2019 | Full review

The Best Bang For Your Buck

Converse Child Low Top Sneakers

Our Expert Score
8.6
5 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
9.4
1,015 user reviews
Our Take

These Converse Child Low Top Sneakers sport the classic "lace-up" look, but they easily slip onto little feet with no tying involved. Their textile construction makes them very lightweight, with a flat sole to promote good posture and gait. Great traction on the bottom of the sole makes them ideal for active kids.

What other experts liked
The canvas construction is breathable and comfortable for growing feet. These trendy sneakers have been designed for day-long play and are certain to make your pre-schooler one of the coolest kids in class!
- Shoe Advisor
October 3, 2019 | Full review
These sneakers are also recommended to all of you weight lifter guys and gals because of its flat soles, which will reduce damage to your spine.
- WalkJogRun
The vulcanized rubber sole offers better traction so little ones can do what they do best – play all day.
- Shoe Hero
August 14, 2019 | Full review
The material is 100 percent textile, making them lightweight and breathable with a rubber sole. They come in several different colors, all with the classic lace-up look.
- Mom Loves Best
October 16, 2019 | Full review
What other experts didn't like
It runs narrow
- WalkJogRun

Overall Product Rankings

Native Shoes Kids’ Slip-On Sneakers

1. Native Shoes Kids’ Slip-On Sneakers

Overall Score: 9.0
Reviews Included: 20

Adidas Kids’ Sneakers

2. Adidas Kids’ Sneakers

Overall Score: 8.8
Reviews Included: 4

Converse Child Low Top Sneakers

3. Converse Child Low Top Sneakers

Overall Score: 8.7
Reviews Included: 7

PUMA Kids’ Sneakers

4. PUMA Kids’ Sneakers

Overall Score: 8.6
Reviews Included: 3

Stride Rite Kids’ Athletic Sneaker

5. Stride Rite Kids’ Athletic Sneaker

Overall Score: 8.5
Reviews Included: 4

Our Kid Shoe Findings

Native Shoes Kids’ Slip-On Sneakers

What We Liked: With socks or without, the perforated uppers on these Native Shoes Kids’ Slip-On Sneakers let feet breathe and cut down on odor. They’re made from acetate which is not only durable but fully waterproof. Environmentally conscious parents will love their low-emission manufacturing policy and materials that don’t harm animals.

Adidas Kids’ Sneakers

What We Liked: These Adidas Kids’ Sneakers replicate the iconic look of full-sized Adidas with their side stripes and signature gold tongue emblem. The uppers are made from full-grain leather for extra protection. An EVA midsole provides ample cushioning for little feet.

Converse Child Low Top Sneakers

What We Liked: These Converse Child Low Top Sneakers sport the classic “lace-up” look, but they easily slip onto little feet with no tying involved. Their textile construction makes them very lightweight, with a flat sole to promote good posture and gait. Great traction on the bottom of the sole makes them ideal for active kids.

PUMA Kids’ Sneakers

What We Liked: As sizes go, these PUMA Kids’ Sneakers are more suited to a narrow foot. This can help tots who tend to find other sneakers too loose. The velcro “laces” make them easy to secure, and they’re a solid everyday shoe for light play around the house.

Our Kid Shoe Buying Guide

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 Tips and Advice

  • 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.

About The Author

Avatar
Tod Caviness 

Tod Caviness is a professional writer and journalist for the past 20 years. More importantly, he is the father of a 5-year-old boy and an 8-month-old girl, and enjoys curating a library of books for them both. He figures his "dad tour of duty" will be done when they can both beat him at Settlers of Catan.