12 Best Kids’ Sneakers, Sandals, Water Shoes

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Summer shoes: My daughter puts her favorite pair on in early May and when I pry them off her feet in late September they’re almost falling to pieces. Summer footwear has to play a lot of roles. Kids need their shoes to be cool and comfortable. Schools and camps want them to have closed toes. I need them to be durable, quick drying and to take my active child from the playground, to the beach, to hiking and biking on weekends to city sightseeing on vacation. Washable is a nice plus.

Here are 12 sandals and tennis shoes that will see your kids through the summer, regardless of what they do to them. Most of these summer shoes are waterproof Just about all of them will comfortable and dry quickly if they get wet. Several work as beach shoes and for running around the playground. Most offer colors that both girls and boys will like and come in sizes from preschooler to kid or kid to tween. None are cheap but all offer good value for their price.

The Top Summer Shoes For Boys & Girls

 Lightweight Summer Sneakers

See Kai Run SaylorSee Kai Run Saylor is a great summer sneaker for boys and girls

The breathable mesh upper on this sneaker will dry fast and keep your toddlers and preschoolers cool all summer, while the rubber toe and sole will stand up to lots of play. And stretch laces with Velcro means preschoolers won’t need help putting them on.
The Plae Sam sneaker will keep kids cool in hot weather

Plae Sam

These waterproof kids sneakers have sturdy bottoms, good treads, toe protectors and plenty of ventilation. They’ll keep younger kids safe and cool in hot weather.

Toms Kids

Older kids and tweens love light-weight, washable Toms slip-ons. But they come in enough styles and colors for younger kids to find something they like, too.

Better still, they look la little neater than most kids sneakers, which is handy for travel. Just choose carefully: Some styles have thicker soles than others.

Sneaker-Style Water Shoes

Plae MimoPlae Mimo sneakers are made to get wet

These waterproof sneakers for toddlers and preschooler are light with plenty of ventilation, reinforced toe, flexible sole, and shock absorbing heel. The perfect sneaker/water shoe hybrid for the playground.

Crocs Citilane Rokas are lightweight summer slip-ons for kidsCrocs Citilane Rokasoft

These waterproof crocs have ventilated uppers and are made of plastic mixed with silicone for flexibility and comfort.

Biggers kids and tweens will like their easy slip-on look and the option to add socks on cooler days.

The neopreme Crocs for girls are cute, flexible and waterproofCrocs Duet Busy Day

This Maryjane-style watershoe is for preschool and younger school-age girls.

I love the soft, colorful, neoprene uppers and grippy treads for summer playgrounds and other outdoor fun, a definite improvement over earlier Crocs MJs.

The Stride Rite Phibean water sneaker is great for the playground or the beach

Stride Rite Phibian

Parents love Stride Rite and this sneaker-style watershoe is just what you expect from the company: affordable quality and comfort for kids in a wide age range.

The upper mixes waterproof plastic and stretchy webbing; the sole is playground-worthy. Velcro and stretchy laces keep them secure.

The Chaco Outcross is a sturdy water-resistant sneaker that active tweens will loveChaco Outcross 2

Probably the most heavy-duty shoe in the mix, this sneaker-watershoe hybrid will stand up to serious camping and hiking with a reinforced toe, thick molded sole, hydrophobic upper and bungee laces.

They have plenty of ventilation and fun colors girls and boys can wear.

Water Sandals

The mesh water sneaker/sandal hybrids are cool and sure-footed for summer activitiesMerrell Hydro

The Hydro line includes co-ed waterproof sneakers and sandals and these girls’ monarchs, which are somewhere in between.

My daughter has lived in them for three summers because their mesh and cloth uppers are cool, comfortable and can get wet. The treads are really good and give ankle support. And they come in bright, summery colors.

Reef Grom has fun patterns and back strap for a secure fit Reef flip-ons come in styles for older and younger kidsReef Kids Grom and Ahi

I’m not a big fan of flip-flops for kids, especially little kids, especially when they’re running and climbing. But I realize they have their uses during the summer, particularly as kids grow and want them for camp, the beach and the pool.

Reef Kids flip-flops are not flimsy and have colors to appeal to wide age range. Plus both of these lines have styles that strap on in the back to keep them secure on young feet.

Sandals for Summer Play

Hoy Saltwater sandals look pretty and can follow your girl into playground sprinklers or to the poolHoy Salt Water

These are the summer sandals for girls who are active but won’t wear the sportier shoes. They come in a range of bright colors, strap on securely and can get wet.

They come in sizes from toddler to woman. They’re only drawback is the flat soles can slip on wet playgrounds and pool decks.

Teva Tirra are extremely sport sandals in colors girls will loveTeva Tirra

Extremely sporty water sandals with Teva’s signature adjustable straps and outdoor-ready soles, in fun colors like bright teal and metallic silver.

These open-toe kids shoes are perfect for the girl or tween who wants a sturdy, grippy sandal in fun feminine colors.

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Our favorite summer shoes for boys and girls: Sporty sandals, lightweight sneakers and colorful flip-flops that can get wet, and keep kids feet cool and well-protected no matter what activities the warm weather brings. #kids #summer #shoes


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