12 Best Kids’ Sneakers, Sandals, Water Shoes
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
This Maryjane-style watershoe is for preschool and school-age girls. I love the soft, colorful, neoprene uppers and grippy treads, a definite improvement over earlier Crocs MJs.
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.
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.
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 they come in bright, summery colors.
I’m not a big fan of flip-flops for kids, especially little kids. 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.
Sandals for Summer Play
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.
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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