Parents don’t need proof that their kids are growing up fast — the undeniable evidence is the large pile of shoes they’ve outgrown. It probably feels like you’re dragging your reluctant little one shoe shopping every other day looking for the best kids shoes. Shoes can determine your child’s mood, too, so that’s why careful browsing and asking them too many questions about how the shoe fits can feel like the search for Cinderella. An uncomfortable pair can put a damper on their day, whereas a stylish set can put a spring in their step.
The perfect shoe for playgrounds and beyond, however? That, friends, is hard to find. All too often, kids shoes are either cute or comfortable, stylish or practical. Nay! A one-trick shoe? Come on. There are adventures to be had, things to build and demolish, paintings to paint on the hallway wall. The wrong pair of shoes can bring all that fun to a screeching halt. (Plus, ever dealt with a toddler with a blister? There is nothing that kills a family outing faster.) And no, you don’t have to sacrifice fashion for function. There are plenty of shoes your tots will love as much as you do, be they cold-weather shoes and boots, sunny summer shoes, or sporty sneakers.
But wait: Does the thought of dragging your little ones to a shoe store to see if you can find the just-right pair of shoes sound like your literal nightmare? Well, you’re in luck. We’ve rounded up the best kids shoes to buy right now from the comfort of your computer. Comfy, adorable and no shoe store needed. Go ahead and invest in some happy feet.
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A version of this story was originally published in January 2019.