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.
Our mission at SheKnows is to empower and inspire women, and we only feature products we think you’ll love as much as we do. Zulily is a SheKnows sponsor, however, all products in this article were independently selected by our editors. Please note that if you purchase something by clicking on a link within this story, we may receive a small commission of the sale.
A version of this story was originally published in January 2019.
An all-weather pick
Made with sweater weather in mind, these boots will keep your kids’ feet dry, whether they’re trudging through water, mud, slush or snow. The lace-up boots have a rubber sole, so there won’t be any wet socks when your kids take their boots off after a long day of play.
Chic, Sparkly Boots
These sequin-studded microsuede boots take everyone’s favorite winter shoe style to the next level. The comfy inner lining will keep tiny feet toasty and dry, while the anti-slip rubber soles ensure they’ll stay on solid ground. While these stylish shoes couldn’t be easier to slip on, good luck getting them off — your child won’t want to.
The coolest kicks
Trust Converse for its iconic style and reliability. These sneakers deliver a secure, comfortable fit no matter what shenanigans your tiny tot gets up to.
Doc Martens are a timeless classic in footwear, and these mini versions have a zip for easy access, plus a water-repellent Scotchguard finish so they’re mud-, puddle- and adventure-proof. The floral botanical print is gorgeous and comes in toddler, youth and adult sizes — so you can match your mini-me, too.
Purple & perfect
Your kids won’t be able to wait to put on these soft, fuzzy boots. They’ll feel like they’re stepping into a soft cloud. The boots will keep their feet warm during chilly weather, and they come in several vibrant colors, which are much more exciting than boring brown boots.
For running, climbing & more
This little sneaker has it all: It’s got active traction and it’s lightweight and waterproof. It’s meant for school and play, so your little one will look stylish while they’re running errands with you or playing soccer with friends. Plus, the shoe is vegan, so you can feel good about that.
Your kids will be ready for every adventure with these sandals from Plae that boast both sole and toe protection. They’re breathable, flexible and machine-washable.
Parents know all too well how hard it is to get two shoes on tiny, squirmy feet. As divisive as the Crocs’ shoe is, you have to admit that they’re easy to get on little feet. The shoes are also super durable and easy to wash—in case your kids happen to play around in the mud.
Doesn’t get better than Birks
Classic Birkenstocks take on a whole new look with a color-contrasting outsole for the next generation of flower children. These mini versions of the shoes you grew up with are made with cork and suede for maximum grip and stability.
Add some sparkle to your step with these surefire crowd-pleasers. With a rose-gold back and felt polka dot details, this slip-on is guaranteed to be a favorite.
Vegan, deco-stitch detailing and fabric fastener straps to make it easy for little fingers to put on and off are just a few of the reasons we love these canvas Toms sneakers.
Origami print Natives
Native is famous for its super lightweight and odor-resistent slip-ons, and these beauties come in a rainbow of colors, patterns and shapes, too (like this awesome origami print). They’re perfect to slip on for school, playdates, or any-old-time, and they’re so comfortable, your kiddo might even try to wear them to sleep.
Or splurge on a subscription
If choosing THE perfect new shoe for your kiddo this season sounds daunting, rest assured: You don’t have to! Parents and Cool Aunts alike can sign kids up for Nike’s new subscription box just for them, to get a new-kicks treat in the mail monthly, bimonthly, or quarterly. Shoes are available in sizes 4C to 7Y, so kids will be able to enjoy this from toddlerhood to tweendom if you really want to commit.
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