The crowning glory of kid shoes were once shiny brown loafers with tassles (and maybe a little slot in the top of the shoe for a penny that bought exactly nothing at a candy store or storefront machine).
Today’s children shoes offer tons of style options that are as comfortable as they are fashionable, leaving your imagination free to run wild and indulge in the great-looking comfort of their tiny feet. But what do kids actually need to wear to grow healthy feet? And can you balance your desire for style while helping your kids’ feet along the way?
Well, it’s no big secret that babies don’t really need shoes until they can walk, and when they do, flexible and soft shoes are best. But we also know babies love nothing more than pulling off tiny socks while grunting in satisfaction, then promptly screaming that their socks actually came off. Anti-skid baby socks shaped like furry woodland creatures can keep your child’s feet warm – and adorable at the same time. They’re so cute that they’ll rock your own socks right off as well.
Meanwhile the new walkers, toddlers and the older-kid-crew all need some rockin’ new shoes. And we do mean new. An article by WebMD warns that kids’ shoes mold to their feet. That means hand-me-down and used shoes are a mixed bag that can create blisters or feel uncomfortable, creating issues getting kids to wear them at all. Fortunately, you can splurge on style without compromising your shoe budget. Start by shopping for these seven pairs you can’t live without:
Slip into Sneakers
Experts and podiatrists encourage sneakers for kids, because they don’t usually don’t constrain little feet. They can help your kids feet develop properly by leaving them free to grow and roam. Sneakers are a perfect option for tiny tikes and big kids alike. But we know what you’re thinking. Do they come in light-up LED styles? Yep! They sure do!
These sure-to-be-legacy classic lace-up rechargeable LED sneakers come in a variety of fun and funky colors. We’re fans of the Black Melange, Stars and Stripes and traditional black pairs – and your kids will think they’re the coolest thing that have ever dared to grace the playground. Meanwhile, you can let your children loose at an evening block party, knowing confidently that they can see their every step.
Get a Grip
Style-worthy shoes should still be safe to wear, and give lots of grip on even the smoothest of surfaces (we all know that toddlers are prone to flying through the air when hardwood floors and linoleum is involved!). That’s probably why Caring for Kids recommends shoes that fit snugly at the heel to keep your child’s foot from moving forward and slipping while walking. This can help toddlers learn to walk properly, as well as minimize their risk of blisters and discomfort.
Thankfully, there are lots of shoes out there that’ll put a halt on your kids’ skids. Start with the colorful and hip Pediped Grip ‘n’ Go with soft rubber sole and a soft toe box to keep toes gripping the floor. Ideal for toddlers and new walkers, your kids won’t slide across the room every time a sippy cup spills (which is probably every 90 seconds). The Jake Pink are sporty and casual with fantastic pops of color. Meanwhile, Pediped Flex is ideal for kids up to age 6 with a flexible sole.
Embrace Tough Tassle Love
Bonjour! These amazing Baby’s Yellow Mustache Tassles Soft Antiskid Toddler Shoes keep your toddler’s feet comfy, warm and in one place. Sure, it’s important not to skid and knock over everything in the house. But isn’t it just as important that your child’s feet look like an adorable French cartoon with a twirling handlebar mustache? Oui!
There’s more to this sweet little pair of toddler shoes than the eye-catching mustaches. First, they come in fluorescent yellow with black detailing that’s oh-so-fun and satisfying to behold. These shoes are also lined with tassles masquerading as little shoe-inspired hair – you know, to give the whole mustache motif the day in the sun it truly deserves. We’ll go ahead and warn you right now that you (or your children) may decide to adorn these shoes with googly eyes to complete the look…
Get “Meshy” with It
Kids feet are always in motion and, as such, are prone to sweating. Chances are if your child has sat still long enough for you to see their feet, they’re peeling off socks and complaining that they’re too hot.
That’s why shoes need plenty of opportunity to breathe, and the upper area should be crafted from soft and breathable material. Choose leather or canvas materials and steer clear of plastic – even if your own inner child from decades ago is screaming for those novelty jellies we all hold dear.
Pick-up these simple and stylish mesh shoes for both toddlers and little kids They feature hot pink cutout mesh for more breathability and are also anti-skid. They’re fun to look at and wear. We suggest you whip them out to show off at a playdate (where we hope both kid juice and Mom juice is served…).
Go Puddle Jumping
Winter, rain or sun; a quality pair of rainboots keeps your kids’ feet dry and safe. But just because they’re functional doesn’t mean they need to be yellow beacons resembling roadway signage or boots that look more like black rubber tires than something kids will be delighted to wear.
Mymayu boots feature adorable kid-inspired designs with equally adorable-sounding names like The Muddy Munchkins collection. Kids slip into the flexible, rubber soles, while the drawstring closes up top and around the ankles. Let your children loose on a rainy day and see how they hold up to the elements of mud, rain and plenty of the unexpected.
Make it a Formal Affair
Yes, it’s true. You can go ultra posh in your kid’s shoewear collection without reaching for traditional standbys like patent leather. And really, no one enjoys wedging an angst-ridden toddler’s feet into formal attire for the next family gathering! For a suitably stylish alternative, how about a pair of golden shoes? If you ask us, C3PO would love seeing his own little droids running around in these shining beauties. Not enough sparkle? These flashing light-up shoes add extra pizazz if gold shoes are just too demure for your children’s inner disco royalty.
However, if your child just doesn’t jive with gold shoes, try some soft frilly red shoes crowned with a red flower. The fun splash of color keeps things kid-inspired, making them crowd pleasers that are still parent-approved. They’re soft, comfy and are anti-skid for the little runners in your life.
Get Beach Bound
Heading to the beach? Pack up the kids and head straight to the sand with these Surprising Frog Versatile Beach Style Sandals in tow. What’s not to love? The shoes have anti-skid soles and are super easy to rinse off after a day collecting seashells and starfish. Bonus points if your kids find shark’s teeth to bring home and display for all to see.
These shoes are also fun for poolside use to slip in and out of between dips in the grown-up and baby pool. Those pool sprints keep you on your toes, making you wish you could find yourself an adult-sized pair of Surprise Frog shoes!
Ultimately you want to pick the most comfortable shoes for your kids – and you want them to be ridiculously fun and cute. But you also want shoes your kids are actually willing to wear, and sometimes that means opting for the bells and whistles of LED lights.
Other times that’s fuzzy and cute creatures they can’t stop stroking as they lay on their back with feet in the air (usually in the middle of your kitchen while you’re cooking dinner).
We say, “Whatever makes the kids and parents happy is the way to go.” Stock up on an arsenal of cute wardrobe essentials to go with your perfect new pair of stylish kids shoes, and you’ll have happy smiles all around.
Can’t live without your favorite pair of children’s shoes? Let us know your top picks by leaving a comment below: