The cutest feet in your home are growing at an alarming rate! It won’t be long before you are at the store searching high and low for good-looking, long-lasting kid’s shoes. Wondering where to shop? We’re here to help with a selection of the best kids shoes on the market. In our own testing, these are the shoes that stand up to even the highest-octane bike racing and mud splashing. Sturdy construction, comfort, and washability were all necessary qualifications. However, each brand featured embodies the true joy and spirit of childhood as well. We’re happy to share these tried and true favorites!
Best Shoe Brands for Little Kids
Great for the splashiest of summers, Natives are comfy enough for miles of scootering, but hearty enough for hand-me-downs. Their Swiss cheese design keeps the shoes from being too heavy or hot. Not only are Natives super stylish, but their high-density foam construction also makes them extremely convenient to keep clean. Your precocious little one could fill these shoes with mud and you’d never know the difference after a quick spray-down. Officially, they’re not machine washable (although we’ve had plenty come out of the cold cycle unscathed) but they are very easy to clean with Lysol or baby wipes. If you want super low-maintenance footwear for your kids, snag a few pairs of these bad boys.
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Plae shoes fit right into kids’ exuberant lifestyle with colorful, chic designs and Velcro tabs for easy wear. These shoes were made with the health of growing feet in mind. They are machine-washable (halleluiah!), breathable and extra grippy, making them ideal for even the most adventurous outings. Plae shoes are great for those who need atypically sized shoes, like for those who use orthotic inserts or braces. Simply pick up an additional set of Velcro tabs in a more accommodating size. The company is super environmentally conscious as well! They make a point to use recycled PET to make their shoes and use a completely solar-powered factory.
If you’re a smocking and bonnet lover, you’re probably already an avid fan of this company’s leather sandals. With their understated elegance and quality craftsmanship, Hoy’s shoes are classic to the core. For little guys and girls alike, Saltwaters and Sun Sans are the perfect complements to the preppy, laid-back look. More specifically, we could picture them center stage on preschool picture day. Hoy was originally founded in 1944 to make boots for the US military. Resourcefully, they used their leather scraps to make women and children’s sandals. Their legacy of quality construction and chic style continues through today.
Ideal for a range of activities, these shoes stick out from the crowd with their impressive care for little feet. Livie and Luca make footwear with their “Joyful Foot Philosophy” in mind. The main beats of which are flexibility, breathability, and special hints of childlike fun in their designs. They’re comfortable, with many styles being ideal for both play and dressy occasions. Additionally, the Matilda Jane clothing brand has recently had several adorable collaborations with them. Both brands embody a similar youthful, whimsical style.
Freshly Picked is an innovative brand famous for their soft sole baby moccasins. Though an international sensation today, they came from humble beginnings. FP was founded as a one-woman sewing operation at a kitchen table! Ten years later, the company remains focused on its mission. They make mom-friendly, adorable shoes that won’t fall off. The AAP even backs their approach to baby shoes. The pros recommend soft soled shoes for early walkers because children learn to walk by gripping their toes on the ground. This helps explain why so many people trust their baby’s feet to these leather beauties. Additionally, they offer a generous selection of prints and styles, appealing to just about any taste. Since launching, they’ve grown a bunch of new categories. On the website, you’ll find all their original styles, as well as sneakers, clothes, and stunning leather diaper bags.
Childhood is all about bold exploration, gentle self-discovery, and unbridled zeal for life. Therefore, we would never want our kids’ attire to hold them back from having these all-important life-shaping experiences. More than anything else they’ll wear, their shoes will determine which of these they’ll be able to enjoy. For this reason, we support investment in the best kids shoes for even the wobbliest little walkers.
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Photo Credits: Native Shoes, Plae, Hoy Shoes Co., Livie and Luca, Freshly Picked, Jenny Smith