The 9 Best Toddler Shoes of 2021

Stylish, comfy, and adorable options they'll love

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Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Ten Little Everyday Original Shoes at tenlittle.com

"They have a reinforced toe, non-skid rubber soles, and are specifically designed to support natural foot growth."

Best Sandals: Crocs Kids’ Bayaband Sandal at Amazon

"If you appreciate versatility, these have a strap on each sandal that can turn them into slip-ons or be pushed down for security."

Best Breathable: Native Jefferson Shoes at nordstrom.com

"Designed with perforation for air circulation, they slip on easily but won't fly off during a long day of play."

Best Rubber Sole: Converse Chuck Taylor Double Strap Sneakers at nordstrom.com

"You can find the timeless shoe in toddler sizes with a velcro hook and loop straps to make it easier to slip on and off."

Best Active Shoes: Stride Rite Made2Play Indy Sneaker at Amazon

"A great pick for your tot as they transition to running, it features a non-skid rubber sole and mesh lining for breathability."

Best for Wide Feet: Saucony Kids’ Baby Jazz Hook & Loop Sneaker at Amazon

"Ideal for wide feet, their non-marking rubber soles allow for more stability and increased flexibility."

Best for New Walkers: BirdRock Brown Baby Moccasins at Amazon

"For when baby is transitioning from walking barefoot to wearing shoes, this pick strikes a balance between a slipper and a shoe."

Best Water Shoes: Jiasuqi Baby Barefoot Water Skin Shoes at Amazon

"This option is super lightweight and designed to fit more like a sock than a shoe and has durable rubber soles for traction."

Best Weather-Proof: L.L.Bean Toddlers’ Waterproof Trail Model Hikers at llbean.com

"For tiny outdoor adventurers, these hikers feature a high ankle cut for extra support and stability on uneven ground."

There is a lot of growth and development happening during the toddler years, and that includes their little feet. When they first start walking, toddlers need shoes that will provide them protection without throwing off their balance, and later they need shoes that are comfortable and will withstand long days of play.

Whether you need something for the summertime, close-toed sneakers for the park, or just want to add something fun to their wardrobe, there is a shoe out there for your tot.

Here are some of the best toddler shoes to choose from.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Ten Little Everyday Original Shoes

Ten Little Everyday Original Shoes

Courtesy of Ten Little

Available in a wide variety of colors and in sizes 4 through 13 (including half-sizes), these sneakers are well-made and flat-out adorable. They have two velcro straps as well as a tab on the heel so your tot can put them on and take them off easier. The shoes also have a reinforced toe, non-skid rubber soles, and are specifically designed to support natural foot growth.

Best Sandals: Crocs Kids’ Bayaband Sandal

These sandals are available in a few colors and in toddler sizes 4 through 13. There is a strap on each sandal that can be pushed up to make them a slip-on style or pushed down to form a back strap to keep them from flying off.

Since they’re made from the lightweight materials Crocs are known for, your toddler will be able to walk with ease and avoid tripping. They have a hook and loop closure so they’re easy to put on and take off and kids can add some character to them with Jibbitz charms (sold separately).

Best Breathable: Native Jefferson Shoes

Native Jefferson Shoe

Nordstrom

These sneakers come in a variety of colors and styles and in sizes 4 to 13 and 1 to 6. The easy-on design helps to foster independence by allowing your kiddo to put their shoes on by themselves.

The reinforced rubber toe adds an extra layer of durability while the polka-dot holes allow for all-over air circulation to prevent overheated feet. Perfect for playtime, these shoes are also shock absorbent, odor-resistant, and clean right up with a quick handwash.

Best Rubber Sole: Converse Chuck Taylor Double Strap Sneakers

Chuck Taylor shoe

Nordstrom

There’s nothing more classic than some Converse Chuck Taylors. You can find these timeless shoes in toddler sizes with velcro hook and loop straps to make it easier for them to put them on and take them off.

The thick rubber sole and a reinforced toe provide extra durability, have a soft footbed to keep little toes cozy, and you can find the shoes in a variety of colors and patterns. 

Best Active Shoes: Stride Rite Made2Play Indy Sneaker

It doesn’t take long for toddlers to transition from walking to running, and once they take off you’ll want them in these lightweight, durable, and machine washable sneakers. The shoes feature a non-skid rubber sole, mesh lining for breathability, a memory foam footbed, and an antimicrobial treatment inside the shoe to reduce odor.

These sneakers are available in a range of colors and in toddler sizes 4 through 10, including different width options. 

Best for Wide Feet: Saucony Kids’ Baby Jazz Hook & Loop Sneaker

If your toddler has wide feet, these sneakers are a great option because they are available in wide sizes and their velcro closure design allows for a more custom fit so you can be sure they will be wide enough for comfort while snug enough to stay put.

These shoes are available in a variety of colors and little kid sizes, have non-marking rubber soles, and are designed to promote stability and increase flexibility.

Best for New Walkers: BirdRock Brown Baby Moccasins

When toddlers start walking, the best way for them to learn how to stabilize themself is by walking barefoot. However, that’s not always a realistic option, so these little moccasins are great because they protect their little feet while still challenging them to balance without support from a shoe.

They are available in a huge selection of colors and styles and in sizes small enough for a newborn and large enough for a 3 or 4-year-old. They have an elastic band at the ankle to keep the shoe in place, which is particularly helpful for little ones who are determined to pull off their shoes. Other than the elastic band, these shoes are unstructured to support the foot’s natural development.  

Best Water Shoes: Jiasuqi Baby Barefoot Water Skin Shoes

When the sun is out, there’s nothing a toddler loves more than playing in the water, and a good pair of water shoes will help ensure they don’t slip and hurt themselves. Super lightweight and designed to fit more like a sock than a shoe, these water shoes have durable rubber soles for traction and protection and are super flexible to promote natural foot development.

You can choose from a variety of adorable colors and designs and in sizes 0 to 6 months to 18 to 24 months. 

Best Weather-Proof: L.L.Bean Toddlers’ Waterproof Trail Model Hikers

L.L.Bean Toddlers’ Waterproof Trail Model Hikers

Courtesy of L.L.Bean

For tiny outdoor adventurers, these hikers are designed and built just like the adult version, just smaller. They feature a high ankle cut for extra support and stability on uneven ground, heel and toe bumpers for durability, and a wide opening with hook and loop closure for easy on and off. These hikers are available in two colors and in sizes 5 through 9. 

Final Verdict

As with all wardrobe purchases, your toddler’s personal needs and style play a big role in which shoe is the best option for them. That being said, if you’re on the hunt for quality shoes, no matter the style, you can’t go wrong with a pair of Ten Little Everyday Original Shoes (view at Ten Little) or Converse Chuck Taylor Double Strap Sneakers (view at Nordstrom). 

What to Look for When Buying Toddler Shoes

Size

Just like adult shoe brands, toddler shoe brands can vary in width and size. If your toddler's feet are a little longer or on the wider side, try a half size up or down to find the right fit.

Purpose

Is your toddler going to be rocking these shoes on the playground or on a hike? Shoes that they are going to be using as their everyday pair will likely be different than the pair they use to dress up or go to the park in.

Season

Depending on where you live, your toddler will likely need a different pair of shoes for different seasons. Whether it is a pair of breathable summer shoes or protective winter boots, keep the seasons in mind when shopping for a pair of toddler shoes.

Natural Fit

It is important to choose a shoe for your little one that allows their foot to move and develop naturally. Shoes that aren't overly rigid and hard will help your toddler develop strong, healthy feet and posture.

FAQ's

How to measure a toddler's shoe size?

Using a regular household ruler, measure your child's foot from heel to toe in centimeters. It's recommended that you add up to a half of an inch to the measurement to provide a more realistic shoe size.

Are toddler and infant shoe sizes the same?

Shoe sizes for children are broken down into infant and toddler sizes and then big kid sizes. The infant and toddler sizes typically range from 0 to 13 while big kid shoes range from sizes 1 to 7. Toddler shoes will usually include a "T" next to the number to indicate that it is a toddler shoe.

Keep in mind, not all brands adhere to the same language and you should always check the size chart before purchasing.

Why Trust Verywell Family

Ashley Ziegler is a staff and freelance writer who covers lifestyle, home, parenting, and commerce content for a variety of platforms. She’s a mom to 1-year-old and 4-year-old daughters and an aunt to 3 nieces and 2 nephews ranging from 5 to 11 years old. In addition to regularly scouring the internet to find the best things for herself, Ashley spends multiple hours a week researching, comparing, and writing about products specifically for kids and families.

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