Ideal Shoes for Toddlers

Toddlers are at the stage where they are starting to walk around and explore new places. Having a good pair shoes for toddlers can make things a lot easier for them and YOU.

Shoes for toddlers should be easy to take on and take off. Check to make sure the shoes are wide enough in case your toddler has chubby toes. The shoe should be bendable and not too stiff as well as stable and flexible.

Toddlers have trouble with balance so having a shoe that is durable and steady is best. The age group for toddlers is from 1-3 years old so you will need to make sure the shoes they wear fit their age group.

Younger kids should have flexible shoes that allow them to stumble and make mistakes with their footwork.

Older toddlers will need a more secure shoe that has plenty of room in the toes and is stable enough for them to have a good foothold.

The ideal shoes for toddlers are going to be ones that are comfortable and durable. It helps if they look nice too but that is not the only requirement!


Learning to Walk

Learning the ropes of walking can be a bumpy ride for any child. At first barefoot is the best way to let them roam free. However, when they become toddlers they start walking outside and other places that require footwear.

Feet need protection, from stepping on things like rocks, and from bumping your toes on corners.

Having the right kind of shoes for a toddler can save you a lot of anguish. Children know when they are uncomfortable and will let you know.

With larger toe areas and stretchy materials, you can help ease the struggle of having a shoe that fits just right.


Tips for Picking Shoes for Toddlers

Let’s look at a few tips for finding the right shoes for your toddlers. Keep in mind that every child is going to have a different level of comfort.

Tips for picking the ideal shoes for toddlers:

  • Go to the shoe store when it’s not as busy so that you can get the support you need from the staff.
  • Choose a pair of shoes that are a little bit stretchy for beginner shoes. You may also look for a pair with wider toes to keep up with growth.
  • Let your toddler try on more than one pair. Look for signs of discomfort and let your child tell you what works.
  • A lot of kids shoes are cheap, try to find a pair that is a little more durable and made with higher quality materials.

Finding the right shoe for your little one shouldn’t be a struggle. Have patience and tune in to your child’s needs.

Toddler Shoe Sizes

There are multiple ways to find the right shoe size with your toddler. You can measure their feet with a ruler, or you can have them step on paper and trace around their foot.

You can also use size charts based on age and weight such as the one below. The best way you can find the right size is to let them try on more than one pair in their size to find the pair with just the right room for their toes.

toddler shoe chart

This chart uses U.S. sizes only, keep in mind that your country may have different numbers and measurements.


Best Shoes for Toddlers

Finding that pair of shoes for your toddler-aged child is something that can seem like a struggle. There is so much to learn at that age and shoes sometimes fly under the radar.

So we’ve compiled this list of the 5 best shoes for toddlers:

  1. Stride Rite
  2. Carter’s Every Step
  3. New Balance 574 Core
  4. Smallbirds Wool Runners
  5. See Kai Run Stevie II Sneaker

These toddler shoes make up the best of the best. They are made from quality materials that are comfortable and stylish.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the pros and cons of these shoes for toddlers.

Stride Rite

Stride Rite has been around since 1919 and has delivered quality, durable shoes to millions of people. You can find a shoe that fits well and that matches most styles.

They are also comfortable and easy on the foot. Your toddler can learn to get their footwork just right in these shoes.

I remember having a pair of these myself until I eventually updated my look to shoes with flashing lights!

I can’t think of any cons for these accept that they might not come in as many colors and styles as some of the others.

✅ Quality made shoes at the right price.

Compare prices on Amazon here.

Carter’s Every Step

Carter’s Every Step is a line of shoes that are made for younger children. They have sizes for children 6-18 months. These shoes are made just right for those little feet that are on the go. They have 3 phases in shoe size. (1) crawl (2) stand (3) walk.

They are easy to put on and to take off with an adjustable elastic strap. These shoes make choosing the right size for your young child a little bit easy with the stretchy material and elastic adjustment.

The only cons for these are that they must be replaced early on but that is true for most sizes of shoes.

✅ They are comfortable and adjustable.

Compare prices on Amazon here.

New Balance 574 Core

The New Balance 574 Core shoe is another one of New Balance’s great designs. These are made just for your little runner. Once they become toddlers they start to move around more and having a good pair of tennis shoes or running shoes can be a lifesaver.

These little shoes have your toddler covered with a good rubber sole and enough room for their toes to wiggle. They have an adjustable Velcro strap that toddlers love to put on themselves!

No cons with this shoe.

These shoes let your child move around in comfort.

Compare prices on Amazon here.

Smallbirds Wool Runners

Smallbirds Wool Runners are a comfortable pair of shoes that have breathable materials that are safe for your little one. The wool lets their feet breathe and helps to dry the sweat. They look cool and come in multiple colors for boys and girls.

The best part about these shoes is that you can put them right into the washing machine! This makes them easy to keep clean and fresh. Any edge you can get as a parent makes life easier in the long run.

The only con on these is that they are not adjustable and must be tied.

✅ Machine washable and awesome design.

Compare prices here.

See Kai Run Stevie II Sneaker

See Kai Run makes all kinds of cool shoes. The Stevie II Sneakers are a great first shoe for your toddler. The company was started by a mother who couldn’t find any shoes that fit just right.

The design of the shoe has a denim look that feels nice. The materials are breathable and allow for room in the toes.

There is an adjustable strap at the top with shoelaces on the bottom. These are extremely well-designed shoes for your little one.

There are no cons on these, we love them!

✅ Designed by a mother who tuned in to the needs of children.

Compare prices on Amazon here.


Used Shoes for Toddlers

Another great way to get a comfortable pair of shoes for your toddlers is to have them try on used pairs!

Whether you have had kids and kept their hand-me-downs or friends and family that can donate some pairs to try on, this is a great way to save some money and find a pair of shoes that are already broken in.

It takes a few weeks for a pair of shoes to get broken in. You need to do a good deal of walking with them to soften up the shoe a little.

With used pairs, you skip that step. As long as you can find the right size, used shoes can be some of the most comfortable ones.

Related Questions

How long do toddlers stay in their first pair of shoes? Toddlers grow pretty fast, that is why we recommend a pair of shoes with extra-wide toes, to give them a little bit of room for growing. This also helps them not to be as tight and uncomfortable for breaking them in. Expect to buy a new pair of shoes every 1-2 years.

Can toddlers wear boots? We have all seen a picture or two of a cute kid wearing cowboy boots. While they may seem cute, they are not the best type of footwear for a child who is learning to walk. Down the road, they can wear them but in the 1-3 years old stage of being a toddler, keep it simple.

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Chad Fox

Chad Fox is passionate about footwear. Shoes have always been fascinating and knowing which one's are the best is something that he takes seriously.

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