Buying children’s shoes comes every year at the start of school, with growing feet and new friends to impress. Your kid will want something that’s comfortable from the morning bus ride through afternoon gym class — and stylish, too.
Plus, finding footwear that can work in multiple settings, match different outfits and be easy to clean is important, especially with how fast children grow out shoes.
Here are some shopping tips for kids’ footwear, plus 10 of the best shoes that pass the test both out at recess and in the classroom all year round.
Most shoes are made of synthetic materials that don’t break down as easily from general wear and tear. But shoes with synthetic mesh, while more breathable, are less durable.
Kids’ shoes tend to break down at the laces. Though laces allow a shoe to fit more securely, many kids ignore them and just slip their shoes on and off. Shoes without working laces may be a pragmatic choice, simply because you’re bypassing the need to replace laces.
Breathable shoes for warmer months might not hold up against moisture, and winter-hardy shoes can feel heavy come spring. These features make for good year-round shoes (depending on climate):
- Lightweight materials used in athletic shoes are usually durable in order to endure sweat and the elements.
- High-top shoes give a little extra coverage for colder months without being too heavy in the warmer ones.
10 kids’ shoes that will last the whole school year
Bang for your buck: Vans Kids Sk8-Hi Zip
Year-round shoes: Adidas Hoops 2.0 Mid Shoes
Easy-to-clean: Crocs LiteRide Pacer
Multipurpose: Adidas Kids’ Terrex Tracerocker Cf Hiking Shoes
Warmer climate: KEEN Newport H2 Sandals
Velcro: Adidas Superstar Foundation Shoes
Slip-ons: Skechers Elite Flex-Wasik Sneaker
Classic tennis shoes: Adidas Grand Court Tennis Shoe
Running shoes: New Balance Kids’ 680 V6 Alternative Closure Running Shoe
School uniform: Stride Rite Claire Mary Jane
Ashley Clayton Kay is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.