Kids might not be going to their usual camp or on your annual summer vacation this year, but they are still busy little bees. From sprinting through the backyard sprinklers (or round and round your condo living room if you’re an apartment dweller) to the playground or kiddie pool if yours is open—kids still have a lot going on. That’s why they need footwear to match their pace, which during the dog days of summer means swimsuits, rash guards, and sandals day in and day out.
The best kids’ sandals are super easy to slip on (in case the ice cream truck is driving by, obviously) but sturdy enough that your kid can run in the grass without face planting. Truly comfortable shoes for kids means they won’t notice them, even after hours on their feet. Instead of “Mommy, my feet hurt!” complaints, you’ll be hearing random facts about the Paw Patrol (it’s for the best, really). Plus they need to last long enough to not fall apart before your kid grows out of them.
Here are some of the best mom-approved kid’s summer sandals for all of your summer adventures.
Best Sandals for Toddlers
The Otter MOMO Sandals are a best seller on Amazon. With over 2,000 reviews, parents are obsessed with how cute and functional these sandals are for their little ones. One happy customer said, “I purchased these sandals for my niece. She loves them very much. The strap is velcro which I love. It’s easy for her to put on herself. The velcro is long enough, which makes them easy to adjust and even more comfortable. The bottom part of sandles has cushion that seems to be comfortable as well. Very pleased with this purchase!”
These closed-toe sandals are made to handle to rough, tough, and dirty adventures that you’re little one get’s themselves into. You can dress them up or down, and they’ll be comfortable all day long. One Amazon reviewer said, “My son is really picky and sensitive when it comes to his feet. These are easy to put in and great feel for my son. They are sturdy. 100% worth the money and I’d buy them again. They have a quality feel to them, they don’t feel cheap or cheaply made.”
Toddler Sandals For Girls
If you have mini hikers in the making, you need durable sandals that allow your kids to walk, run, and climb through the great outdoors (or in.) KEEN Kids’ Seacamps might be the sturdy sandals you’ve been missing. Instead of straps, they go on with a bungee lace system that your kids can adjust themselves. And unlike other flimsy sandals out there, these offer coverage so your kids can walk comfortably over rocks, through water (they dry quickly), or on the sidewalks. They are also machine washable so you don’t have to worry about them get dirty. These have over 2,300 four and a half star reviews on Amazon, with one happy parent writing, “I love Keens. This is my son’s second pair. (I buy them big so he wears them for two summers.) They stay on just fine and the straps are adjustable. They’re practical, the closed toe protects from stubbing toes, and best of all they are washable.”
If your kid lives in their Crocs year-round, swap them out for the summer version: Slip On Sandals. They are water-resistant and ideal for rocky beaches, but they are also comfortable enough for your little one to wear room to room at home. Some of the best features include a heel strap that keeps them secure on your kid’s feet and washability (just spray them down!). They are lightweight like all Crocs and easy to run around in. They come in five fun colors and in toddler to little kid sizes, so buy a pair for each kid and stop the fighting. They have over 200 positive reviews on Amazon, with one happy parent writing, “Perfect for the summer. I got the pink pair for my 4-year-old daughter and navy pair for my 1-year-old son. They can both put them on and off themselves. All the dirt rinses right off and then dry quickly. The color combos are cute, too, and match most outfits.”
Raising little fashionistas in the making? Then they’ve got to have their own pair of mini Birks! Sound extravagant, you say? The price may justify itself when you realize how much your kid loves the comfy feel of the sturdy soles (just like full-size Birks that we love) that mold to your feet and how easy they are to slip on and off for quick trips in and out of the house. The buckles are also adjustable for a perfect fit, so they won’t slip right off like other sandals. Parents are big fans, with one reviewer on Zappos writing, “Staple summer shoe for our kids! Bought this style for our 3-year-old son and he has had no problems walking in them (meaning no issues with tripping or slipping.) He can slide them on and off himself yet they still mold pretty tightly around his feet. They give good support for a sandal and hold up incredibly well. Definitely recommend.”
Toddlers really have a lot of criteria for a good sandal, if you think about it. They have to be comfortable enough for them to waddle around in, but also look cute, obviously. Your best bet is to go with anything with unicorns and rainbows, like these Kids Unicorn Slide Sandals from Techcity. You have your choice of two models: One choice is clogs with backs and the other is slip on slide sandals. Both come in bright colors your little dude or dudette will love. Or you can get both versions because the price is right. These are very budget-friendly for feet that are constantly growing. These have 375 four and a half star reviews on Amazon, with one parent writing, “Nice, versatile slide-ons. Great for the shower, the beach, the pool, the backyard, or even around the house. They seem to lasting well, too. Kiddo says they’re comfortable.”
Kids shoes often look like “kids” shoes, but if that isn’t your child’s style (or yours!), no worries. Perhaps you’d instead go with a classic leather sandal that’s going to last, like these Salt Water Sandal keepers from Hoy Shoes which you may already have in your own closet (raises hand). They are water-resistant (including the buckles, which don’t rust if they get wet!), hand-stitched, and gender-neutral. They’ll hold up if your kid wears them to the beach or pool or park, and comfortable enough that they’ll want to wear them year-after-year. They come in the best colors, ranging from neutral to metallic to bold summer brights. There’s a reason fashion girls have been wearing these comfortable beauties for years, and now it’s time for the kids to get in on the fashion.
Toddler Sandals For Boys
If you’re looking for the style of a flip flop but just with a little more security for your little one, these KRABOR Flip Flips are a great option. They include a comfy elastic back strap so your child doesn’t slip out. It also comes in 10 different designs for both boys and girls (because we know they can be picky sometimes). One mama reviewed the shoe and said, “We liked the fit and quality so much we bought a second pair to have at Grandma’s house. Easy on and off for a small child. Perfect for putting shoes on to go outside and play.”
If your kids never stop moving, they need comfortable sandals that can keep up. Thankfully Timberland Adventure Seekers hold their own, no matter what your little one gets into. Top features include wide straps and a comfortable base. Plus, they dry quickly when they get wet. They are easy to get on and if your kid gives them the thumbs up, they range in sizes from toddler to 12 years, so you can buy a new pair every time their feet grow. These would be ideal for a camping or beach trip or just to run around in the backyard.
They have over 2,000 four and a half star reviews on Amazon, too, with one parent writing, “It is really difficult to find sturdy, low-cost sandals for active, outside-loving girls once they get past a certain size. Each year, it is a battle to find decent-looking sandals that will hold up to the abuse my kids give them. These provide some cushion, are easy to get on and off, and grip my kids’ feet tightly when running and playing. So far, I’m very pleased with the value for the money.”
If your summer days consist of going to and from the pool or beach, your kids will love a fashionable pair of slides they can slip on and off easily. These Nike Kawa slides deliver on multiple fronts: They are comfortable with good arch support, keep feet cool, and come in seven colors that all look great. If your kids play team sports (in normal non-pandemic times, of course) these are also great for slipping on after the game when they are sick of being in their soccer cleats or sneakers. These slides are popular, with 462 positive reviews on Zappos. One pleased parent wrote, “The kids loved these and they said they were super comfy and squishy!” Another said, “These fit my 6- year-old son great! He loves wearing them around the house and wherever we go!”
Does your toddler only wear shoes with dinosaurs, sharks, rainbows, or unicorns? (Broad criteria, right?) They’ll be pleased as punch with these sandals that are perfectly designed for tiny walkers. They have a soft back strap so they stay secure, but it’s not too thick or heavy that it will bother them while they’re doing their toddler ‘thang. They are so easy to slip on and off your little one can do it themselves. The base is designed to be comfortable and offer plenty of traction, too. Most importantly, they are cute! These popular sandals have 667 positive reviews on Amazon, with one happy parent writing, “The shark on the shoes reminds my kid about the Baby Shark song he listens almost every day. It was the reason why I bought this for him and he’s so excited walking around the house with it. He’ll be wearing it around the swimming pool so I don’t want it too loose where he can slip and fall, but these are tight enough. Overall it looks cute and making my kid happy.”
Weestep Hook Loop Sandal are perfect for the the toddler that only prefers super lightweight shoes (we get it). They’re comfortable, durable, and super easy to clean. They also come in pink, purple, army green, and more!
Need more supplies to make your kid’s summer even more fun? Check out kid’s gear for everything you need.