Group of kids lying in the grass and wearing summer shoes for kids

Summer Shoes for Kids – What to Look for and Where to Buy

Since it’s summer, kids spend most of their time outdoors. Usually, at high temperatures like these, it is advisable for kids footwear to be as light as possible. Thus, summer shoes for kids are the things we need at this point. 

Thus, in our little guide we will:

  • Talk about different types of summer shoes
  • What to look for in kids’ summer footwear
  • Provide you with some pro tips when shoe-shopping

Let’s dive in!


Different Types of Summer Shoes for Kids

There are a lot of different types of footwear for kids. One of the category is the summer shoes but those as well are divided in subcategories. Let’s take a look on what are the most common types and what are they good for!

  • Summer sneakers – Lightweight shoes with a lot of ventilation option. Suitable for everyday activities and playing outside.  
  • Flip flops and sandals for kids – These footwear are great for quick shoe changes, making feet cool and are perfect for easy put on and take off. However, flip flops are prone to slippering and do not provide high protection. Thus, if you have a new walker in the house, flip flops are not a great choice. 
  • Sliders – These shoes come with a single strap or a series of straps that cross the toes and the heel to keep the shoe in place. They are great for summer, quick changes, and they appear pretty sporty. However, they are also not so safe for younger kids, since they can easily slip off of foot.
  • Water and bathing sandals – Suitable for water surfaces, including pool and sea. They provide great protection and grip. If you are looking for total protection on the feet when in sea/ocean, look for swimming socks
  • Slip-ons – Another footwear suitable for quick shoe changes. Slip-ons are available in different styles like a sneaker style or sandal, and can be very comfortable.

What to Look for When Buying Summer Shoes for Kids

Kids’ shoes come in a variety of styles and colors, so it can be overwhelming to sort through. The same thing applies for children summer footwear. Here are a few things to remember when out and shopping for these shoes:

Comfortability and fit

As you would probably already assume, comfort comes to the first place. As the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) suggest, kids shoes should be comfy right at the first try. So as the second your little one place its feet in the shoe, the feet should feel comfy and snug, without any feeling of squeezing, tightness, or looseness.

When shopping for kids shoes do not be guided with “they will break in with time” thoughts.  Rather ensure that the shoe is perfect for your kid foot anatomy. This means that if your kids has narrow fit look for more narrow shoes or reverse, if your child has wider foot, look out for wide footwear. The goal of the shoes is to accommodate your kid’s feet nicely.


Leve of safety

Kids age will determine of whether you should look for high-protection shoes or the ones like flip-flops. Younger kids, usually the early walkers are not so stable so when shopping for summer shoes focus on how much protection and grip they provide. 

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that if you have baby whos just started walking, look our for those outdoor first baby shoes with:

  • High flexibility
  • Closed-toe type 
  • High comfortability with non-skid soles

It is okay for older toddlers and big kids to wear open-toed sandals, but always remember to put on some sun screen. As for younger kids, they should wear sandals that cover and protect their feet since their feet and toes are still very sensitive.

Non-skid soles

And since we mentioned non-skid soles, let’s explain them. Instead of looking for non-skid soles, look for a sole that is made of softer rubber. These soles will offer more floor grip on slippery surfaces like water, moist, greasy, or oil.

This feature is especially important during summer days when little ones may run around on different places. This includes the beach side, pool side, exploring the nature, etc. 


Durability and washability

There is a higher chance that the kid will outgrow the shoes before they even got a chance to rip them. However, it is always a good idea to look out for summer shoes with durable materials

Besides that, it is always a big plus if they are machine washable. This might be more important for those winter days, however, it is a huge plus for summer footwear too. 


As we mentioned above, the material is very important. Material is the one that will allow your kid’s feet to breathe, especially in the summer. If those little toes are suffocated in the shoe, sweaty feet will occur. This higher the chance of blisters and stinky feet! We do not want that! Keeping your child cool on hot days will be easier if they wear fabrics that are breathable and allow airflow.

The design

Babies do not care about style and design. As long as they are comfy and provide the right cushioning, babies are fine. However, when a little one reaches a certain age, design becomes very important. Even though the comfortability, protection, and material should always be in your first place, always ask your kid for an opinion. This is especially important if your child is picky. Luckily, there are a lot of brands with different designs to offer, including colors, thematic footwear, and funny design.


Pro Tips When Shoe-shopping for Summer

When shopping for any kind of shoes for your kids, do it in the evening. As the day goes on, feet usually swell, so you should ensure your kid’s shoes will fit when their tootsies are swollen. If you do that, your kid will end up with shoes that are smaller or that are too tight. 

This also refers to if you do online shopping. However, if you are not sure what is the exact size of your kids’ feet, easily measure it with the Footmeter. Also, when you measure it, do it in the evening to get the right size.

Another situation that may occur is one foot bigger than the other. This might surprise you, but it is totally normal. In that situation, buy the size that fits the larger foot. 

This refers for everything, whether you are buying basketball shoes, summer sandals, or even hiking footwear. Promote healthy habits in your child by letting him or her participate in the whole process. 

It is recommended that you check the fit of your kid’s shoes once a month after receiving them. This is because kids’ feet grow rapidly, and before they got a chance to complain, they might already make blisters. The distance between the inside edge of the shoe and your kid’s big toe should be about a finger width. Once the distance is shrinking down and there is almost no room left, it is time for new shoes!

Where to Buy Summer Shoes for Kids

Summer shoes for kids are widely available everywhere. From those online shops to the actual stores.  You can find them in your living area and got to the shop to try them or use our measurement tool and shop online. Here are some of the most convenient and popular shoe brand stores that provide excellent summer shoes for our youngest ones:

Conclusion About Summer Shoes for Kids

We are hoping that this little guide helped when shopping for summer shoes for kids. We know that it can be a bit difficult sometimes, but as long as your kids feel comfy and do not complain right away, you are good to go. 

There are different types of kids’ footwear, and thus there are different categories of summer shoes. Opt for the ones that suit your kid’s needs. Then, look out for the comfortability, proper and breathable material, make sure they are washable, and last but not least, check the design and style. The whole process might sound overwhelming but it isn’t. Relax, follow the guide, and always ask your kid for an opinion. Do not forget, they are our little explorers and they got their says!



  • Petra Moskatelo

    Petra is the main editor and writer here at Footmeter. She is passionate about helping people find the right solution. She holds a university Master's degree in pedagogy, and she knows a lot about children and learning.