You haven’t met a playground that your kids won’t climb, jump off or swing from. From the sandbox to the slides, the best kids’ shoes will survive serious play time, and (hopefully) last a season or two. We found 17 durable shoes for boys and girls of all ages. Scroll through our picks below.
Pediped's Adventure Line
New for Summer 2020, Pediped's Adventure Line is perfect for kids who like to run, jump and get dirty. Plus, the line is made with an eco-friendly, sustainable sturdy microfiber, which is water safe and washable, which makes for easy clean up. Each shoe has a natural rubber sole, foot caps and adjustable velcro straps.
Available at pediped.com, $38 & up.
Sneakers from Ten Little
Ten Little’s vegan shoes were designed in collaboration with world-class physicians, in hopes of creating a product that supports natural development and movement (think flat, flexible soles). Each pair also comes with fun stickers, so kids can have shoes that are unique to their style and personality.
Available at tenlittle.com, $39 & up.
Beachcomber Espadrille from Sea Star Beachwear
Perfect for water, sand and playgrounds, Sea Star Beachwear's espadrilles are made with water-friendly neoprene and a non-slip, non-marking rubber sole. They double as water shoes which dry in 15 minutes, offer UV protection and make the perfect transitional shoes for every occasion.
Available at seastarbechwear.com, $68 with matching adult styles, $96
High Top Sneakers from Oomphies
This new kids' shoe line launched in February 2020. There's a variety of styles, and we especially love the high-top sneakers that are available for both girls and boys. All the styles come with elastic laces, cushioned insoles and active tread, making them perfect for running, jumping and playing. Did we mention the great price point?
Available at oomphies.net, $19.99 & up
Jazz Riff Sneaker from Saucony
This new baby and toddler shoe from Saucony was designed with features that specifically support growing feet. They are made from a machine-washable material, memory foam footbed for added comfort, increased flex grooves for added flexibility and have been awarded the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) Seal of Acceptance. Available in five colors including gray, red, aqua, pink and blue.
Available at saucony.com, $42.
Chandler Shoe from KEEN
We love KEEN for their durable and colorful shoes that will last even the most rough-and-tumble playtimes. Pictured here is their best-selling toddler Chandler Shoe, which was just released in new colors in their Spring/Summer. Check out KEEN's entire line of new arrivals here.
Available at KEEN.com, $37.50.
Trail Quest from Merrell
This new all-terrain sneaker from Merrell comes in three different color combos, is machine washable and has an easily-managed hook-and-loop closure for young kids.
Available at merrell.com, $50.
Puma x Sesame Street
In honor of both iconic brands 50th anniversary, Puma teamed up with Sesame Street to launch an adorable line of sneakers featuring your kids' favorite characters, including Cookie Monster and Elmo.
Available at puma.com, $34.99 and up.
ikiki Squeaky Shoes
Choose from 15 adorable different animal shoes that come with names like Sascha Narwhalski (the narwhal) to Leo Longfire (the dragon). Each pair of shoes comes with ankle support for new walkers, and the squeaker, which is located in the heel, is an orthopedic aid for kids who are prone to toe walking. The best part? You can turn the squeaker off if the sound isn't appealing.
Available at amazon.com, $29.95
Rothy's Slip-On Sneaker
Brand-new from Rothy's, this gender-neutral slip-on sneaker has been tested out by active, busy kids. The sneakers are washable and offered in 10 different colors and prints inspired by the bright colors of the 1970s. Like all Rothy’s shoes, the sneaker has an athletic outsole, and the stretchy knit is made out of recycled water bottles.
Available at rothys.com, $55.
Allbirds uber comfortable and sustainable footwear has a cult grown-up following and now with their Smallbirds line of kids wool runners, these shoes are making a statement on the playground as well. Smallbirds shoes are designed just like the adult collection with comfort, sustainability and practical design at the core of each pair of kicks. You'll love that the shoes can be easily thrown in the washing machine for a quick and easy clean. Plus, if your kiddo isn't happy with the fit or feel, you can return within 30 days no question asked.
Available at allbirds.com for $55.
Time to Plae
Plae shoes are designed with the super active kid in mind. New in 2019 is the TY—a knit design with velcro straps that makes for a super-light sneaker, which means your kid can run, jump and swing without missing a beat. It's offered in two fun color combos: Amped Aqua and Hyper Blue. Each pair is washable with removable insoles, and every pair comes with the option to sign up for a Growth Spurt Guarantee®.
Available at plae.co, $55.
Sperry Topside x Vineyard Vines Boat Shoe
One of the sweetest collabs we've seen, Sperry and Vineyard Vines have teamed up to create multi-season shoes that make you think of summer, even in the spring. We love these little boat shoes because they're easy on and off (and even come in baby sizes!).
Available now at sperry.com. $40.99.
These sweet high-tops are part of the collection from Billy Footwear, shoes that are designed for kids including kids with autism and sensory issues. They're like Converse and VANS having a perfect shoe baby, and they are easy on and easy off, with side zips. Created by Billy Price, who himself is paralyzed, and wanted to invent a shoe that any kid could rock.
Snag a pair at billyfootwear.com, $55
Hikeport from KEEN
Keen offers a wide variety of kids shoes, from sandals to snow boots, in sizes as small as 6 months, but we're crushing on the Hikeport for that hybrid hiking-book-that-fits-like-a-sneaker, essential for fall and winter play. Waterproof and lightweight, they come in four color combos (all gender neutral) and feature easy-on/off hook-and-loop closure. You can choose from sizes 8-13 in Little Kids and 1-7 in Big Kids.
Available at keenfootwear.com, $44.99.
Marana Kids from Etnies
If your kid’s idea of an afternoon at the playground includes a skateboard, a few vert ramps, and a bowl or two, these Etnies are a good fit. The lightweight, comfy STI Evolution Foam midsole enhances cushioning. Plus, the full-length flex grooves in the rubber outsole add flexibility, and the fused-on rubber toe cap is practically impossible to wear through. Time to grind!
Available at etnies.com, $49.99.
Osh Kosh Bumptoe Sandal
The airy cutouts in this an airy sandal are perfect for those times when it's not quite cold enough to strap on the big boots. Think of them as elevated Crocs. It’s available in both toddler and big kid size is machine washable and is offered in three different colors: pink, mint and periwinkle.
Available at amazon.com, $23.71 & up.
—Gabby Cullen & Amber Guetebier
All images courtesy retailers.