Best Summer Shoes For Toddlers Of 2020

Summer is prime playtime for toddlers. It's a time for them to let loose, cool off in the water, and explore the world around them. Before you let your child run free outside, you need to make sure that they're wearing a good pair of shoes. 

Whether your kid is splashing around a water table or running through your backyard, their shoes will do a lot to prevent potential issues from occurring. The best summer shoes for toddlers will keep your bundle of energy safe and comfortable no matter what they get themselves into.

Why Your Child Needs Summer Shoes

When adults want to partake in summer fun, we'll usually slip on a pair of flip flops. So why not just do the same for toddlers? While these types of slippers are very affordable and easy to slip on your child's feet, they're not recommended. 

For one, they don't offer ample foot protection. Flip flops only protect the bottom of your little tyke's feet. Even then, the thin material doesn't do much. Traumatic injuries among children nearly double during the summer season. Falls are a very common injury, most of which can be avoided with proper footwear.

You see, kids don't really know how to use flip flops. To us adults, it's as simple as slipping them on and walking. While it seems simple enough, there's actually more going on than you think. People subconsciously apply more grip to the inner soles of flip flops to stay upright. This is pretty much a natural instinct that works alongside our sense of balance.

Toddlers don't have those skills just yet. As a result, slip and fall accidents are very common among those who wear these slippers. Furthermore, the basic design of flip flops isn't great for your toddler's development. The thong piece could easily damage tendons, leading to some foot issues when they get older.

The Advantages of Summer Shoes

The best summer shoes for toddlers can avoid all of those issues while providing some extra perks. They're specifically designed to meet the needs of adventurous kids while keeping them safe.

One advantage that summer shoes offer is that they support the feet during rigorous play. During the first few years of life, the anatomy of the foot changes pretty dramatically. All kids are born with flat feet. However, the arch starts to develop after they hit three years of age.

Summer shoes typically have some form of arch support. They may be contoured to provide comfort as they run and have a slightly raised arch to prevent any injuries that could stunt their development.

Another perk of wearing summer shoes is that they're made for outdoor play. Think about your kid's current shoe collection. You probably have a ton of options for formal events and everyday wear. Take a closer look at the design of these shoes and you'll quickly find that they're not suitable for use in hot or wet environments.

Summer shoes, on the other hand, are. They're often made out of easy-to-clean materials that are comfortable and lightweight. Most manufacturers also take waterplay into mind. As a result, it's not hard to find slip-resistant shoes with thick lugs that provide more traction on slick environments.

Things to Consider When Shopping for Summer Shoes

Now that you understand why investing in summer shoes for your child is a good idea, let's look into some important features. The market is not short on shoe options for toddlers. However, not all of them are going to provide your kid with the level of safety and comfort they need to have an enjoyable summer. During your search, keep the following things in mind to find the right pair for your toddler's needs.


When it comes to material, smooth and slick are always better. Shoes made out of rubber, EVA, or PVA are great options for your toddler. Not only are these materials incredibly comfortable underfoot, but they're also easy to clean. Chances are, your child is going to be getting pretty messy during their summertime adventures. Shoes that are easy to clean and dry will ensure that your kid's always ready for the next play session.

Breathable Design

No one likes to deal with sweaty feet. Not even toddlers. To avoid this problem, go with shoes that have some sort of ventilation. Small holes or slits in the outer portion let air circulate around your child's foot as they play. Not only does this help to keep them cool, but it can also prevent some nasty fungal infections.

Issues like athletes foot and microbial infections are a very real issue to worry about. A poorly-ventilated shoe is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. Invest in a ventilated pair of shoes and you can avoid these types of problems altogether.

Slip-Resistant Sole

As mentioned earlier, slip and fall accidents are very common among small children. Your little bundle of joy is still learning about their sense of balance. As a result, tumbles are to be expected. When you throw slippery surfaces into the mix, you're just asking for trouble.

A slip-resistant sole can help your toddler stay upright. They feature thick lugs and deep channels that are designed to redirect water with each step. The unique design of these soles keeps water away from key pressure points to improve traction. They're a must-have in any summer shoe.

Slip-On Design

Having shoes that your child can put on themselves is incredibly convenient. Your kid will jump with glee anytime you even mention the prospect of going out and having fun. They'll quickly grow impatient if you have to take the time to fiddle with laces or complex latches.

A slip-on design is a great alternative to traditional shoes. You can easily teach your toddler how to put the shoes on themselves and give them a bit of independence. 

Five of the Best Summer Shoes for Toddlers

You won't have any trouble finding a huge selection of shoes for your toddler. We've narrowed down the numerous options to five choices that can benefit your kid during the summer season.

Native Unisex Kid's Jefferson Slip-On Sneaker

These summer shoes from Native are a unique take on a familiar classic. The shoes are designed to imitate the look of a traditional sneaker. They have simulated lace grommets, a fake tongue, and faux panels. However, the entire shoe is made out of molded EVA.

The EVA material is slick and very easy to clean. You can wash it down with a hose after every play session. On the bottom, there's a rubber sole. While it doesn't have a true slip-proof design, the treads are quite grippy. Furthermore, the flexible nature of the soles allows your child to get a better grip on the ground as they walk.

Inside of the shoes, there's a molded footbed. It supports your child's foot as they play. Around the entire shoe, ventilation holes help to keep things cool. The shoes are great for hot outdoor adventures and wet environments.


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    Made entirely out of EVA material
  • Molded footbed
  • Ventilation holes
  • Classic design
  • Protective toe cap


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    Not a true slip-resistant sole

Adituo Children Girls Boys LED Clogs

Give your youngster a way to express their personality with these shoes from Adituo. The shoes have built-in LED lights around the soles that flicker with each step. All of the electronic components, including the battery, are protected from moisture. A small switch on the side of each shoe is used to turn the lights on or off.

The outer portion of the shoes are made out of PVA while the sole is comprised of synthetic rubber. The sole has large pads with raised treads. They help to keep your toddler standing, even on slippery surfaces. Inside, the lining is molded out of EVA for comfort. Like the previous option, ventilation holes are used throughout to keep your child comfortable as they play.

These shoes are pretty easy to slip on. However, you can add some added security with the swinging strap. Simply move the strap to the rear and you can rest easy knowing that the shoes won't slip off as they run.


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    PVA uppers
  • EVA lining
  • Ventilation holes
  • Non-slip sole
  • Swinging strap
  • Interchangeable accessories


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    Can't change out battery

Crocs Kid's Boys and Girls Crocband II Sandal

Crocs are a huge footwear brand that has a reputation for creating great shoes for young kids. The CrocBand sandals are no different. They're made out of that iconic synthetic rubber material. It's smooth, easy to clean, and very comfortable to walk on. The shoes have a design that's unique to the typical Croc lineup. Instead of the clog shape, they're more like strappy sandals.

Thick straps wrap around your child's foot to keep it secure while still providing plenty of air circulation. On top of the foot, there's an adjustable strap. It uses a hook and loop closure system. There's no metal or confusing buckles to deal with. While it's certainly more involved than slip-on shoes, you can still teach your child how to put them on for themselves.


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    Made out of synthetic rubber
  • Ventilated
  • Adjustable closure system
  • Thick treads
  • Available in many colors


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    Material may wear down with heavy use
  • Footbed not contoured

Sawimlgy US Toddler Comfort Clogs

The classic clog design of these shoes from Sawimlgy US is great for summertime fun. The uppers provide ample protection to the top of your child's foot. However, the ventilation slits on the side, holes on top, and open back provide plenty of air circulation in the hot sun.

The shoes are made out of EVA and have a synthetic rubber sole. The anti-slip sole is great for splashing around the pool or beach. The treads have deep channels to direct water away and help your child stay standing.

On the backside of the shoes, there's a unique adjustable strap. You can swing the strap up to create a backless sandal that's easy to slip on and off. Alternatively, you can move it to the back to keep it secure. The strap will ensure that shoes stay on your child's feet as they run and play.


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    Made out of light EVA material
  • Anti-slip sole
  • Adjustable heel strap
  • Ventilation holes
  • Completely waterproof
  • Slip-on design


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    May experience some wear with heavy use

Nova Utopia Toddler Summer Sandal Sneakers

The summer shoes from Nova Footwear are suitable for camping, outdoor play, and general everyday use. They feature a unique sandal design. Synthetic materials, such as nylon and faux leather, are used throughout. 

The uppers are comprised of multiple straps that meet at the center. Each strap is reinforced for durability. On the underside of the straps, a soft lining is used to prevent chaffing and discomfort. The great thing about these shoes is that they're fully adjustable. There's a velcro strap on the back and on top of the foot. There's even a quick-lace system to get a snug fit.

The synthetic soles are designed to provide more traction in any environment. There are large lugs to grip onto the earth during as your child walks. The shoes are available in a range of colors and patterns to suit your kid's unique style.


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    Very protective uppers
  • Made out of durable synthetic materials
  • Reinforced stitching
  • Traction treads
  • Breathable mesh panels
  • Can be adjusted multiple ways


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    Lining holds on to sweat
  • Not as cooling as other options
  • Not as easy to clean and dry


Finding the right pair of summer shoes for your little tyke doesn't have to be hard. It's all about choosing a pair that fits right, is comfortable to wear, and keeps them safe.

While all the previous shoes are great options for any toddler, we recommend the Native Unisex Kid's Jefferson Slip-On Sneaker. They tick off all the boxed and are versatile enough to be used in virtually any environment.

The synthetic material that they're made out of is very comfortable and easy to clean. They don't require any special cleaning solutions or care instructions. Just hose them down and let them air dry.

The fact that they have slip-resistant soles is just icing on the cake. Your kid can walk around confidently. Each step is supported and comfortable no matter where your summertime adventures take you.

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