Made for Play: The Best Summer Sandals and Shoes for Toddlers and Little Kids

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best toddler sandals and shoes
Graphics by: Jessica Welsh

The first thing my boys do when they get home is chuck off their shoes and socks because let’s face it, sneakers and other cold-weather shoes can feel suffocating. So now that the weather is getting warmer and warmer, I have to begin the quest for the best toddler sandals and summer shoes for my (sometimes) fickle children.

I let my kids pick their favorite color, but I insist that their sandals are secure, waterproof, and ready to support them through all of our summer adventures. They also have very different feet—my oldest needs wide sizes—so hand-me-downs don’t usually work. Plus, they usually get plenty of wear with all the outdoor play each summer. So I’m also looking for durable options to fit my budget that are also good for their feet.

“When looking for sandals, try to avoid things like flip flops or shoes with little structure,” said pediatric physical therapist, Mary Noreen Cheng. “Instead, look for something that continues to have stability and a secure strap in the back to hold them in place.”

Luckily there are so many different brands out there that give my kids enough options to choose from to meet their preferences—and the support, affordability, and protection to check all of my boxes. Read on for the best toddler sandals and closed-toe shoes for your kids’ cute little feet this summer.




With summer right around the corner, it’s time to swap out your little ones’ rain boots with sandals. We are big fans of sandals, mostly because it takes significantly less time to put them on your kids when you’re on-the-go. To help you out this season, we’ve rounded up our top sandals that are comfortable and lightweight for hot summer days. Gear up and scroll through our picks—we’re sure you’ll find a pair (or two) that you’ll love. 

sage kids sandal
Old Navy

Jelly Double-Strap Sandals

2 colors available

peach toddler and kid sandal
Target | Cat & Jack

Slip-On Footbed Sandals

These sandals have an open-toed design and hook-and-loop closure that makes putting them on and taking them off easier than ever. Bonus: They're super cute AND super affordable at just $10.

8 colors available

beige kids sandal

Scuba-Look Sandals

4 colors available

kids sandals old navy
Old Navy

Faux Leather Double Buckle Sandal

Cute and a little more formal, these faux leather sandals include an ankle strap to make them easy to get on and off.

3 colors available

tan kids sandal

Strappy Sandals

2 colors available

colorblock kids sandal

Color Block Sandals

3 colors available

kids black sandal
Target | Bearpaw

Toddler Zaidee Sandals

4 colors available

unisex kids sandal
Old Navy

Mixed-Material Cross-Strap Sandals

2 colors available

multi-color kids sandal

Toddler Sporty Sandals

Each strap on this sandal is adjustable for a perfect fit.

3 colors available

Zappo's | Chaco

Kids ZX/1 Ecotread

2 colors available

green outdoor kids sandal

Recycled Adventure Sandals

2 colors available


Sunray Protect 2

These Nike’s kid's sandals are so durable and comfortable. The closed-toe helps protect children from stubbing a toe.

2 colors available

slip on slides
Target | Cat & Jack

Kids' Slip-On Slide Sandals

6 colors/patterns available


Closed-Toe Shoes

If you’ve been on the hunt for shoes that are perfect for your summer excursions, look no further. We’ve scoured the internet for breathable and durable closed-toe shoes that are great for hiking, the beach, and other outdoor activities that your little one will be partaking in this summer. We’ve included a list of picks that are functional yet comfy, and are up to your kid’s personal style. Everymom Tip: We highly suggest investing in more than one pair, so that you can have a back-up when one gets ruined or needs to be washed. 

light blue toddler sneaker
Amazon | Native Shoes

Jefferson Shoe

20+ colors available

toddler outdoor shoe multi-colored
Target | Cat & Jack

Toddler Water Shoes

These budget-friendly toddler sandals offer hook and loop closure for an adjustable fit.

3 colors available


Sam Closed Toe Sandal

5 colors available

navy blue toddler sneaker
DSW | Stride Rite

Amos Sneaker Sandal

This sneaker sandal will have little ones walking in cook comfort all day long.

best summer shoes
Zappo's | KEEN

Kids Seacamp II CNX

These sandals are perfect for toddlers or little kids that love playing in the water. They are machine washable and are secure, so kids can enjoy running around without worrying their sandals will fly off.

4 colors available

grey and purple kids sneaker

Lightweight Strap Sneakers

15+ colors available

daisy patterned toddler sneaker
Amazon | Jan & Jul

Machine Washable Knit Shoes

20+ colors/patterns available

multi-color kids sneaker
Target | Cat & Jack

Toddler Parker Sneakers

Offering toe and sole protection for little feet, these breathable sneakers are cute, lightweight, and washable.

10 colors/patterns available

burnt orange kids sneaker
Target | Cat & Jack

Toddler Nevada Sneakers

6 colors available

colorblock kids sneaker
Amazon | See Kai Run

Saylor Water-Friendly Sneakers

Made with mesh textile material, these shoes are perfect for any water activities. Plus, there's a rubber toe cap for added protection.

3 colors available

brown water-friendly kids sneaker
Amazon | Tombik

Toddler Canvas Sneakers

4 colors available


Outdoor Closed-Toe Sandals

#1 in boys and girls sandals on Amazon, this highly rated kids sandal features breathable mesh and a super lightweight sole with shock absorption that is perfect for the pool, beach, or home.

6 colors available

pink and yellow ombre kids sneaker
Target | Cat & Jack

Toddler Slip-On Water Shoes

8 colors available

adidas kids water shoes
DSW | Adidas

Closed Toe Water Sandal

Your little one will be able to enjoy all outdoor activities with these lightweight water sandals from Adidas. Plus, there's a textured sole for added grip.

navy blue kids sneaker
Target | Cat & Jack

Slip-On Sneakers

6 colors available


Foamies Shoes

This is a lightweight closed-toe shoe children can just slip their feet into, plus a flexible fit so they don't slip out. They're also machine washable.

2 colors available

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