10 Versatile Kids Shoes for Summer Camp

Summer is fast approaching, and many kids will be packing away the school books and heading off to camp for some outdoor fun.

Having the right gear — including a sturdy pair of shoes — can help kids make the most of their experience. For safety reasons, many camps prohibit sandals and flip-flops, so your best bet is to look for lightweight, closed-toe styles that offer protection without weighing kids down.

Other important features to consider include water-friendly constructions; breathable, quick-drying materials; rugged, slip-resistant outsoles; and easy-on-and-off Velcro closures or elastic lace systems. Many brands also offer shoes that are machine washable, making for super-easy cleaning.

Merrell’s colorful, ultra-lightweight Hydro Run sneaker packs both style and performance. Featuring a ventilated open-mesh upper, the shoe dries fast, keeping kids comfortable all day as they switch from one activity to the next. The brand’s M-Select Grip technology delivers durable traction in the outsole, while a specially treated footbed prevents odors — key for those hot, sticky days.


Merrell Hydro Run sneaker, $24.95; merrell.com

Jambu puts a sporty spin on the Mary Jane with its Roza style for girls. Decorated with a pretty floral print, the shoe has a water-ready construction and an oversized rubber toe bumper for added protection.


Jambu Roza Mary Jane shoe, $55; jambu.com

For boys, San Francisco-based Plae offers its Sam 2.0 fisherman sandal, featuring a lightweight nubuck-and-mesh upper and comfy sneaker outsole. Interchangeable tabs on the straps allow kids to customize their look.


Plae Sam 2.0 sandal, $49.95; goplae.com

The Marina sneaker from Japanese brand Tsukihoshi is water friendly and machine washable, making it ideal for camp conditions. A generous toe-box shape allows kids’ feet to splay naturally for improved balance and comfort.


Tsukihoshi Marina sneaker, $52.95; zappos.com

To see more summer-camp-ready shoes, click through the gallery here.

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