Toddlers are always on the move — running, jumping, playing and exploring — so they need sneakers that can keep up with them. Their feet are also undergoing rapid growth, so performance-packed styles that promote healthy, natural development are critical.
The Key Features to Look for
• Flexible, lightweight rubber outsoles (the shoe should bend with your child’s toes)
• Cushioned, shock-absorbing insoles
• A generous toebox that provides room for toes to splay and grip the ground
• Stiff heel for stability
• Breathable materials, such as mesh and leather, to combat sweat.
To help get your search started, here is a roundup of eight adorable, on-trend, good-for-the-feet sneakers, all available to shop now:
Nike Free RN
Just like the big version for grownups, this sleek running style features an ultra-lightweight, breathable engineered mesh upper designed to deliver a comfy, socklike fit. Flex grooves on the Nike Free RN’s sole allow for natural movement in all directions, making it ideal for energetic toddlers.
New Balance 574 Core
New Balance’s ever-classic 574 has a retro aesthetic that’s right on trend, plus plenty of must-have performance features. Among them, mesh panels allow sweaty feet to breathe, while a cushioned midsole provides all-day comfort.
Adidas Originals Tubular Dusk
See Kai Run Stevie II
Little boys won’t be able to resist the casual-cool design of the See Kai Run Stevie II sneaker, which features a soft cotton jersey fabric inspired by a favorite sweatshirt. The shoe is built on a flexible rubber outsole that provides superior traction and durability for new walkers.
Puma Suede Classic
Fifty years since its debut, Puma’s iconic Suede sneaker is still as popular as ever. The kids’ version doesn’t miss a detail, from its distinctive formstrip logo to its etched rubber outsole.
Reebok Classic Leather
Reebok’s Classic Leather not only looks cool but also comes with all the functional elements that active toddlers need. A cushy EVA midsole provides lightweight comfort, and a grippy, super durable gum rubber outsole keeps new walkers steady on their feet.
Stride Rite Soft Motion Artie
This sporty style is part of Stride Rite’s innovative Soft Motion collection, which scored a Seal of Acceptance from the American Podiatric Medical Association. It’s loaded with hard-working features, including a seamless construction that mimics the natural shape of a child’s foot, memory foam footbed for comfort and rounded sole to improve balance and grip.
Jordan Jumpman Team II
These stylish basketball kicks by Jordan will help little kids jump high like His Airness. A throwback to the Air Jordan 13, which was originally designed for the court, this sneaker has a lightweight foam sole and an adjustable ankle strap for a more secure fit.
All products featured have been independently selected and curated by our editorial team. If you buy something through the links included on our site, FN may earn a commission.
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