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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.
Key Features to Look for
• Flexible, lightweight rubber outsoles (the shoe should bend with your child’s toes)
• Cushioned, shock-absorbing insoles
• A generous toe box 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.
Vans Sk8-Hi Zip
Highlights of this classic high-top style include a plush padded tongue and collar, Vans’ signature waffle rubber outsoles for added traction, and zippers at the heel for easy on and off.
While toddlers may dirty these up fast, a canvas upper allows for easy cleaning and a cushioned footbed delivers all-day comfort. They also feature grippy rubber outsoles with extra toe protection.
Skechers Sport Lighted Heart Lights
Little ones will love these playful light-up sneakers featuring shimmering sequin and metallic details, a Skech-Air sole with heart-shaped details and gel-infused memory foam insoles.
Nike Free RN 5.0
Just like the big version for grownups, this sleek running style features a breathable engineered mesh upper designed to deliver a snug fit and a super flexible sole so little feet can move naturally.
Adidas Originals Tubular Shadow
Adidas’ signature Tubular outsole gets downsized for toddlers with this stylish sneaker. Parents will appreciate the stretchy elastic laces, which make the shoe easy to get on and off.
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 toddlers’ 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 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, a memory foam footbed for comfort and a rounded sole to improve balance and grip.
Jordan Retro 1 High OG
These mini Jordans deliver a retro look and are equipped with flexible foam insoles that are lightweight and supportive.
Saucony Originals Jazz Hook & Loop
Another vintage silhouette, these Saucony sneakers feature a soft, breathable suede upper, featherlight EVA midsoles and hook-and-loop closures that open wide so tots can get in and out with ease.
These sporty Lacoste sneakers featuring the brand’s iconic green crocodile logo are crafted with a lightweight stretch-knit mesh upper and injection-molded EVA outsoles for secure lockdown and supported steps.
Ugg Rennon ll
Ugg’s Rennon ll is crafted with a soft suede upper with leather panels, a fluffy, antimicrobial sheep fur lining, and hook-and-loop closures for easy on and off. Underfoot, an EVA foam footbed ensures ultimate comfort.
Simple Joys by Carter’s Knit
Not only are these budget-friendly trainers light and breathable with a flexible fit, but they’re also incredibly easy to slip on and off and come in two cute colorway options.
New Balance KX574v1I
This New Balance shoe delivers a trendy retro aesthetic, plus plenty of must-have performance features. Among them, mesh panels allow sweaty feet to breathe and a cushioned midsole is designed for all-day comfort. They’re also easy to take on and off and come in wide width sizes for chubby feet.