If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, Footwear News may receive an affiliate commission.
Now that it’s back-to-school season, it’s time to refresh your kid’s footwear from last year. You might be thinking, where does one begin? Well, for starters, it’s important that your child has an everyday shoe that can be worn in the classroom, on the playground, during practice and everywhere in-between.
New shoe purchases should be supportive for your child’s foot type, including those with high arches or flat feet. The best sneakers for kids should be easy to slip on and off, so parents aren’t always needing to tie laces. Plus, they should be comfortable and lightweight.
With endless options online, it can be overwhelming to find top-notch pairs. But lucky for you, we searched the Internet far and wide to bring you the best shoes for kids — from cozy boots to simple slip-ons and adorable flats for toddlers to preteens. We read through hundreds of customer reviews to verify these are the ultimate picks for various lifestyles and climates.
Each pair makes a great addition to any child’s lineup. Not only these shoes stylish, but they’re also durable and won’t break the bank, either (an important consideration given how often kids need new shoes as they grow).
Ahead, shop the best kids’ shoes from top brands like Nike and New Balance and that have glowing customer reviews.
Asics Contend 7 PS Sneakers
Best Overall Sneakers for Kids
Asics Contend 7 PS Sneakers have a stretchy fabric mesh upper for enhanced breathability and an adjustable hook-and-loop strap for a more secure fit. The athletic style is also constructed with a padded tongue and collar and cushioned midsole for added comfort and support. The toe bumper and heel stabilizer guarantee safer play on the playground and recess.
Nike Flex Runner Sneakers
Best Nike Sneakers for Kids
A soft, sock-like upper and pull tabs at the heel and tongue help little ones get these Nike Flex Runner sneakers on and off by themselves. Available in 12 bold colorways, these sleek slip-ons have a breathable lining, cushioned insoles and EVA midsole for comfort. Additionally, textured rubber outsoles lend steady footing on the playground and beyond.
New Balance Kids Fresh Foam X70 V1 Lace-up Sneakers
Best Sneakers for Kids With Flat Feet
The midsole in New Balance’s Fresh Foam X70 V1 is engineered to deliver stability and an ultra-cushioned, lightweight ride, even for a wider foot. If your son or daughter has flat feet and struggles with overpronation, aka when their ankles roll inward while walking, these are a great pick.
Saucony Kids Originals Jazz Hook & Loop Sneakers
Best Sneakers for Kids With High Arches
Plush EVA cushioning in Saucony’s Jazz sneakers offers a sponge-like feel that will help your child’s ankles and soles feel comfortable and supported all-day long. The padded tongue and collar offers reduces irritation during the break-in stage.
Native Shoes Jefferson Bloom Slip-On Sneakers
Best Water-Friendly Shoes
Native Shoes’ slip-on sneakers are made from recycled materials and available in 22 different colorways. A perforated upper, shock absorbent sole and a rubber rand and toecap make these easy to clean, lightweight and able to withstand muddy adventures. Heck, it’s no wonder these are an Amazon best-seller with an average 4.8-star rating and over 13,000 reviews.
Adidas Ultraboost DNA x LEGO Colors Shoes
The adidas Ultraboost DNA x Lego Colors Shoes are consistent with the brand’s fan-favorite Ultraboost styles, featuring a plush Boost midsole and a Continental Better Rubber outsole that balances fast moves with steady grounding. The shoe is also done in vibrant Lego-inspired hues for a playful touch and made with Primegreen, a series of high-performance recycled materials, so you can feel even better about your purchase.
Crocs Kids’ Classic Lined Clogs
Perfect for colder weather, Crocs Kids’ Classic lined clogs feature a fuzzy liner for extra warmth and plushness underfoot. Still, they include the brand’s signature Croslite foam to keep feet ultra-comfortable. Kids will love that they can slip these on with or without socks for lounging at home or heading back to the classroom.
Ugg Robley Boots
Best Combat Boots for Kids
Ugg’s Robley boots were crafted with plenty of kid-friendly features like an antimicrobial lining, cushioned insoles and a zipper for easy entry. The durable molded rubber outsole will ensure slip-free trips to school no matter the weather conditions.
Skechers S-Lights Unicorn Dreams Glitter Sneakers
Best Light-Up Sneakers for Kids
Skechers S-Lights Unicorn Dreams Glitter Sneakers are fit for any tot who loves shine and shimmer. The pastel-colored style features glitter accents and a light-up unicorn design, which can be turned on and off with a flip of a switch, on the outsole. Your daughter will fall in love with these and rush to put them on in the morning herself, which is simple thanks to fixed laces and an adjustable hook-and-loop closure.
Stride Rite Artie Sneakers
Best for Active Toddlers
Stride Rite’s Artie sneakers are part of the brand’s innovative Soft Motion collection, which scored the American Podiatric Medical Association Seal of Acceptance for promoting good foot health. The shoe is 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.
Timberland Toddle Tracks Boots
Best Outdoor Boots for Kids
Timberland’s Toddle Tracks Boots are made for rugged outdoor adventures that may involve hiking, rock climbing and splashing through muddy puddles. They feature a shock-absorbing OrthoLite footbed, grippy outsoles and supple leather upper designed to stand the test of time. The velcro design is also a child-friendly addition to these classic workwear boots.
Sperry Fairwater Plushwave Boat Shoes
Best Boat Shoes for Kids
Sperry’s Fairwater Plushwave boat shoes are a suitable back-to-school option that look adorable with jeans or your son’s school uniform. The brand’s PlushWave technology guarantees ultra-cushioned comfort and all-day wearability, while a non-marking rubber outsole offers traction on wet and dry surfaces.
Adidas Superstar Shoes
Most Stylish Sneakers for Kids
Adidas Superstar Shoes are great for protecting young toes on the playground and include a removable OrthoLite insole for extra cushioning. The throwback style, which debuted in 1969, is as much a staple as ever with an average 4.9-star rating on adidas.com.
Reebok x Peppa Pig Weebok Clasp Shoes – Toddler
Your toddler will smile with each step in Reebok x Peppa Pig’s Weebok Clasp Shoes, which celebrate Peppa’s vibrant personality and her love for adventure and family. The versatile velcro-strap option includes navy uppers with graphics of rainbows, hearts and fruit throughout. This pair has a removable Peek ‘n’ Fit sockliner for a custom fit and a chunky Versaflex rubber outsole with forefoot flex grooves.
Adituo Lightweight Breathable Sneakers
Best Affordable Sneakers for Kids
Light as a feather yet supportive all in one, Amazon’s Adituo Lightweight Breathable Sneakers are best sellers for good reason. Available in 15 colors to choose from, they include high-elastic EVA insoles for arch support. And priced at under $200, they can be replaced guilt-free when your child outgrows or outwears them.
The North Face Chilkat Lace II Boo
Best Winter Boots For Kids
Bad weather outside calls for the right boot to keep your child’s feet protected all season long. The North Face Chilkat Lace II Boots will do just that with a waterproof, synthetic shell, seam-sealed construction and sturdy leather upper. For ultimate warmth, these have a 200g insulated lining that fleece-wrapped to trap in heat.
APL Kids’ TechLoom Bliss Sneakers
A mini version of the adult favorite, APL Kids’ TechLoom Bliss sneaker is made for young, aspiring athletes and active kids on the go. Ideal to wear for P.E. class or running errands with mom, the slip-on shoe is designed to maximize energy generation with a custom milled elastic strap designed to keep feet comfortable yet secure. Opt for the style in a sunny shade like this Energy/White variation, or snag it in one of seven neutral shades.
Toms Tiny Mary Jane Flats
Best Flats for Girls
Toms’ Tiny mary jane Ffats are a snazzy yet equally comfortable alternative to sneakers for family parties, a school recital or other dresser occasions. The glittery style is more than just a pretty exterior, though. Its rubber outsole provides the traction she’ll need for every environment.
Under Armour Lockdown 5 Basketball Shoes
Best Basketball Sneakers for Kids
Got a little baller in the family? Snag him or her a pair of Under Armour’s Lockdown 5 basketball shoes for a confidence boost during an all-star season. The rubber outsole has a herringbone traction pattern for ultimate movement and control during a big game. An anti-odor sockliner and engineered perforations help keep the shoes smelling fresh.
Tsukihoshi Kaz Washable Sneakers
Best Washable Sneakers for Kids
If you’re sick of your little one’s dirty sneakers, opt for a bright pair you can pop in the washing machine like these Tsukihoshi Kaz sneakers. They have an odor-reducing insole made with natural green-tea extract, plus a grippy rubber tread that provides stability and traction during any activity.