One of the most monumental parenting moments is when your child takes their first wobbly steps. These shaky steps can be a little scary, however! As soon as they start walking, it really starts. From then on, chase them around, making sure the ground isn’t slippery, and gasping for air if they make eye contact with every step you take. However, there is one thing that you will still be in control of for a while: shoes!
There are a few important things to consider when choosing the best toddler shoe for running. Foot type, the stage it’s on and, for many of you, the different weather conditions your little one will be out and about.
Best toddler shoe based on foot type
It is really important that your little one’s first shoes fit them well so that they can develop properly. So we start our shoe suggestions by choosing a few shoes based on your toddler’s foot type. Whether you have a wide foot, a narrow foot or a flat foot, we promise there is a comfortable fit for you.
For the wide toddler foot:
Sperry Kids Tuck Jr
Finding a good fit for wide feet is a lifelong struggle, but Sperry shoes are always a salvation. These little boat shoes are a great option for your toddler and darn cute to top it off. They’re easy to put on and take off, and offer all the cushioning and flexibility your little hiker needs.
Stride Rite SRTech Tulip sandal
This sandal is a great option if your little girl has wide feet. They are available in both wide and extra wide. It’s the perfect, pretty first sandal from one of the most trusted toddler shoe brands. This shoe even has rounded edges, which prevents stumbling.
Converse Chuck Taylor
These shoes are both absolutely adorable and super easy to get your little one on and off. I’ve always loved these shoes for my little boys with a pair of tiny jeans. You look so adorable! They are also perfect for a chubby little foot, as they are easily adjustable thanks to the Velcro fasteners.
For the narrow foot:
ASICS children’s running shoe
At the other end of the spectrum, ASICS is a great shoe brand for the little ones with narrow feet. They fit just right and prevent your foot from ever slipping out. You can also remove the insole to insert a medical orthosis if necessary. The elastic laces and Velcro make this pair easy to put on and secure.
For toddlers with flat feet:
Livie & Luca elephant loafers with monk straps
This little shoe is absolutely adorable, but it’s also super flexible and light. It is very easy to slide onto wide feet or feet that still have this baby furniture. These shoes are made using sustainable practices and materials, which is always a nice bonus.
Actually, if your toddler has flat feet, as this will usually correct itself around the age of 6. In the meantime, it is very important to find a good shoe that will help him build confidence in his walking skills! These Nikes are so light it is almost like walking around barefoot, which is essential for kids with flat feet. Although the majority of the shoe is made of mesh, there is extra material around the toes that prevents them from ever banging their toes on hard objects. Check the current prices here!
The best shoes for different hiking stages
The very first shoe your baby wears will be quite different from what they are wearing by the time they start their first wobbly run. There are toddler shoes that are designed for specific phases and that will give your child the support and comfort they need.
Best toddler shoe for the new walker
When your baby starts walking, it is actually best if they are barefoot. However, this is not always possible, so it is important to find a soft, very flexible shoe at this stage. Both of the options below fit this description perfectly.
See Kai Run Kids Stevie II (0 Months-4 Years)
Slip on leather moccasins
Best toddler shoe for running outdoors
Once your toddler gets the hang of it, they’ll be on the go the whole time. You will not be quite as satisfied in your arms or in the stroller. While you still want something light and very flexible, you might want a thicker sole to protect your feet. My personal favorite is the Saucony brand. The shoes are flexible and have a good grip to prevent slipping.
Saucony Jazz sneaker with Velcro fastener
Grand Court tennis shoe for children
Ten small everyday originals
Karissa from Rookie Mom Squad and her little guy tested Ten Little Shoes and they say this is a pair of shoes every toddler should have! Check out her full review here.
The “I have that” walker:
At this point, your toddler has gained a bit of independence. The following two options are easy to learn and support whatever actions your child may need.
Polo Ralph Lauren EZ sneakers
Crocs Children’s Slip On
Tsukihoshi Kaz sneaker
Choose children’s shoes depending on the weather
The children in our family in sunny Southern California have easy learning to walk, but most babies across the country don’t. But don’t worry, there are still shoes for toddlers who learn to walk on rainy days or through snowy backyards.
All weather winner:
Butler Rockhopper 3 in 1 short boot– This shoe is really great and every parent living somewhere with changing seasons should know about it. It’s an overshoe that fits over your toddler’s favorite shoes to protect them from the elements! The biggest bonus of all; You can toss these shoes straight in the dishwasher for cleaning, which is perfect for muddy or muddy days.
Ultimate outdoor summer:
Outdoor sports sandals made of leather– In summer, your toddler needs a breathable, lightweight shoe for all of their favorite outdoor activities. We love these leather sandals for exactly these reasons. Just make sure to use the size chart that will ensure the perfect fit.
Teva Kids Hurricane Sandal – There is no better shoe for outdoor adventures than Teva. These have a comfortable foam footbed and their Velcro fastener makes it easy to find the right fit. Tevas are also great water shoes when hiking near water or exploring the tidal pools.
Femizee girls princess shoe made of real leather with closed toe area– We couldn’t end the list without a pretty sandal for your little girl. The flower on top makes them perfect for special occasions. These are made of soft real leather and are flexible and non-slip.
Rainy day need:
Hunter Children’s Davidson Boots– Hunter Boots are one of the most popular brands for rain boots and they have been in business since 1856. They offer sizes for the whole family including your new running toddler. They are made of 100% rubber and keep little feet safely dry.
Freshly Picked Chelsea Boot Sneakers – We love Freshly Picked shoes! The quality of these boots is amazing. Not to mention that they’re so easy to put on and take off. They were a rookie mom squad reviewed by Sally and she says that not only does she find them adorable, but her daughter loves them too – which is a definite plus in her book!
Snowy day indispensable:
Sperry kids saltwater boots– Not only are these tiny duck boots pretty much the cutest thing ever, but they also make a great snow boot for your toddler. They keep your feet dry and give them some traction on slippery surfaces. They have a zipper that makes them easy to put on and take off.
Here you are, our full list of the best toddler shoes for your little one at all stages of running. Toddlerhood is such a fun phase of parenting so absorb all the moments and shaky steps you can. We will update these shoes regularly when new models are available.
Do you have a favorite pair of shoes for your toddler? Let us know and we will review and possibly add it to our list!
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Frequently asked questions about toddler shoes
Is Converse Good for Toddlers?
Yes and no. Converse are very stylish and adorable. However, they are not good for super long days of hiking.
Do toddlers need arch support shoes?
You don’t need an arch brace for toddlers, according to the American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society. Most toddlers have flat feet and have not developed arches.