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Heading to a lake or the beach is a lot of fun, especially with your little ones. But the murky lakeshore and seashore full of shells can be rough on a toddler's feet. The best way to protect those piggies is with a good pair of toddler water shoes. If you find a pair that's comfortable and fun, toddlers will love wearing them.
They’re so much fun not only to wear, but to add as a little something extra for a birthday or end-of-the-school-year gift. They really scream “summer,” and since they’re so cute, they’re incredibly giftable.
The Best Toddler Water Shoes
What to Consider
With early walkers, moving comfortably and freely while remaining protective is the key. There's actually not a lot to think about when buying your toddler's water shoes other than fit, style, and material.
Water shoes are not something you want to buy a size up so that you can get more wear from them. The should fit snugly, with enough room for the toe box, and the heel of the shoe should not gape when your baby is walking. This keeps them as steady on their feet as possible, which is so important when your little one is walking on slippery surfaces.
There are a few basic styles available: sock shoes, water shoes with a strap, and more rugged fabric sandal-style shoes. Sock shoes are exactly what you're thinking: They pull on like socks, and they have a flexible, grippy bottom. The water shoes with a strap offer a bit more adjustability, and they're easier to put on and take off than the sock shoes (at least in my opinion). Water sandals are great for activities for when you need more than just a water shoe: Think a party at the lake or a family hike.
The best toddler water shoes contain some combination of a neoprene or neoprene-like material, along with a flexible bottom. I'm not a fan of plastic shoes for the water because I have found that they pool water in places, making them heavier than they need to be. They're great for a splash pad or playing with a sprinkler, but not ideal in natural water areas.
All of the shoes that made this list are breathable, drain quickly, and will protect your little's feet from sharp seashells or any other ick they might find.
Boys Water Shoes
Whether your little one is running around by the lake or hanging out in the backyard, their feet will be safe and comfortable in these sandal-style water shoes. The top strap is fully adjustable and the neoprene dries quickly, sped up by the multiple points of open shoe.
Water Shoes Barefoot Aqua Socks
These are just about the cutest things I’ve seen in a long time. Can you picture them on a toddler’s little feet kicking around on the beach? I can. They’re made with durable rubber outsoles and quick-drying fabrics, with closed seams to keep them from rubbing baby’s feet.
Toddler Water Shoes
When I asked around about toddler water shoes, most of my mom friends had to look back in their Amazon orders. Water shoes just aren't that memorable! (We get it.) But all the kids loved this brand, and specifically this print.
Parents love that it has ample opportunity for draining, and a really sturdy bottom. Kids like the rainbows, of course.
Unisex-Child Newport H2 Closed Toe Water Sandals
My kids wore Keen water shoes as toddlers, and still do to this day. They’re great for hiking over rugged terrain or hitting the local splash park. They’ve got superior grip powers, they are adjustable, with foot-shaped toe boxes, and they last through more than one kid.
Kids Boys Girls Toddler Water Shoes
I have been assured by my friends at the indoor splash pad that toddlers can get these on all by themselves. (And yes, I went to an indoor splash pad with my 3-year-old nephew, on a Monday afternoon in New Jersey to get this information for you. You're welcome.) They go on like regular shoes, but when adjusted, fit like socks. They feel a bit like a rubbery mesh, but toddlers love them and don't seem to be bothered by what would drive me up a wall.
Toddler Water Shoes Kids
Have you ever felt the shoes some scuba divers wear? These are similar to that, but for teacup humans. They have flexible soles and are made of the same material as a wetsuit. They pull right on and off, and parents love the ease of them, and also, the price.
Toddler Water Shoes
These are popular because aesthetically, they look the most like regular shoes. They're just as easy to put on as regular shoes. They have rubber bottoms and a mesh top, and don't puddle thanks to how low the mesh continues onto the sole. They come in a ton of colors, as well.
Baby Boys and Girls Water Shoes
Have you ever seen a cuter pair of water shoes? I think not. This highly rated pair of aqua socks has a nonslip rubber bottom and quick-drying fabric, and it comes in dozens of colors.
The inside is smooth and soft to the touch, which is great for kids who don't love feeling the seams.
Toddler Water Shoes
A happy medium between a sandal and a strap shoe, these Mary Janes are stylish and fun. Your kid could easily wear these from the beach to a party with no problem. They are made of a neoprene-like material that is as soft as it is quick-drying.
Boys’ & Girls’ Water Shoes
If you don’t ask your toddler if these shoes help them run fast, you’re doing it wrong. The stitching on the stretchy fabric that criss-crosses this pair of shoes helps provide stability to the instep, and the strap below the ankle allows for a snug, adjustable fit.
Quick-Dry Swim Shoes
Rugged — but still flexible and water-friendly — this toddler water shoe is the most like a traditional sneaker. The drawstring laces are adjusted easily, and the shoe pulls on quickly, in spite of the extra equipment. This is a great option for toddlers with narrower feet who need the tighter lacing.
Toddler Kids Swim Water Shoes
Let’s be real: You can already picture these on your baby’s feet, and you’re smiling just thinking about it. Luckily for you, these are also one of the most highly rated toddler water shoes on Amazon. They hold up to a toddler’s machinations, they’re extremely moisture-wicking, and the bottoms are flexible and durable.
Kids’ Unisex M-Bare Steps H20 Water Shoe
Merrell is one of the best outdoor brands there is, and these shoes are definitely the most durable and easiest to wear on this list. They are a bit pricier, but I think you'll find that the quality more than makes up for the price.
One thing of note on this shoe is that it has an extra-wide toe box, which is the best for a toddling gait.
Water Shoes for Kids
My nephew calls these his “fave-witte beach soos,” so you know they’re good. He has awesome taste. (I’m his favorite aunt.)
Soft doesn't even begin to describe these shoes. The inside feels like slick bathing-suit material, and the stretch is just right for growing toes.
Kids Water Swim Shoes
When I asked friends for links to the shoes they’ve bought for their kids to go boating and swimming at the lake, two different parents who do not know each other texted me these shoes. They’re cheap, cheerful, and do exactly what they’re designed to do.
Sometimes, basic really is best.
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