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Everything grows in spring ... including kids. And chances are, growing children will need new shoes for the warmer seasons ahead.
When it comes to finding comfortable shoes, especially for walking, the American Podiatric Medical Association recommends following these tips:
- Find shoes made of leather, mesh or synthetic material for sturdiness and/or good ventilation.
- Look for shoes with a good grip around the back upper portion of the foot.
- Choose a thicker outsole because it's the first thing to hit the ground and can help protect the feet from hard play.
"A walking shoe should be, first and foremost, comfortable because you’ll be spending prolonged periods of time in them," Los Angeles-based podiatrist Samira Mehrizi said. "A roomy and round toe box helps prevent calluses and pressure to the toenails."
So, whether you have a first-time walker, a toddler or an experienced runner ready for adventure, these seasonal, budget-friendly styles get stamps of approval for roomy toe boxes and great support.
TODAY editors, writers and experts take care to recommend items we really like and hope you’ll enjoy! Just so you know, TODAY does have affiliate relationships. So, while every product is independently selected, if you buy something through our links, we may get a small share of the revenue.
Native Jefferson slip-on sneaker, $20, Amazon
With dozens of colors to choose from, Native makes great, affordable shoes for babies and kids up to 8 years old. These breathable, waterproof slip-ons make outdoor play — and the cleanup afterward — easy. The rubber top cover protects precious, tiny toes, the insole molds to each foot and the outsole provides traction to help prevent big falls.
Heritage canvas classics, $34 - $40, Amazon
We love these bright canvas kicks by Toms for the warmer season. The elasticized top makes them easy to slip on and off. And they feature a breathable cloth lining and durable rubber sole. After my kids wore them for two full seasons, there were no blisters in sight, even with no socks.
They're the most expensive on the list, but Toms donates one pair of shoes to a child for every pair purchased. And, the neutral look makes them easy to pass down to younger siblings.
Teva kids' tidepool sandal, $20, Amazon
Parents love these comfortable, durable sandals because they're easy to take on and off (even for younger ones). A strong rubber material makes up the outsole, providing good support. And, the water-friendly cloth upper washes easily and feels smooth on active feet, preventing blisters.
Robeez slip-on soft soles, $26, Amazon
We're over the moon for these high-quality shoes. Perfect for tiny feet, they flex well, fit well and feel natural for recent walkers (ages 0 to 24 months). The suede bottoms and upper materials (either canvas or leather) provide flexibility. They help promote good balance by stretching as feet grow. And, customers love the designs (from starry constellations to little lions).
Keilani printed rain boot - Cat & Jack, $20, Target
These whimsical, mom-approved rain boots fit toddlers wearing sizes 5 to 12. Customers love them for rainy days and outdoor play.
One reviewer shared that her daughter loves the boots: “They protect her feet from insects such as the fire ants and also keep her clean and dry after it rains. She is comfortable in them and hasn't developed any blisters after playing in them for hours. Two thumbs up!”
Tip: The boots run a little large.
Hunter for Target Kids’ dipped canvas high-top sneakers, $30, Target
For a limited time, Target will sell an affordable line of Hunter shoes. Seriously.
Launching April 14, these rubber-soled, high-top sneakers will protect your little explorer's feet all the way around. Get the water-repelling shoes in either solid colors or stripes (sizes 13 to 5), lace up the front and say goodbye to scrubbing mud off canvas kicks!