Summer Guide: Our Go-To Summer Play Shoes for Kids!

May 25, 2018 | by | kids, little style | 1 comment

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See you later, socks! It’s almost summer, and that means we get to switch out our kids’ boots and sneakers for summer shoes! (Any other parents look forward to summer for the sole reason it’s so much easier to get your kids ready and out of the house without needing all the extra layers? For that reason alone summer is life.)

For part two of our Summer Guide, we rounded up our favorite summer shoes that will take your kid from the playground to pool all summer long.

1 |  KEEN NEWPORT H2 SANDAL (Retail: $45)

The same Keen Newports that adults know and love, but in small sizes for kids! We love them because they are cool enough for the hot summer heat, yet supportive enough for outdoor adventures in and out of the water. And because of the heavy-duty rubber sole, you don’t have to worry about an unfortunate stubbed toe! Other things we love – the hook and loop velcro closure that makes it easy for your little one to put on and the fact that they’re machine washable! Keen Newport H2 Sandals run pretty true to size and are available from a size 4 toddler up to a size 6 youth. Buy them here.

Our Go-To Summer Play Shoes for Kids!



Are they a tennis shoe? Are they a water shoe? A breezy summer sandal? All of the above! We definitely put the stylish, ultra-lightweight Native Jefferson at the top of our summer shoe list. The perforations ensure feet stay cool and dry and the grippy sole makes for falter-free fun. Thanks to the slip-on styles it’s easy on and off, plus they’re odor resistant and easy to wash by hand (the Magic Eraser works wonders)! Native Shoes are offered in full sizes only and tend to run on the larger size, so if your little one fall between sizes and has narrow feet we recommend sizing down to the closest whole size. Available in size 4 toddler and up. Buy them here.

P.S. Does your kiddo have wide chubby feet and the Jefferson style doesn’t quite work? The similar Native Shoes Miller runs wide, so it may be a better fit.

Our Go-To Summer Play Shoes for Kids!


3 |  PLAE SAM 2.0 CUSTOMIZABLE SNEAKER (Retail: $49.95)

We could not be obsessed with Plae shoes. Created by dads, Plae shoes are not only adorable but also good for children’s growing feet. They have an anatomical sole that was specifically engineered to follow the natural contour of the foot, a shock-absorbing footbed, and a super flex sole allowing for a wide range of motion. We also love that they’re water-friendly, have great toe protection, and are machine washable. Even cooler, Plae makes interchangeable tabs for their shoes that not only allow for a custom fit but also give your little one the freedom to personalize their new shoes. Win-win! Available in a size 6 toddler and up. Buy them here.

Our Go-To Summer Play Shoes for Kids!



We couldn’t talk about summer shoes without mentioning the tried-and-true Crocs. They are a parent favorite because they are no fuss and super practical. Of all our summer shoe picks these are the easiest to slip on and take off, plus the heel strap keeps them secure.  Crocs are odor-resistant, easy to clean, come in countless colors, and have a roomy fit (so great for those with chubby feet). Sizing starts at a 4 toddler, but for even smaller feet they make Crocs Littles in a size 2-3 infant. Crocs for everyone! Buy them here.

Our Go-To Summer Play Shoes for Kids!



We love Stride Rite, and were so thrilled when they launched a line of shoes at Target! The Venecia is a perfect shoe for activities both in and out of the water. They are well ventilated, dry quickly, have a hook and loop closure, and are machine washable. A great price, and available in sizes 3 and up. Buy them here.

Our Go-To Summer Play Shoes for Kids!



Most everyone is familiar with the classic Salt Water Sandals, but we love their Sun-San line for toddlers and little kids! They feature the same water-friendly leather as the original Salt Water Sandals, but they have a spongier sole that’s fantastic for summer activities and they’re machine washable! There are a few style Sun-San styles, but the Sailors are great for summer adventures because of their closed toe. Available in sizes 0 and up. Buy the Sailor style here and see the full Sun-San line here

Our Go-To Summer Play Shoes for Kids!



We love the OshKosh Bump Toe Sandal as an affordable version of the Keen Newport! (Yes, the retail price is listed as $38 but you can typically find them much much cheaper, like well under $20.)  They feature similar hook and loop straps, mesh details, and are machine washable. Plus parents give them rave reviews! Available in sizes 4 and up. Buy them here.

Our Go-To Summer Play Shoes for Kids!



Old Navy makes these adorable and much affordable version of Native Shoes for just $14.99! You can’t beat that price! Plus they’re roomier so may be a better fit for kids with wider feet. They’re the same slip-on style with perforated dots and contrasting toe guard. Perfect for the park, zoo, or splash pad. These start is a size 5 and are available in green, blue, and orange. Buy them here.

Our Go-To Summer Play Shoes for Kids!



If you’re looking for something that’s more of a true sandal than our picks above, we recommend the newly released Charley Sandal from Native! They have an EVA lining similar to the Native Jefferson, so you know they’re gonna be super comfortable. They’re also water-friendly, lightweight, and easy to velcro on. These start at a size 4, but they do run small so size up! Buy them here.

Our Go-To Summer Play Shoes for Kids!



Our final pick is the Nike Sunray Protect. This sandal is made for all-day play! It has a water-resistant upper and soft foam cushioning that will stretch and flex with little feet. They have dual hook-and-loop straps so they’re easy to put on and take off, and a bump toe for extra protection for little feet. These are available in a size 2 and up. Buy them here.

Our Go-To Summer Play Shoes for Kids!


You can see the rest of our Summer Guides here.

This post contains affiliate links. For additional information, see my disclosure

(Feature image via Plae.)

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