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9 Different Types of Shoes for Kids

Various colorful kids shoes on the floor.
  • Shoes are an essential item for everyone, including kids. It is imperative that you get a shoe that fits your kids appropriately, especially while their feet are still growing.
  • It is hard always to make sure the shoes for your kid always fit correctly. 
  • There is a list of shoes that every kid should have in their closet. This list includes everything from a sandal to a dress shoe.

I think we all can agree that shoes are necessary because they protect your feet from the elements. In addition, shoes can provide the appropriate amount of support and comfort. Shoes are also cute and an essential part of your outfit. They are the finishing touch. While they are the last piece you add, they are often the first thing that people see.

Whether you see shoes as a necessity because of the protection they provide or a necessity because of the style they bring, when it comes to your kids, the right one may be hard to find. Check out this article that lists all the types of shoes for kids.

What to Know About Shoes

When looking for shoes for your kids, there are some essential factors you should know to help you find the right shoe. The perfect shoe for your child is one that fits their growing feet.


The upper part of the shoe should be mesh, canvas, or leather because children’s feet sweat a lot. In addition, these materials allow their sweaty feet to breathe. 


The insole should be a material that is absorbent. Children do not typically need much in the way of arch support, but a padded insole is ok. All toddlers under the age of about 16 months have flat feet because their arches are not fully developed. That does not happen until between six and eight years of age. Until then, they have a flat foot. You can also find a shoe that has a removable insole. 

Outer Sole

The outer sole is what provides cushion, traction, and flexibility to the shoe. When the outer sole is flat, it helps beginning walkers. 


A heel is not needed for toddlers. An older child can wear a shoe that has a heel. Those heels should not be higher than one inch because their foot might slide forward, which can cramp your child’s toes in the top of the shoe.

Types of Shoes for Kids

Pre-Walking Shoe

A pair of blue knitted baby shoes.

Your child needs certain types of shoes at each age. Babies do not need shoes, and neither do crawling babies. They need baby bootees or a pre-walking shoe that will not restrict their feet.

They require shoes that are flexible and ones that are shaped like their foot. They should not be rigid. The intention of this type of shoe is to protect and warm their feet.

Toddler Shoe

A toddler wearing a pair of canvas shoes.

A toddler shoe should be a lightweight shoe because a toddler uses a good amount of energy just to walk. A toddler shoe that is a canvas or leather tie shoe will fit a toddler foot better. It will also stay on and be more secure.

Stride Rite shoes are a perfect baby shoe to help your baby with their first steps. The right toddler shoe can help prevent foot problems. 

School Shoes

A close look at a row of school children wearing leather shoes.

When your child hits school age, style because more important. However, the fit is equally important. You want a shoe that will protect their feet and provide shock absorption. You want to make sure they have the proper shoe for any activity.

You may want many options, including sneakers, hiking shoes, and sandals. It is important that they are flexible, provides adequate ventilation, and are affordable. 

Athletic Shoes

A kid putting on a pair of athletic shoes.

Your child needs a pair of athletic shoes for play. You do not want them tearing up their school shoes while they are playing hard after school and on weekends. You want them to have a solid and durable pair of athletic shoes or running shoes.

A sneaker should be lightweight and stay securely on its feet. Their shoes should be breathable and comfortable, so nothing holds them back while on the go. 

Slip On Shoe

A pair of colorful and sparkly slip-on shoes.

A slip on shoe allows your child to wear shoes without socks. Sometimes they want that freedom. A slip on shoe is more than just a casual shoe. A slip on shoe allows your child to dress themselves and get ready quickly.

These kids’ shoes are perfect summertime shoes. If you go with a plastic-type slip on like a croc or slides, they can get wet in the splash zone. Slip on shoes are a comfortable shoe that allows your child some freedom to get their feet wet and still rock their shoes. 

High Tops

A close look at a girl wearing a pair of high tops.

A high top shoe gives your child a little bit of variety in their shoe collection. It is a great casual shoe alternative. They can dress them down or up to make them look like a formal shoe. They are so versatile; they can be worn outside while playing. High top shoes provide ankle protection and a lot of style. 

Sport Shoe

A close look at a boy lacing his sports shoes.

If your child is into sports, they need the best performance shoe you can find. No matter which sport they play, you want to make sure they have a quality shoe on hand. There are many different cleats from which you could choose, including baseball cleats, soccer cleats, softball cleats, or football cleats.

Or they just may need a good solid pair of basketball shoes. You want to make sure you find a shoe that provides great traction. 

Snow Boots

A close look at a kid wearing a pair of snow boots.

Not only does your child need snow boots, but also rain boots. You want to provide them with an insulated boot that will keep their feet warm and dry even in the worst weather. In addition, you want to find boots that your child can put on and take off easily by themselves. If they are machine washable, that is even better. 

Dress Shoes

A close look at a girl's red patterned dress shoes.

Dress shoes for toddlers are typically really cute shoes. Mary Jane shoes are among the cutest dress shoes for toddlers. There are closed-toe and open-toe shoe options. You want to find a shoe that is durable and can take a lot of wear.

Depending on your child, they may not ever want to wear a dress shoe, or it could be a shoe they want to wear every day. Either way, you want to find the most comfortable pair that you can.


What is the Most Popular Child’s Shoe?

One of the most popular kids shoe options is the Asics Gel shoe. This is the perfect shoe for big kids and little feet. It is comfortable and responsive. It has a reinforced toe and rubber sole to help them look better for longer. 

Should I Buy Shoes That are Big for My Toddler?

The best shoe for your kids’ feet is one that fits properly. When measuring the shoe, there should be a thumb’s width between the toes and the top of the shoe. You do not want ill fitting shoes for your child. If the shoe is too big, it will be hard for your child to walk in it. 

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