Finding the proper footwear for your child can be a major headache. Not only do your children’s shoes need to be comfortable and functional, but they also need to be kid-approved! When the warm weather hits, kids are eager to rid themselves of sweaty, hot sneakers and slide on lightweight and breathable flip-flops and sandals. This selection of summer footwear for kids provides a range of styles that offer perks such as added toe protection, adjustable velcro sizing, and water-resistant, high-quality materials. Whether your children plan to spend their days laying at the pool or hiking through the nearest state park, these flip-flops and sandals have their toes covered, literally. At a range of price points, you’ll be able to find appropriate summer footwear for all the kids in your family.
The Best Flip-Flops and Sandals for Kids
(Best all-terrain option — $$$)
Why it’s great: Designed with multi-directional lugs that offer superior grip on slick terrain, the KEEN Unisex-Child Seacamp Ii CNX Sandal is built for any environment. The water-resistant material dries quickly, preventing blisters on little feet and extending the life of the sandals. The lace-lock bungee capture system provides an individualized, secure fit so these shoes won’t slip off, even in running water. These sandals for kids are machine-washable, making them easy to clean and easy for you to care for your children’s footwear.
Keep in mind: These sandals are on the narrower side. Opt to size up if your child is between sizes.
Good for: Kids who need their feet protected when spending a lot of time outdoors in a variety of environments.
(Best slip-on — $$)
Why it’s great: The lightweight, pillow-soft slides are a cinch for kids to slide on and off independently. The durable, single-bandage upper portion of the Adidas Unisex-Child Adilette Slides ensures these sandals will last throughout the season without falling apart or unraveling. These sandals designed for children have a comfortable Cloudfoam Plus footbed that’s both stable and soft.
Keep in mind: The sandals start off stiff and become more flexible with use, conforming to your child’s foot over time.
Good for: Kids who need sandals that they can slide on and off quickly and easily.
(Best adjustable option — $$)
Why it’s great: With three adjustable velcro straps, the DREAM PAIRS Kids Adventurous Light-Weight Adjustable Straps Summer Sandal is easy to tighten or loosen as your child’s foot grows over time. These sandals for kids are water-friendly and dry quickly to keep toes comfortable. The lightweight MD footbed is cushioned to ensure all-day comfort while the flexible TPR outsole is designed to provide extensive traction on slippery surfaces.
Keep in mind: These sandals run large so opt to size down if your child is between sizes.
Good for: Children between sizes that benefit from a shoe they can make tighter or looser as they grow.
(Best budget option — $)
Why it’s great: At a desirable price point, these sandals for kids offer three-point synthetic rubber straps that are easy to take on and off. The Quiksilver Unisex-Child Molokai Youth 3 Point Sandal has a slip-resistant, textured footbed and blown rubber outsole that is comfortable to wear for extended periods of time. These flip-flops are both fashionable and functional, matching every outfit and ready for the mall or the beach.
Keep in mind: These sandals run small so consider ordering a size up or two, especially if your child has wide feet.
Good for: Parents who don’t want to spend a fortune on children’s sandals that they’ll likely grow out of.
(Best closed-toe option — $$$)
Why it’s great: With reinforced toe protection, the KEEN Kids’ Moxie Closed Toe Casual Sandal is designed with washable, quick-dry webbing that both protects toes and keeps feet cool and dry. The hook-and-loop strap provides a snug fit while still being easy to take on and off. The mix of bright and neutral colors schemes are sure to appeal to both boys and girls.
Keep in mind: There may be an initial rubber smell when first wearing the sandals that will dissipate over time.
Good for: Active, adventurous kids who need additional toe protection when out exploring.
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(Best water-resistant option — $)
Why it’s great: The Crocs Kids’ Crocband Flip Flops dry super quickly and are the ideal flip-flop for warm, wet places. Incredibly lightweight, these sandals for kids come in bright, neon colors so your child will never lose sight of them in a sea of shoes. The Croslite foam is both flexible and soft, providing all-day comfort for feet of all sizes.
Keep in mind: The bands on the top of the sandals provide a limited amount of stretch.
Good for: Kids who frequent wet areas like the pool or beach and need shoes that can hold up against wet environments.
(Best fashion option — $$$)
Why it’s great: The classy, leather exterior of these kids’ sandals is ideal for both formal and informal outings. The natural leather footbed conforms to kids’ feet and offers comfort and breathability. The outsole is flexible and lightweight, making them grippy and slip-resistant on all surfaces.
Keep in mind: The ankle closure can run large and may be too loose on children with narrow ankles.
Good for: Children who need a sandal that works for both formal and informal events.
FAQs about Flip-Flops and Sandals for Kids
1. What style of flip flop or sandals is best for my child?
When selecting a flip-flop or sandal style for your child, take into account his or her preferred activities and environment. A closed-toe sandal with insole support and adjustable velcro is best for rugged terrain and uneven ground. An easy-on, easy-off slide or flip-flop is the ideal choice for quick trips to the pool and beach.
2. How do I know what size flip-flops or sandals to get for my kids?
Follow the sizing guide for the particular brand of summer footwear your child chooses. Take note of the style of shoe to determine whether you should size up or size down. Loose-fitting flip-flops tend to fit best when sized down, while stiff, structured sandals may require you to size up.
3. What are the differences between flip-flops and sandals?
Flip-flops are lightweight sandals that include a thong between the big and second toes. They’re typically water-resistant and made from plastic or rubber. Sandals have a wider range of styles and include open areas or straps along the top of the shoe. Both are fitting choices for warm and wet environments.
4. How do I care for my kid’s warm weather footwear?
Most flip-flops and sandals are water-resistant and can be spot-cleaned with a soft microfiber cloth and a spot cleaner. If your child’s summer footwear shows wear and tear and starts to lose its tread, it’s time to purchase a new pair to ensure functionality.
5. Which footwear option is best for my child?
For active kids, structured, closed-toe sandals are best for exploring rough terrain and slick surfaces. If your kids need an easy-on, easy-off option, lightweight flip-flops or casual slides are a good fit. Fashionable leather sandals work well for more formal outings and events.
Finding comfortable and stylish flip-flops and sandals for children can be quite an endeavor for parents. Luckily, these footwear options provide numerous designs that offer a host of foot-protecting benefits, from extra grippy soles to lightweight materials. With a number of unisex styles in a range of color options, your kids will feel like they are in total control when selecting the flip-flops and sandals of their choice. Made to withstand active youth, you’ll never have to worry about these warm-weather shoe options not lasting throughout the hot summer months.