people's choice

The Best Kids’ Sandals on Zappos, According to Hyperenthusiastic Reviews

Photo: Howard Shooter/Getty Images

Here at the Strategist, we like to think of ourselves as crazy (in the good way) about the stuff we buy, but as much as we’d like to, we can’t try everything. Which is why we have People’s Choice, in which we find the best-reviewed products and single out the most convincing ones. (You can learn more about our rating system and how we pick each item here.)

And while we’ve written about lots of sandals — including the best women’s sandals, the most comfortable sandals, and the best sandals for flat feet — here, we’ve rounded up the best kids’ sandals, as praised by the most enthusiastic reviewers on Zappos.

Best-rated kids’ sandals

Keen Kids’ Newport H2 (Little Kid/Big Kid)

These highly rated closed-toe sandals come in tons of bright, summery colors and are beloved for their durability and comfort. Lots of parents mention buying them over and over again or handing them down to siblings and friends. One shopper whose child is on her fourth pair says,
“My very picky daughter loves these, and my neighbor’s two daughters also get to wear them because they’re durable enough to go through three different kids.” Another parent comments on their generally high quality, saying, “They’re outgrown before they wear out.” This reviewer also likes the Newport H2s because they can be worn in situations that call for closed-toe shoes: “The enclosed heel and toe qualify this shoe for summer campers who are required to send ‘shoes’ with their kids to camp. They are machine washable, and they dry fast; bright colors help you to identify them when piled in with the rest of the shoe bin.”

Best-rated (less expensive) kids’ sandals

Reef Kids’ Ahi (Infant/Toddler/Little Kid/Big Kid)

“My son loves these! He calls them his comfy flip-flops,” says one happy mom. Other parents’ exclamations include “Very cute!” and “The absolute best flip-flops I have ever bought for my two boys.” Positive reviewers note that these flip-flops are more comfortable than other brands’ because of their narrow straps and cushy soles. “They are soft and comfy, no hard plastic rubbing on little feet. Also very durable, never wear out or break. I only have to buy a new pair when they grow out of them!” And a happy grandpa has this to say: “This shoe is well made and adorable. Once our grandson (a new walker) got used to the idea of something between his toes, he loved it. The strap in the back keeps it on securely. The bottom of the shoe forms around his foot for comfort, and I think it adds safety by helping to hold his little foot on the shoe.”

Best kids’ sandals for girls

Salt Water Sandal by Hoy Shoes Sun-San Sweetheart (Toddler/Little Kid)

“I am always looking for a cute white pair of sandals for my daughter,” says a fashion-loving but cost-conscious mom. “I would happily buy a pair for each of her outfits (if budget allowed), but for a girl on a serious budget, these shoes delivered classic style, comfort, and affordability.” Another mom likes that her daughter can wear them with anything, anywhere. “The leather is soft, the footbed is flexible, the straps adjust. They dry quickly and give her great traction on the playground and in the water. They dress up well, too. She’s a picky consumer, and she gives them great marks.” Aside from its looks, nearly all reviewers say they are impressed with this pair’s construction. “The leather is soft and the shoe is very well made, but the best part for me were the soles. They were flexible and she didn’t trip in them,” says one reviewer. Another reiterates her point: “My daughter loves these shoes, and so do we. Previously we only had her wear Pedipeds because we think they are great for baby feet, but she’s now a toddler (17m) and these are perfect for a busy walker. I love that she can’t take them off by herself, as she’s lost several other pairs that way. The soles are nonslip and thick for lots of use.”

Best kids’ sandals for hiking

Chaco Kids’ ZX/1® Ecotread (Toddler/Little Kid/Big Kid)

As we have seen with this brand in the past, when it comes to praising Chacos, customers do not hold back. Reviewers say they are “durable” and “perfect for all kinds of outdoor activities.” One satisfied parent says, “I plan on buying these every summer for my two daughters.” A repeat buyer says, “This was probably the fourth or fifth pair of Chacos I’ve purchased for my kids, and I’m still a satisfied customer! These are the perfect late-spring, summer, and early-fall shoes for my girls for hiking, water, school, and just wearing around.” Another reports, “My 10-year-old loves these shoes. We just replaced a pair from last summer that are still in perfect condition after a summer of wear, which included hiking and boating in them.”

Best kids’ sandals with arch support

Birkenstock Kids’ Rio (Toddler/Little Kid/Big Kid)

“We love these shoes!” is a common phrase in the Zappos reviews, and lots of parents like that these both look and feel good: “These sandals in silver are the perfect blend of fashion and comfort! The shoe is very high quality — what you would expect from adult Birkenstocks — and can take toddler beatings.” A parent who references her child’s foot issues says, “They offer good arch support, which helps stabilize her foot. She just thinks they’re pretty, which is key. Maybe a little pricey for kids’ shoes, but given her foot problems, we always spend for good-quality footwear anyway.” And this excited parent says, “This is exactly what I was looking for for my 11-year old to walk all over Europe this summer. I wanted something pretty (not Keens or water-type shoes) but with good arch support. I was thrilled when I found this and even happier when she loved how they felt on her foot.”

Best kids’ sandals for babies

Nike Kids’ Sunray 9 (Infant/Toddler)

Many reviewers mention that these Nikes are super-lightweight and flexible, hence easier for babies just learning to walk. One reviewer calls them “comfy and airy but more supportive than flip-flops.” Another parent says, “My son has been walking for several months, and I prefer shoes that are very flexible and soft. This shoe is really lightweight and doesn’t look bulky on my son’s foot. It’s very bendy, and I like that.” Another parent calls them “adorable,” adding, “They work perfectly for my 22-month-old son when we go to the pool or beach.” And the mom of an 18-month-old says, “He wears these all day around the house, and they don’t cause him to trip like the other sandals he owns.”

Best kids’ sandals for wide feet

Salt Water Sandal by Hoy Shoes Sun-San Surfer (Toddler/Little Kid)

Like the white pair above, these Salt Water sandals are a big hit with reviewers thanks to their adjustable straps and soft leather. Phrases like “the best sandals around” appear more than a few times. One reviewer writes, “I got these for my little boy with wide feet, and they fit perfect.” A mom who bought these for her daughter says, “My daughter loves to wear these and says they are comfortable. She has wide feet, and these were great because the strap is adjustable. The leather is very soft and does not rub her feet. Worth the price!” Another reviewer calls these sandals a “great buy,” saying, “Our twins loved these shoes. They have very wide feet, so we were worried about the fit. Both straps are adjustable, and the sandal fit perfectly. The soles are a soft rubber (not hard wood) which makes them very comfortable and flexible while walking, running, and jumping.”

Best kids’ slides

Adidas Kids’ Adissage K Core (Toddler/Little Kid/Big Kid)

Most reviewers say they bought these sandals for their kids to wear after sports practice. Parents’ comments include “My son loves to wear these!” and “Awesome shoes for my son!” One shopper says, “My son asked for these shoes to slip on and off before and after his martial-arts classes. He loves the way they feel and thinks they look cool. They fit great and don’t slip off of his feet thanks to the adjustable strap.” Another happy parent writes, “Ordered these for my son for after football practice. He kicks off his cleats and slips on his sandals.” A mom whose son is an avid swimmer says, “My son lives in these shoes unless there is snow on the ground. Love that they can’t get gross and they dry quickly. The hardest part is keeping track of which ones are his, because all of his teammates have them.”

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The Best Kids’ Sandals on Zappos, According to Reviews