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Our summer beach trip was quickly approaching. My daughter had just turned 15 months old. She now could walk, run, and jump around, and since toddlers love to play in the water, my search for the best water shoes for toddlers began.
At a Glance: The Best Water Shoes For Kids to Buy
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With so many options available, finding the best toddler water shoes for her was not easy. We were going to be staying at a beach house far from any shopping center, so I didn’t want to take any chances by waiting to purchase shoes there.
It took me more than 36 hours of intensive research to find the best water shoes for my daughter!
After testing out several pairs, I discovered that some of them were a total waste of money. They tore with the first wear. Others caused blisters on my child’s feet. Eventually, I was able to select the top nine pairs of water shoes for toddlers. I’ll share my findings next.
My Top Choice Of The Best Water Shoes For Toddlers
Our vacation was to be spent entirely around water. Thus, I needed a water shoe that my daughter could wear almost every day. It had to be comfortable and quick to dry.
My daughter loves bright colors. Everything in her room, including her baby walker, is brightly colored. So, naturally, her ideal swim shoe had to be brightly colored too. The Apolter Swim Water Shoes was a perfect match. My daughter loves them!
Top Toddler Water Shoe Reviews
Whether in the pool, beach, or splash pad, your child needs to wear the right shoes to protect their feet. I have compiled a list of the top water shoes for toddlers.
1. Apolter Baby Boys And Girls Swim Water Shoes – Best Overall
Thick, extra-grip sole
Without the right pair of shoes, it is very risky for toddlers to play on slippery surfaces. They can easily slip and fall. Sometimes they may even get hurt by stepping on sharp objects.
If your child loves to play in or near water, check out the Apolter Swim Water shoes. Your child can wear them to the pool, ocean, or at home while playing with their water table.
Apolter swim water shoes have been made with your child's protection in mind. The sole of the shoes is thick enough that sharp objects cannot penetrate through it. It also has enough grip at the bottom to prevent your child from slipping.
The shoe dries very fast and doesn't get hot when your toddler is walking on hot concrete or sand. Also, these shoes are made from a material that stretches like socks. They can fit even toddlers with chubby feet. Additionally, the sole can be removed for easy cleaning.
Customers who have bought these shoes report that the size chart is a size down. You only need to measure the size of your little ones' feet and order one size up.
Easy to take off when wet and do not stick to the skin
Overlays on the shoes' upper fabric make it very comfortable
Thick, anti-skid sole offers protection to toddler's feet from sharp objects and falling on wet surfaces
Designed to minimize pain from colliding with stones and other objects
Has a bend at one-third position of the shoe to minimize pressure on feet caused by walking
Thick material on the toes to protect your little one's feet
A little difficult to put on
This pair is a cute purchase. You have various bright colors to choose from.
2. Bigib Toddler Kids Swim Water Shoes – Best Drying
Removable inner sole
Made from a flexible material
If you are planning to bring along your toddler to an outdoor party, you need a pair of shoes suited for the outdoors. And if the party includes water sports, you definitely need to protect your child against water accidents such as slips. You can start with these Bigib toddler swim water shoes.
Kids keep on growing each day, and so do their little feet. You don’t want to buy a shoe that is too snug for your child. It is advisable that you buy a size bigger to allow space for your toddler to stretch her toes and grow.
With this toddler water shoe, your child's feet will get enough protection from sand and debris by the beach. And their anti-slip soles will prevent her from falling.
Customers who have bought this pair say that they are super cute and serve the purpose well. But their color fades away after they are worn several times.
Shoes dry quickly
Comfortable with soft rubber sole flexible for easy walking
Great traction to prevent a child from falling
Inner sole offers foot a nice cushioning against debris, sand, and rocks on the beach
Not so durable
This is an affordable pair that your child will absolutely love.
3. Kids Water Swim Shoes Barefoot Aqua Socks Shoes – Best Budget
92% polyester + 8% spandex
Overlays on the upper fabric
High-quality rubber outsole
Does your toddler love to play in the water? Get them a pair of the best water shoes for toddlers such as these aqua socks shoes for kids. With more than 20 styles to choose from (such as unicorn, shark, and car) you will be able to find something your child loves.
The upper fabric on these swim shoes offers a comfortable fit that is neither too loose nor too tight. It is also elastic and breathable. Thus, the shoe dries up pretty fast, and you don't have to deal with smelly feet.
Another feature I like about these shoes is that they are soft and rollable. Your child feels as if they are barefoot but are in fact getting the protection needed. They can be used for water activities such as swimming or playing other indoor games.
Customers who have purchased this pair of shoes for their toddlers report that they are super cute. Their children love them. Putting them on and taking them off is also very easy.
A comfortable foam midsole gives cushion to your baby's feet
Has a stylish design
The outsole is made from top-quality rubber that prevents slipping
May need to size up for a perfectly fitting shoe
If you are looking for toddler gift ideas for a summer holiday, a pair of these shoes in their favorite style would be a great choice.
4. Crocs Kids Crocband Clog | Slip On Water Shoe – Best Slip-On
Made from 100% synthetic material
After the age of three, toddlers need a pair of shoes that they can easily put on even without assistance. A good option of water shoes for toddlers that are easy to put on are these crocs. Most kids love them.
The shoe has a back strap that can be adjusted to secure your child's feet. And when your child outgrows them, you will only need to flip the strap forward and they can wear them for another season. They are also waterproof and ideal for use by babies with chubby feet.
Another feature that makes these Crocs stand out is the ventilation holes. These shed water and sand or debris. The shoes are also thick and comfortable. Their soles have great traction which makes them very sturdy even on slippery ground.
Customers who have bought these shoes love their durability. Unlike most water shoes that only last one season, these Crocs last for more than two seasons.
Ventilation ports for proper breathability
Thick, lightweight sole for comfort and protection from sharp objects
The heel strap can be adjusted for a more secure fit
Easy to maintain
Durable and can withstand abuse by toddlers
The brightly colored midsole gives the shoe a sporty look
The back strap could have been longer
Crocs are great shoes for children. They can be worn on the beach as well as on muddy surfaces, and they’re easy to clean.
5. Crocs Kids Swiftwater Wave Water Sandal – Best Toddler Water Sandal
Croslite foam body
Flexible upper body
Crocs Kids Swiftwater Wave sandal is a stylish shoe that can be worn on both water and land. And unlike normal Crocs, the straps on this kind are fixed and not adjustable, making them very easy to slip on and off.
If your baby has chubby feet, these Crocs would fit perfectly since they are wide. They're also sturdy and offer the needed grip on slippery ground. Water drains very easily, and their fit is better than that of classic Crocs.
Customers who have bought these shoes report that they are durable and more stylish as compared to other Crocs.
Versatile and can be used on both land and water
Ventilation ports on the top and sides for water and debris to pass-through
The Croslite foam body is comfortable and doesn't absorb water
Synthetic sole offers a firm grip to prevent slipping
Crocs shrink when left in the sun
This shoe is ideal for all water activities. And since these types of shoes offer a snug fit, if your child wears a half size, it is advisable for you to size up.
6. JIASUQI Baby Boys And Girls Barefoot Swim Water Skin Shoes – Best Toddler Water Socks
Smooth neck design
Breathable and flexible material
Thick rubber outsole
Toddlers learn by playing. Playing with water is one way toddlers practice fine motor skills. However, the wrong pair of shoes can ruin the fun. That’s why it is important to ensure your child has the best toddler water shoes. To start with, the JIASUQI unisex water shoes would be a great choice.
These shoes are made from high-quality, ultra-thin stretchy material (92% polyester and 8% spandex) that fits well like comfortable socks. The material is light and dries very quickly.
Your kid can run effortlessly even in water because the shoe has a rubber sole with a nice grip. This prevents your child from falling or being hurt by sharp objects. The shoes are easy to put on and take off.
Most customers who bought this pair are happy with the sizes. A few reported the shoes they bought were a little big, but the snug fit around the ankle held the shoe well. Because these shoes are light, their kids were still able to comfortably walk and run in them.
A smooth neck design ensures no scratches when wearing it
Breathable material to prevent smelly feet
Easy to clean
Can be used for both indoor and outdoor water sports, swimming, walking, or running
Stretchy and flexible materials ensure a comfortable fit
Light but with great grip to prevent a child from slipping
Not very durable
You can get your child a pair of these water shoes for toddlers for your next trip to the water park.
7. Stride Rite Made 2 Play Phibian Sneaker Sandal Water Shoe – Best Machine-Washable Shoe
Hook and loop closure
No animal products used
Kids lose interest very fast. One minute they're playing by the pool, and the next they want to rush to the backyard. Thus, they need versatile shoes that can function well in both environments. The Made 2 Play Phibian Water shoe offers this and much more.
This shoe is a cross between a sandal and a sneaker. It is breathable and dries very quickly—no smelly feet or sogginess. The sole is made from rubber and has a nice grip on any surface. Thus, you can watch your kid’s move from the pool to the yard without worrying that they will fall.
A striking feature of this pair is how easy it is to clean them. Does your child want to join you in your garden? Worry not. Any mud on these shoes can easily be sprayed off by water from the hose.
Customers who have bought these shoes report that they are comfortable. However, they advise that children should wear them with socks for the first few days to prevent blisters.
Anti-slip rubber sole thus can be used on any kind of terrain
Easy to clean, just toss them in the washing machine
Hook and loop closure for a secure fit
Durable and well made
Causes blisters when worn for long periods
If your baby has chunky feet, a good option is to buy one size up. Otherwise, this shoe is a great summer shoe.
8. Speedo Surfwalker Pro 2.0 Water Shoes – Best Adjustable
Made from 100% textile upper with a synthetic sole
Strap closure system
Air mesh panel
Are you looking for a shoe that will protect your child's feet when you're out playing in the water park or pool? The Speedo Surfwalker is a great and comfortable toddler swim shoe that can be worn to the ocean, pool, or just when your child is playing with their water table.
The shoe is made from a durable material that can withstand a child's busy feet. They are also pretty comfortable. And if your kid loves to take off their shoes, this is a great shoe. The strap closure system ensures that they do not easily come off.
Customers who purchased this product say that it is an excellent shoe. It dries quickly and is very comfortable. Most advise that if you are looking to get a snug fit, then pick a shoe that is one size down from the exact size of your child's foot.
Air mesh panel ensures shoes dry quickly
Stretchable material makes shoes easy to put on and take off
Synthetic outsole disperses water away from the feet
The straps are easy to adjust
Shoe size is a little too big
Looking for a pair to replace that old pair of water shoes that takes ages to dry? These shoes by Speedo are a great alternative.
9. i play. Baby & Toddler Water Shoes – Best Sturdy
Non-slip synthetic rubber outsole
Breathable upper material
The next entry on this list of the top toddler water shoes is a product from a renowned baby products producer, i play. One of their best selling products is these baby & toddler water shoes.
These shoes are light, comfortable, and easy to wear. Their size scale is accurate. They fit well and are not too tight. The shoe grip is firm, and your toddler does not slip when walking in them. And, you have so many colors to pick from!
Customers who purchased these pair report that they are easy to put on and take off. Many were pleased that, at a very affordable price, they could get a pair that could last more than two summers before tearing apart. However, a small percentage of customers said that they caused blisters.
The rubber outsole offers a nice grip to protect your baby from slipping
Made from a flexible material which makes it easy to wear and take off
The breathable material dries very quickly
Lacks straps to fasten the shoes
These shoes are well made and will hold up well for a number of years. They are also easy to put on and take off.
Importance Of Toddler Water Shoes
Protect your child's feet from being hurt by sharp objects such as rocks, thorns, and other debris
Made with anti-slip rubber soles that prevent them from slipping on wet surfaces
Quick to dry which also keeps your baby's feet dry and prevents smelly shoes and feet
Protect the feet against biting insects
Provide comfort and safety without hindering play
Types Of Water Shoes For Toddlers
The best type of water shoes for your toddler will largely depend on your toddler's preference and where you intend to use them. For instance, if you are going to a place with rough terrain, water shoes are your best choice.
Most water shoes look like normal shoes but with breathable, quick-drying upper material that doesn't allow debris in. They also drain water easily and are ideal for use in beach, pool, or puddles.
Before buying a water shoe for your toddler, ensure that the neck of the shoe is smooth and big enough to fit your child’s legs.
These are more open than water shoes. They are also easier to put on and take off. Water sandals are easy to adjust, and children take longer to outgrow them. They have a thick sole to protect the toddler's feet but do allow sand and debris to touch your child's feet.
Although they are made from water-resistant materials, they are only ideal for short walking on the beach or land.
Water socks have a structure that is very similar to water shoes but is more flexible and skintight like socks. They are not very durable and are best for use in pools.
How To Choose The Best Toddler Water Shoe
As you have seen above, the importance of water shoes for your toddler is undisputed. However, before settling on the best one for your child, there are a number of factors that you'll need to consider.
Water socks are best for use in pools and splash pads. Sandals are not ideal for use in pools but are perfect for the beach. And if you'll be visiting muddy or rocky areas, water shoes will give your toddler’s feet more protection.
You and I both know that wearing the wrong size of shoe can cause you so much trouble. If the shoe is too big, you will have to uncomfortably drag your feet all day long. And if the shoe is too small, it will hurt your toes, ankles, and can cause blisters.
Choosing the right toddler shoes online can be quite tricky. Avoid buying shoes that have a very tight fit. They are not only uncomfortable but toddlers outgrow them really fast. Instead, always leave an allowance of about a quarter inch for growth and toe movement.
An ideal water shoe for toddlers should have a wide and round toe box that follows the natural shape of their feet.
Water Resistant, Lightweight, And Breathable
The best water shoes for toddlers are made from synthetic materials such as neoprene. These are very light, easy to clean, quick to dry, and breathable. They protect your toddler against heat and chemicals.
When out playing in or near water, toddlers are at risk of slipping and falling. Normal shoes and sandals do not offer enough protection against water. That's why you need to buy one of the best toddler water shoes.
The outsole should be made of thick rubber. They won't absorb water and will dry quickly. It will also protect the toddler's feet from being hurt by sharp objects.
In addition, ensure that the outsole offers sufficient grip on slippery surfaces. The best way to determine if the traction on a shoe is adequate is by looking at the pattern on its sole. Deeper patterns are more likely to offer better traction.
Go for shoes with a comfortable midsole. More active children require shoes with thicker midsoles.
A general rule when shopping for any type of shoes is to go for a shoe that is easiest to put on. Thus, when shopping for water shoes consider the shoe's closure system. There are three popular closure systems.
Velcro (Or Hook And Loop)
These are easy to adjust and will fit well on both narrow and wide feet. However, this kind of closure system weakens with time.
Just like the name suggests, this closure system only needs you to slip on the shoes, and you're done. They are commonly used for swimming, since they usually give a snug fit. However, most don't offer a snug fit on narrow legs.
These are made from stretchable materials which make them easy to wear.
The best water shoes for toddlers greatly depend on where your toddler will be wearing them. Some can only be worn in water, while others can be worn both in water and on land.
But most importantly, remember to choose the right shoe size.
Although we bought and tested more than five pairs, the Apolter Baby Boys and Girls Swim Water Shoes is still my daughter's favorite. It is adjustable and fits her well.