Once you identify your little one’s needs (based on all the activities and fun they will encounter all summer long), you can break them down into categories and make sure you have a shoe to fill each. That might mean shopping for a couple new pairs or pulling some out of the school/daycare rotation. Using the same shopping rules as I set out for shopping for myself, I decided the summer shoe categories that needed filling for kids were: water shoes, sandals, sneakers, wellies and summer/no sock shoes. Preferably I like to make sure we have a pair for each kiddo that fall under each category; bonus points if we find a style that crosses over into two categories.

Your little one might need different shoes entirely, but breaking down into categories based on their needs will help make sure you don’t end up shoeless at some activity mid summer when no stores have anything summer-related anymore. Here is a quick breakdown of each each little shoe category.

kids-sneakers1. nike – 2. plae – 3. saucony – 4. akid – 5. converse – 6. palladium – 7. adidas – 8. vans – 9. new balance – 10. puma – 11. see kai run – 12. adidas

A Great Pair of Everyday, Easy to Put on Sneakers – A pair that can be worn everyday at the playground, indoors at summer camp/day care or out to summer activities and sports. Basically the sneaker is an every day all year essential.

1. plae – 2. native – 3. osh kosh – 4. old navy – 5. vivo barefeet – 6. keen – 7. adidas – 8. jambu – 9. keen – 10. keen – 11. teva – 12. toms

Water Shoes/Water Sandals – Great for all day every day wear, but can also be worn at the splash park, beach and wading pool. Pretty much the ultimate summer footwear for kids.



1. hunter – 2. aigle – 3 .zara – 4. superfit – 5. bogs – 6. hatley – 7. superfit – 8. kamik – 9. next direct – 10. next direct – 11 .joules – 12. joules

Rubber Boots/Wellies – Pretty much a closet necessity in my area, and extra cute when paired with summer shorts or dress. Technically for summer you could skip the wellies and just go with the water shoe, but you could wear them through spring, fall, and summer.


1. joe fresh – 2 .joe fresh – 3. pons – 4. zara – 5. gap kids – 6. gap kids – 7. umi – 8. old soles – 9. zara – 10. zara – 11. toms – 12. saltwaters – 13. h&m – 14. next direct -15. osh kosh – 16. teva – 17. h&m – 18. birkenstocks

Summer Sandals – A pair for everyday that will easily go with everything in their little closet, if you happen to find a pair of water shoes that are also great for everyday wear, maybe hunt for a sandal that is a bit less sporty and a bit more dressy. It’s always nice to have a shoe (or sandal) that plays double duty for holidays, dress up occasions and everyday wear.


1. zara – 2. gap kids – 3. zara – 4. zuzii – 5. minnetonka – 6. toms – 7. h&m – 8. next direct – 9. zuzii

The No Sock Shoe/Summer Shoe – Can easily double as an inside shoe at school and great for everyday wear especially days when they don’t want to wear socks and sneakers.

.  .  .  .  .

In many cases if there is a girls’ shoe I posted that you like but would rather it was a more boys’ version (and vice versa), check the link and have look on the site — generally there is the opposite gender version or a more gender neutral version.

And for fun and because we all like to look at cuteness, here are just a few little ones wearing one of these summer shoe categories.

kids-summer-shoes5[image via i dig denim]

kids-summer-shoes3[image via]

kids-summer-shoes1[image via jcrew]

kids-summer-shoes4[image via heart and habit]

kids-summer-shoes2[image via @courtneyadamo ]

kids-summer-shoes6[image via]

Do you have a favorite summer shoe style for your kiddos? Or maybe a brand you go back to every year, because it’s just that awesome?