Working in the shoe business, it should come as no surprise that I have a shoe-loving child! It is a common sight to see my 2-year-old clomping around the house in too-big shoes or playing dress-up with random shoes from her closet. Who can blame her? Every girl loves her shoes.
Like many new moms, I had no idea what type of toddler shoes to buy my daughter at first. When does she even need to start wearing shoes? I tried a few cutesy shoes before she could walk and those turned out to be more hassle than they were worth. It was rare that both shoes remained on her feet for more than 2 seconds–she was always kicking her feet out of them. So I gave up on shoes until they were absolutely necessary when she started walking around a year old.
At that point I had more to consider. Do brand names matter at this point? Do I go with Velcro or lace-up or a slip-on style? After trying a number of different styles and brands, I am now confident enough to share these tried-and-true toddler shoe recommendations!
I will concede that there is a time and place for lace-up shoes (like when you need to enforce a double-knot tie to keep those suckers on) but I prefer Velcro for speed and convenience. They are much easier to get on and off and they’re also easier for toddlers to learn to put on independently (YAY, for when that happens!).
One of my favorite shoes of my daughter’s were these pink and purple adidas sneakers. The Velcro closure is great and they looked SO freaking cute with every outfit. I would pair them not only with jeans and leggings but also with dresses and skirts too.
So, back to one of my original questions concerning toddler shoes, do brands really matter when they’ll most likely only wear these shoes for 6 months tops? Well, in my opinion, yes. And I’m not just saying that because I work in the shoe business. A wise friend once gave me some excellent advice years ago–she told me there are two things you don’t skimp on–good bras and good shoes! Both protect important assets you want keep in tip-top condition! So, on that advice, I will always buy brand-name athletic shoes for my family.
That brings me to my next shoe recommendation. I love, LOVE Nike shoes. Their quality is unparalleled and their styles are always up-to-date. My #1 recommended toddler shoe is the Nike Flex Trainer, not only because they’re incredibly cute, but also because they’re incredibly lightweight and flexible for active little feet. And if you look very closely, you’ll notice one truly amazing feature that moms can really appreciate. One side of the tongue is attached so that when your toddler is putting on her own shoes, the tongue won’t get pushed down into the shoe and will stay in place as she fastens the Velcro. Genius, I tell you!