These Sturdy Kids Shoes Will Last Until They Outgrow Them
It's no secret that kids — no matter how adorable — are tough on shoes. From scuffed toes to crushed heels to dirty laces and the strange smells, mangling footwear is an ongoing ritual of childhood.
Durable design features and overall construction quality are high on parents' wish lists when it comes to their kids' shoes. Fortunately, children's shoemakers are well aware of the toll high-energy playtime can take on small footwear, so today’s selections are better than any other time in cobbled history.
Tips for Buying Long-Lasting Kids’ Shoes
Watch for these key features to pick a pair that stands the test of time.
Protect those toes! The toe cap area is almost always the first to show wear, so styles that feature extra layers of material or other reinforcements at the toe are likely to hold up best.
Seek a sturdy sole. If the bottom of the shoe looks flimsy, it probably is. Stiffer materials, traction treads and a nice, thick-banded outsole are all signs of a durable shoe.
Keep it simple. While there’s no need to abandon style completely, it’s best to steer clear of sequins, bows or other fancy dimensional embellishments when choosing a shoe for rough-and-tumble everyday play.
Most Durable Shoes for Girls
Bold in solid black with a sherbet rainbow of ombré styling to pop the rubber midsoles, these stylish sneakers hide all the signs of scuffing on the upper. It's a durable kids' design that includes pull-tabs at the heel and tongue to help them get the shoe on quickly without crushing and crumpling its key components—because play time doesn't last forever.
With more than 100 years behind its origin story, Keds are an undisputed American classic in the world of canvas shoes. These kids' Keds break away from the mold with a pale pink faux-leather upper. A sturdy outsole and rigid grommets for the laces provide extra strength where it really counts, while a thick, cushioned insole promises lasting comfort.
These girls' trail shoes are made tough to stand up to anything the ground, or day, may throw her way. Comfort and durability come with a cushioned lining, thick outsole, EVA midsole, and reinforced toe. And the mesh upper makes this style breathable. No-tie adjustable laces mean a secure, customizable fit. More than just tough, the twist on these girls' shoes comes with pretty pops of aqua to complement the gray shades.
Sturdy and splash-friendly, the Khombu Cheeky shoes for girls come in a deep pink palette with a hint of colorful cheetah print for little fashionistas who like a bit of wild style. This pair of tiny water shoes hugs the foot with flexible material and strong bungee laces, distinguishing itself from other basic plastic water shoes, perfect for sizing up a smidge allowing room to grow. Thanks to a wrap-around toe cap, your pair will hold up even in rugged rain or terrain.
You can’t beat the classic. Available in a huge range of colors and patterns, the Chuck Taylor goes the distance with a thick, durable outsole and reinforced toe cap, plus metal grommets to prevent wear around the laces. Best of all, you can wipe the whole shoe clean (even the fabric!) with simple soap and water.
Offering sneaker-like comfort with slip-on ease, the Piper brings versatile, sporty style to any outfit — in a fun python pattern that cleverly disguises wear and tear. The thick outsole has extra texture around the toe to reduce scuff marks, while twin gore siding ensures the shoe will hold its shape, no matter how many times it’s been slipped on and off.
Most Durable Shoes for Boys
An alternative to slip-ons, Billy shoes deliver on durability, keeping heels from crushing thanks to its FlipTop technology. The easy-access feature on these kids' hi-tops means the look of lace-ups starts with a wraparound zipper at the side, which continues around the toe. Little fingers still getting their grip can easily slip them on and go by unzipping the upper portion, folding it open, and stepping right in. The cushioned insole adds support, while the lightweight outsole delivers traction and stability.
The famous triple stripes from Adidas are a visual signal that these kids shoes are more than just aesthetically pleasing—they were built to last through some pretty intense play days. Your little ones won't know why, but they'll feel the comfort that comes from the flexible cushioned insole and padded tongue and collar. Plus, tieless adjustable laces are always appreciated when the joy of outdoors is calling.
Offering the look of a dress shoe with the durability of a boot, the Zesty Slip-On might be the perfect alternative to everyday sneakers. Thanks to tough elastic side gores, this style holds up to endless on-and-off with no risk of creasing or stretching the upper. A sturdy traction sole is ready to put on the miles, indoors or out.
Fire-engine red is the color on-demand for a flash of speedy style. These Puma sneakers for boys have so many style features starting with the durable slip-on design. Lacing comes in a wrap system around the breathable mesh. A higher collar and durable pull-tabs at the heel and tongue give little athletes extra support with every step and jump.
Keep their feet protected when water is at play. The stretch fabric on these boys' outdoor shoes can hold up to anything that splashes their way. A durable rubber outsole gives traction and stability for playgrounds and puddles. Camo print with alert-orange trim complements the sturdiness of the design.
It's off to the races, basketball courts, and playgrounds in Reebok's sprinter sneakers. The durable rubber sole, thick midsole and reinforced toe mean these kicks can take on some rough-and-tumble playtime. The padded collar and elastic straps create easy on-and-off accessibility that won't ruin the shoe.