You're off on vacation with your family. You've got everything you need—from goggles and sun hats to beach tents and bags. But don't forget one important item: whether your child is learning to swim or has already developed an affinity for the beach, you should be protecting his feet with the right pair of water shoes.
Like any shoes, your toddler’s water shoes need to fit well, but they also need to provide defense—in the form of a sturdy sole—against sharp objects like seashells or rocks. In truth, the very things that might excite or educate your child at the beach can also pose a danger to his delicate feet.
The best water shoes for toddlers guard against these objects, fit comfortably, and look great, so your kid will be excited about wearing them.
Especially if your child is active and on the move, water shoes or swimming shoes can protect against injury, not to mention the bacteria or parasites that live in warm water environments.
Avoid kids’ water shoes that create discomfort or blisters by rubbing against your the ankle area. Ill-made toddler shoes can be prone to painful friction when they actually come into contact with water, sand, and other surfaces. Luckily, the best water shoes for toddlers are built to avoid rubbing.
When shopping for your child, you want to buy a water shoe that is lightweight, breathable, and soft. Of course, you also want the sole of the shoe to display excellent grip. The following products from various brands will provide all of this and more.
But before we share the results of our research with you, check out the table below for a quick look at our top picks.
Water shoes for toddlers
Features we love
Buy it now
- Closed toe
Conda Shoes Mesh Sneakers Hybrid Water Shoes
- Breathable mesh material
Toddler's Athletic Water Shoes Aqua Socks
- Adjustable cord
Northside Brille II Water Shoe
- Breathable mesh upper
Speedo Surfwalker Pro 2.0 Water Shoes
- Super comfortable and dries quickly
Starbay Toddler Athletic Water Shoe
- Adjustable cord
Read on for all the details to find the best option for your child.
This synthetic closed toe sport sandal from Teva comes in four unique color schemes: blue/green, deep lavender/lavender, navy/yellow, and paradise pink/almond. The color designs make this an attractive shoe that can be worn casually, not only during trips to the beach or pool.
A sturdy, albeit bendable, sole makes this a more robust sandal than other, floppier water shoes for kids, and yet the edges of the shoe are padded with neoprene, ensuring soft comfort.
Furthermore, this is a durable product. The efficacy of the Velcro will not diminish over time, even through repeated use in the water. This sandal will surely last your little one until his or her feet have outgrown them and it's time to purchase a size up!
Teva’s color designs with this sandal are fun and eye-catching. The brand did a wonderful job of incorporating innovative, funky hues (almond, deep lavender, etc.) without overcomplicating the design. You and your toddler will both love how these shoes look.
Manufactured scientifically with breathable and absorbent Lycra-blend fabric mesh, this soft and comfortable sneaker/water shoe hybrid also absorbs sweat quickly. Indeed, this is one of the more “athletic” water shoes on the list.
These shoes are ideal for running because they are incredibly lightweight but also feature a sturdy rubber sole. At only 70 grams, the shoe also has great toe space, which is important for children with constantly growing feet.
The shock-absorbing, wear-resistant, anti-slip sole is all part of the safety design from Conda. This water shoe is made to protect your child moving at any speed.
These shoes are perfect for summer because they are lightweight, breathable, and incredibly easy to slip on and off. The lace-less, elastic opening is comfortable and secure for your child’s use. This product is also machine washable!
From the backyard to the boat, these shoes will benefit your child in a number of different scenarios, including water sports, of course. This is an extremely versatile shoe with a number of vibrant color schemes to choose from.
It’s commendable that Conda has placed a huge emphasis on safety with this athletic shoe. Knowing that young wearers of the shoe are bound to be on the move (on a number of surfaces), Conda has manufactured a product that provides incredible support while remaining lightweight and aerodynamic.
These nylon “aqua socks” from Sunville feature a comfortable, removable insole and an adjustable cord in the back, enabling a customized fit for your child.
The combination of the drawstring in the body and a sturdy rubber sole means that these shoes should last your child awhile—you can buy them a half-size big in order that your toddler grows into them, and in the meantime he or she can tighten the drawstring to achieve a snug fit.
These shoes are appropriate for running or leisure, and they feature an ankle strap that adds comfort and stability. They are appropriate for all occasions—beach, pool, and hard surfaces—and if you want to experiment further with their versatility, you can remove the insole, replacing with another insole or merely washing the interior, drying, and sending your child back out there!
The defining feature of this product is also our favorite feature: the adjustable cord. Simply put, the cord makes the size of the shoe negotiable, meaning that your child can easily tighten the fit if his or her foot has not yet grown into the size you ordered.
This imported textile and synthetic water shoe form Northside comes in at least twenty-two creative color schemes, ranging from teal/fuchsia to lilac/aqua. The brand has clearly made an effort to produce attractive designs that fit any taste or occasion, and it has succeeded.
The shoe’s padded tongue and collar is conducive to a snug, comfy fit that is unique among other flimsier products in the water shoe market. These are undoubtedly “rugged” sandals in the sense that they are built to be ultra-sturdy and able to withstand any conditions. At the same time, they are easy to slip on and off with quick-draw lacing and the incorporated bunge lace closure and internal tongue.
This product also features a sole with an excellent, proven grip that will benefit your child on any surface, anywhere. This is an extremely sturdy and durable water shoe that will protect your child’s feet while also providing comfort and stability.
The padded tongue and collar enable this shoe to be snug and comfortable, which pairs nicely with how sturdy and durable the shoe is. Oftentimes, it is difficult to achieve rugged footwear that offers the comfort of a lightweight shoe. Northside has achieved such a feat and created an admirable and effective (not to mention fashionable) water shoe.
This water shoe from Speedo features a four-way stretch upper and quick adjusting strap closure that enable easy on and off.
The S-trac thermoplastic rubber outsole technology provides innovative flow dispersion characteristics and water management, plus it will protect your child’s feet from sharp objects in the water.
These are very lightweight shoes that almost feel as light as flip-flops, with more support and protection, of course.
They are extremely convenient water shoes that will cause no rubbing or blister issues. Your child will enjoy a safe and comfortable experience in the water!
This product fits to size and will offer a snug, easy fit for your toddler.
The durable four-way stretch upper makes this shoe incredibly easy to slip on and off. It also makes the shoe ultra comfortable and quick to dry. This is a simple water shoe perfect for someone looking to purchase a product that gets the job done without flash or overcomplicated features.
This fabric nylon product from Starbay with adjustable tight cord back is perfect for pool, beach, and even exercise environments. It comes in up to eight colors (including black, blue, pink, red, green, yellow, red/black, green/black) and it fits to size.
This is a very versatile shoe that will enable your child to move around on a multitude of surfaces. The mesh upper is lightweight and breathable.
An adjustable cord often stands out on a water shoe because it enables size customization; it is no different with this product from Starbay. Your child will be able to find the perfect fit because he or she can adjust on the fly, not to mention grow with the shoe as his or her foot does the same.
The best water shoes for toddlers combine comfort, safety, and fashion. When shopping for water shoes for your child, you need to put safety first and ensure that the shoes feature a dependable rubber sole that will protect against sharp objects like seashells and rocks. Moreover, given the fact that bacteria and parasites often habituate in water environments, your child’s feet need to be all the more protected.
When a water shoe manufacturer puts a premium on safety but is also able to create a comfortable and lightweight shoe, you should be interested.
If your child is not comfortable and able to move freely, he or she will not be able to have a good time at the beach or at the pool. No one wants to deal with blisters or unnecessary rubbing around the ankles. The combination of water, sand, or other surfaces can create friction around your toddler’s feet, and you need to buy water shoes prepared to combat this friction with a snug and perfect fit.
Of course, fashion doesn’t hurt, either. Certain water shoes come in a variety of fun colors, and your child will be more inclined to wear his or her protective shoes if they look great!
Featured image: Donnie Ray Jones
Subscribe to the Tiny Fry newsletter and get awesome ideas for spending QT with the little people who make your world go round.
Best Lightweight All-Terrain Stroller – Find Your Model
Best Nursing Bra for Large Bust – Get the Support You Need
Best Breast Pump for Every Day Use – Your Indispensable Accessory
Best Stainless Steel Water Bottle For Kids – Staying Cool and Hydrated
Best Organic Baby Bath Products – Gentle Options for Delicate Skin
Best Marble Runs for 4-Year-Olds – 14 Top Picks
Ride-On Toys for 8-Year-Olds – 11 Great Ideas
Best Toddler Basketball Hoop – Teaching Competitive Play and Confidence