Splash Better: Toddler Water Shoes to Explore the Outdoors

Protect those little feet from slippery river rocks and hot sand.

Woman and boy sit on dock fishing.
Protect those perfect little toes outdoors.Pexels

From puddles to oceans, it’s pretty much guaranteed that when a toddler sees water, he or she will want to get wet as soon as possible. And while barefoot may be the easiest option, it’s not always practical. Toddler water shoes keep feet clean, protect tiny toes against rocks and shells and can be a rugged alternative to traditional sneakers and sandals.

Native Shoes - Jefferson, Kids Shoe
Lightweight and odor-resistant, these slip-ons can be worn all day or tossed in the diaper bag for water play.Native Shoes

Moisture + sweat = stink. That’s why it’s key to look for a product that claims odor-resistant capabilities. A rubber sole is also versatile: It won’t slip in water, and can also handle rough playground play as well.

crocs Kids' Classic Clogs
Lightweight, comfortable and easy to clean, these have plenty of room for growing feet.Crocs

Fit is everything, especially when it comes to toddler shoes. Toddler feet are tiny, but they may also be wide and chunky. That’s why it’s key to look for a shoe that gives width and height, as well as length. The weight of the shoe should also be considered. New walkers may find the splash pad easier to navigate in a light pair of shoes.

KEEN Unisex Kid Newport H2 Sandal
Quick-dry webbing and machine washable, this shoe can handle tough and slippery terrain.KEEN

There’s no need to have a shoe exclusively for “water activities” if you don’t want to. If you want a multitasking pair, look for a shoe that can dry easily and let water throw through, but can also be comfortable for daycare, nature hikes, lounging at Grandma’s pool and whatever other adventures may come up in your busy toddler’s life.