5 Best Baby Sandals of 2023

Baby learning putting on sandal sitting in the bedroom.

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  • The most important things to consider when buying baby and toddler sandals are fit, comfort, and safety. 
  • Look for baby and toddler sandals that are easy to take on and off, are waterproof or can be worn in water, and are machine washable or easy to clean. 
  • There are many cute and stylish options for summer baby shoes that support your baby’s foot, help them walk and run, and protect your baby’s toes. 

There are lots of adorable baby shoes on the market, but the best baby sandals are cute and stylish, comfortable, safe to walk in, and easy to get on and off. Your baby’s feet are still developing, so it’s important that their shoes support their little feet properly. 

Baby sandals that fit well and stay on securely will give your baby confidence to walk outdoors and give your toddler support for running and climbing. They should also provide you with peace of mind that your child won’t take any unnecessary tumbles on slippery or hard surfaces. 

Of course, it also doesn’t hurt if those super cute baby shoes are easy to clean! 

Take a look at our list of the five best baby sandals of 2023 so you and your baby have some fun in the sun!

Best Overall for Active Kids
pediped Boy's Canyon Flex (Toddler/Little Kid) Black EU 24 (US 7.5-8 Toddler) M
Best First Baby Sandal
Stride Rite baby girls Soft Motion Tobias First Walker Shoe, Pink Multi, 3.5 Infant US
Best for Ease of Use
Crocs Kids' Classic Clog , Orange Zing, 4 Toddler
Pediped Flex Canyon Water Sandal
Stride Rite Soft Motion Tobias First Walker
Crocs Classic Clog
$75.00
Price not available
$46.99
Best Overall for Active Kids
pediped Boy's Canyon Flex (Toddler/Little Kid) Black EU 24 (US 7.5-8 Toddler) M
Pediped Flex Canyon Water Sandal
$75.00
Best First Baby Sandal
Stride Rite baby girls Soft Motion Tobias First Walker Shoe, Pink Multi, 3.5 Infant US
Stride Rite Soft Motion Tobias First Walker
Price not available
Best for Ease of Use
Crocs Kids' Classic Clog , Orange Zing, 4 Toddler
Crocs Classic Clog
$46.99

Pediped Flex Canyon Water Sandal: Best Overall for Active Kids 

Pros 
Cons
  • Durable, flexible, and comfortable
  • Pediatrician recommended
  • Lots of sporty styles to choose from
  • May not suit everyone’s taste
  • Expensive

We bought pediped sandals for our kids every summer of toddlerhood until they sized out of the big kid styles. A combination of sneakers, toddler sandals, and water shoes, their versatility ranks them among the best baby shoes. 

Although they’re on the expensive side, the pediped Flex Canyon Water Sandals, like all pediped’s baby and toddler shoes, are incredibly durable, pediatrician recommended for growing feet, slip resistant, waterproof, and have super flexible soles. 

These sandals can be worn in and out of the water for your trips to the beach or the lake. They also have velcro straps so they stay on securely. The closed rounded toe is perfect for protecting your little toddler’s toes on the run. 

The flexible, eco-friendly, waterproof sole is very comfortable, lightweight, and virtually never wears out. In addition, they come in a huge variety of colors. 

If your young toddler is always on the move, this is the perfect versatile sandal for the summer months and one of the best toddler sandals you’ll find.

Age Range: 1-6 years | Material: Clarino, Neoprene | APMA Approved?: Yes
View on Amazon | View on Walmart.com | View on Pediped.com

Stride Rite Soft Motion Tobias First Walker: Best First Baby Sandal 

Stride Rite Soft Motion Tobias First Walker
  • The footbed is crafted with memory foam for enhanced, superior comfort
  • Oversized opening for easy on-and-off, also suitable for wider feet
  • Adjustable hook-and-loop closure ensures a comfortable, easy fit
  • special treatment to help reduce odors
Pros 
Cons 
  • Approved by the American Podiatric Medical Association
  • Memory foam footbed
  • Expensive
  • Limited style choices

The Stride Rite Soft Motion range of shoes for new walkers proves why Stride Rite is known as a trusted name for the best baby shoes. The Soft Motion Tobias First Walker is the perfect first sandal for a baby who’s just started walking in the summer months. 

It has a slip-resistant rubber sole, closed toe, and an oversized opening with easy hook and loop closure, so they’re easy to slip onto wriggly, chubby little feet. 

The American Podiatric Medical Association approves them, too, so parents should feel reassured that they’re buying a safe baby shoe made of high quality material. They also have a memory foam footbed for comfort and are odor resistant. 

These Stride Rite first shoes can be expensive, especially considering that your baby will only wear them for a few short months. However, as a first baby sandal, these are a great choice. 

Age Range: 0-4 years | Material: Leather, Memory Faam | APMA Approved?: Yes
View on Amazon | View on Target.com | View on StrideRite.com

Crocs Classic Clog: Best for Ease of Use 

Crocs Classic Clog
  • Kids Shoes: Just Like The Adult Classic Crocs, The Kids’ Version Offers The Same Great Shoe For Youngsters. Easy On And Easy Off Makes These The Pair Of Crocs Kids Need.
  • Versatile And Comfortable: Incredibly Light And Easy To Wear, These Girls’ And Boys’ Crocs Are Created With Croslite Foam For Iconic Crocs Comfort. The Flexible Material Is Sure To Be Loved By All.
  • What Size Should I Buy?: These Kids’ Crocs Offer A Roomy Fit And We Recommend Ordering A Size Down To The Next Largest Whole Size.
  • Make Them Your Own: These Girls’ And Boys’ Crocs Offer A Roomy And Generous Fit That Is Sure To Match Every Foot. The Kids’ Crocs Can Be Customized With Jibbitz Charms To Reflect Their Own Personal Flair.
Pros 
Cons 
  • Easy for little ones to put on
  • Beloved by children
  • Should not be used for sports or running

Crocs are universally loved by parents and kids alike and for a good reason. The Crocs Classic Clog comes in almost every color of the rainbow, is lightweight, comfortable, and instantly becomes the favorite shoe of every little kid who tries them on. 

The Child Classic Clog comes in sizes for toddlers ages one and up, while the Classic Littles Clog comes in even smaller sizes for infant feet. 

Classic Littles Clog
  • Crocs For Everyone: Just Like The Adult Classic Crocs, The Baby Version Offers The Same Great Shoe For Youngsters. Easy On And Easy Off Makes These The Pair Of Crocs Kids Need.
  • Versatile And Comfortable: Incredibly Light And Easy To Wear, These Girls’ And Boys’ Crocs Are Created With Croslite Foam For Iconic Crocs Comfort. The Flexible Material Is Sure To Be Loved By All.
  • What Size Should I Buy?: These Baby Crocs Offer A Roomy Fit And We Recommend Ordering A Size Down To The Next Largest Whole Size.
  • Make Them Your Own: These Girls’ And Boys’ Crocs Offer A Roomy And Generous Fit That Is Sure To Match Every Foot. The Kids’ Crocs Can Be Customized With Jibbitz Charms To Reflect Their Own Personal Flair.

Crocs are easy for children to put on themselves, can be worn in and out of the water, and are very lightweight and easy for parents to clean. They’re great shoes for the beach and the backyard. 

While the strap does a good job of holding on to little feet, be aware that these shoes are not the best for long walks, running, or climbing on playgrounds. Many daycares and nursery schools don’t allow them for that reason. 

However, as a summer shoe for going out and about and having fun in the sun, you’ll find a pair of Crocs very useful. 

Age Range: 1-12 years | Material: Ethylene Vinyl Acetate | APMA Approved?: No
View on Amazon | View on Walmart.com | View on Crocs.com

Native Shoes Jefferson Sneaker: Best Slip-on Shoes 

Native Shoes Jefferson Sneaker
  • Water-friendly, fast drying, lightweight foam
  • Odor-resistant
  • Slip-on
  • Easy clean
Pros 
Cons 
  • Easy to slip on
  • Made for all day play
  • Easy to clean
  • Narrow fit which is not comfortable for kids with wide feet

A great alternative to Crocs which can be worn all day, the Jefferson Sneaker by Native Shoes checks a lot of boxes. 

These Native Shoes are a cross between sandals and sneakers, so your toddler can run in the playground and get them wet by the pool. 

These shoes are easy for toddlers to slip on themselves to encourage independence, and they can be worn with or without socks as they’re made with eco-friendly, breathable material. They come in a huge variety of colors and prints and have sizes for infants up to big kids.  

One drawback of the Jefferson Sneaker is that it runs narrow and tends to suit kids with long, thin feet. You’ll need to size up if your child needs a wide fit. 

Age Range: 1-12 years | Material: Ethylene Vinyl Acetate | APMA Approved?: No
View on Amazon | View on Walmart.com | View on NativeShoes.com

Simple Joys by Carter’s Frankie Sandal: Best Budget Summer Baby Shoes 

Simple Joys by Carter’s Frankie Sandal
  • Boy’s everyday fishermen sandals with hook and loop closure
  • Strapped styling
  • Hook and loop closure for easy on-and-off
Pros 
Cons 
  • Budget-friendly
  • Easy closure
  • Come in infant sizes
  • Limited style and color choice
  • Not genuine leather

Given how frequently you’ll find yourself buying shoes for your little baby’s feet, it’s good to know there’s a high quality, budget option available. 

The Simple Joys by Carter’s Frankie Sandal is perfect for little ones who have just started to walk and don’t yet need all of the versatile features of more expensive baby and toddler sandals. 

Parents are pleased with the quality of these sandals for the price and report that their kids are happy trying out their new walking skills in these shoes.

Keep in mind that they have synthetic, non-slip rubber soles and a synthetic leather upper, which may mean that they’re not very breathable in the hot summer months. 

Yet, as a pair of first shoes for summer, these do the trick at a budget-friendly price.  

Age Range: 0-1 year | Material: 100% Synthetic | APMA Approved?: No
View on Amazon

When Can Your Baby Wear Sandals?

Small cute baby on the car and her mom.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that babies start wearing shoes when they start walking outdoors, generally around their first birthday. 

Before they start walking, it’s better for the development of your baby’s feet not to be confined in shoes. Baby socks are sufficient until they begin to walk. 

If your baby is walking outdoors in the hotter summer months, keep in mind the AAP’s recommendations that shoes for young walkers should: 

  • Have closed-toes.
  • Be comfortable without the need for being broken in.
  • Be flexible. 
  • Have non skid soles. 
  • Have room to grow. 

While sneakers are the best choice for young walkers, there are plenty of summer styles that fulfill these criteria while still being cute and stylish. 

Older toddlers and experienced walkers can wear open-toed sandals like flip flops. However, younger toddlers still getting the hang of walking need more coverage, stability, and protection. 

Parent’s Guide to Buying Baby Sandals

Baby lying on the cushion with yellow balloons.

When buying baby sandals, you should take into account the following to help you decide on the best choice:  

Your child’s age 
  • Younger toddlers and new walkers will need closed-toe sandals with more adequate support and protection than older toddlers and big kids.
Fit 
  • Sandals should provide a secure fit for your child but still have room to grow and move.
  • The top of their big toe should be about a finger width from the inside edge of the shoe
  • Shoes should not be too big, too small, or too tight, as these can all affect the development of your child’s foot.
Comfortable immediately
  • Sandals should be comfortable immediately without having to be broken in.
Velcro strap
  • Velcro straps will encourage your child to put their shoes on themselves.
  • Complicated buckles and fastenings will be hard for you and your child to manage.
  • Lace up shoes are best for older toddlers and big kids.
  • Elastic laces, slip-on, and velcro styles are easiest for babies and young toddlers.
Appropriate to their activity level 
  • If your child is very active and always running, make sure the sandals you choose will stay on with an adjustable strap and are up to the challenge of active little feet.
Washable
  • Machine washable shoes or shoes you can wash with soap and water are always convenient.
Price 
  • Young toddlers will outgrow shoes every two to three months.
  • Keep price in mind because you’ll be buying shoes frequently.
Style 
  • Your child is more likely to wear shoes that they think are fun, cool, or stylish.
Non-slip sole 
  • Look for shoes with non skid soles, especially for summer months when you’re around water and slippery surfaces.
Supportive sandals 
  • Babies and toddlers should not need additional arch support or insoles in their shoes.

How Do You Know if Your Baby’s Sandals Fit? 

Knowing what size to buy for your baby or how to find the perfect fit can be difficult. Some companies size shoes by age, which may not apply to your child. Many shoes also have varying sizes from the UK and Europe printed on them, which can be confusing.

Ill-fitting shoes can also cause damage to your developing toddler’s feet. Tight shoes can constrict foot muscles and lead to pain, irritation, and ingrown toenails. Shoes that are too big can lead to more tripping and falling, which is already a big part of your child learning to walk.     

The American Podiatric Medical Association makes the following recommendations for finding the right size for your child

  • Have your child’s feet measured while standing, preferably in the afternoon or evening, because feet swell during the day. 
  • Buy shoes according to your child’s measurements and not their age. 
  • When your child tries the shoes on, make sure they’re not slipping off at the heel. 
  • If your child has one foot that’s larger than the other, buy the larger size.
Best Baby Sandals


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