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14 Adorable Shoes for Toddlers & Young Kids for Back-to-School

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Fall is coming, and that means the ritual of looking at your kid’s feet and saying, “How did they get so big?”

When it comes to buying shoes for your kids–especially when they are toddlers and small–it can be hard to know what to do. For new walkers, runners and climbers, shoes that support their feet are important–but what does support actually mean?

According to Katy Bowman, biomechanist and author of “Move Your DNA,” flexible soles are the way to go. She said soft soles “allow the feet muscles to do their work.” This also means, don’t buy kids shoes that are basically just replicants of “adult shoes.” Kid shoes should be made for them to learn to walk and play–not go to a fancy cocktail party. Sharon Blumberg, footwear expert at CHOOZEShoes.com wrote about this too, saying:

“Kids’ shoes should be designed with kids in mind and should allow kids to do what they do best: play. Many kids shoes today, especially the styles that are smaller versions of the women’s shoes, do not have the features and benefits that are important for gait development.”

Joanne Cox, associate chief of general pediatrics at Children’s Hospital in Boston, also added that open-toed shoes may also be hard for young kids to walk in, because of lack of support:

“Open-toed shoes don’t offer a lot of foot protection for a child just learning to walk. So closed-toed shoes are generally better. And the same goes for shoes like Crocs–kids can easily trip on these types of shoes if they’re just learning to walk and not entirely stable. So hold off on these until around age 2 or later.”

With all of this in mind, it’s still nice to have a cute pair or two for special occasions and photos. So I rounded up some adorable toddler and children’s shoes for back-to-school, ranging from the stiffer for older kids to the flexible for the youngest:

1. Doc Martens red patent shoes, $65 (toddlers)

http://amzn.to/2w4btab

2. Gold high tops, $23 (toddler – kids)

http://amzn.to/2vCHhQq

3. Sketchers heart sneakers, $20 (kids)

http://amzn.to/2hZHc69

4. Carter’s Hello sneakers, $12 (toddler – kids)

http://amzn.to/2vxZVL0

5. TOM’s for kids, $16 (baby – kids)

http://amzn.to/2wJLTo3

6. Sparkle rainbow shoes, $13 (toddler – kids)

shoes

7. Monster sneakers, $20 (toddler – kids)

http://amzn.to/2i0rJmj

8. Floral Doc Martens, $88 (kids)

http://amzn.to/2uDugZL

9. Mary Janes (brown or black), $22 (toddlers)

http://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=1012858&pcid=37243&vid=1&pid=829291012

10. Bear sneakers, $24 (toddler)

http://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=1036295&pcid=1036281&vid=1&pid=823407002

11. Dog shoes,  Robeez $15 (toddler)

https://www.robeez.com/doggy-dale-baby-shoes/

12. Moon shoes, Robeez $26

https://www.robeez.com/over-the-moon-baby-shoes-soft-soles/

13. Dino shoes, Robeez $26 (baby – toddler)

https://www.robeez.com/dino-dan-baby-shoes-soft-soles/

14. Bear shoes, $26 (baby – toddler)

https://www.robeez.com/brainy-bear-baby-shoes-grey-soft-soles/

The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. Comments are moderated, so use your inside voices, keep your hands to yourself, and no, we're not interested in herbal supplements.

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