The Perfect Affordable Summer Shoes for Kids
There are some things I hate doing as part of my daily life, and laundry is one of them. I have a whole heap of tips about how to make laundry less stressful, but today I'm going to share one that makes three months of my life so much easier. Finding socks, washing socks, and matching socks, are all things I hate. I find socks everywhere. I find them in the yard, my flower beds, the car, the toy room (I could clothe a small nation with the clothes I find up there), the basketball court, the garage, E-V-E-R-Y-W-H-E-R-E, which means a hunting party just to do the laundry. Plus, socks get so dirty and gross with outside summer play, and they never look good again after that first wear of the summer.
A few years ago I instituted sockless summers for the kids. During the school year socks are essential, but in the summer it's hot, and going sockless is kind of a relief, but can also pose some problems. Our kids play outside all day climbing, running, playing soccer, riding bikes and scooters, chasing chickens, foraging in my gardens, building forts, and hiking. Flip flops and sandals are great for the pool, but they just won't cut it for these activities. On the other hand, wearing tennis shoes without socks gets hot, sweaty and STINKY. My kids also hate taking sneakers off and putting them on as they come in and out of the house because they are a pain to put on and lace up. They'll take off barefoot instead of mess with sneakers, and that means bloody toes, thistles and dirty, dirty feet. I solved both of those problems with the sneaker sandal combo, which is the best summer shoe I've found for boys and girls.
The Best Summer Shoes for kids
Each summer I buy my kids a pair of sneaker sandals and they are perfect for everything. They have a closed toe so they can kick a soccer ball without hurting their toes and they can ride scooters without taking a chunk of skin off their toes (which cuts down on our family bandaid consumption). They are easy to get on and off with the velcro. They are also meant to be water shoes, so the kids can go in the lake or river with them on, wear them to the beach and pool or stomp in puddles, and they dry quickly. Being water shoes also means I can easily hose them off when (not if) they are muddy or sandy. To keep feet cooler they have open sides and backs for breathing which means less stink. You know what else I love about sockless summers? When I pack for all these trips, I don't have to pack socks! Or keep up with them on the trip! Or make sure all the mates come home with us! After school starts we keep them as play shoes for after school and weekends, which preserves those new school shoes I just spent a fortune on (am I the only one whose kids like to use the toe of their sneakers as brakes on their scooters and bikes?).
I'm starting to shop for their summer wardrobe, and I already ordered their sneaker sandals. These shoes will be going with us to Costa Rica next month, and will be perfect for zip lining, hiking volcanoes, horseback riding, trekking to waterfalls, jungle excursions and the beach. The only problem is this type of shoe can be really expensive. Fortunately I found a brand that is very affordable and durable. I've bought them the last 3 summers, and I just bought them for a fourth. Amazon is hands down the least expensive place to buy them as well.
I ordered these for my toddler, these for my 7-year-old girl, my oldest daughter is getting these, and my three boys are getting these and these in their colors. The only style I don't recommend is these. My son insisted on them last summer, and they don't protect the toes enough. He was constantly scraping them. One bit of advice, these shoes run at least a full size too big. Depending on where my kids are between shoe sizes, they need 1-2 sizes smaller than their other shoes. These perfect summer shoes are affordable, durable and last us the whole summer and into the fall. If their feet didn't grow so fast, they'd last longer because they are so durable, and they take a lot of abuse.
Shoes are one of those items that we stick to assigned colors, especially because I have 4 triplets (triplets plus one who came a year later and has always been part of the crew) who all wear nearly the same shoe size, and figuring out which shoes belong to whom is a nightmare if they aren't color coded.
Are you ready for summer? Have you started shopping for your kids? What kinds of activities do you do that require a shoe like this?
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