A kid playing outside on a fall day.

A lot of the same features are important when choosing kid's sandals as when choosing men’s sandals or women’s sandals. The straps, soles, and other factors determine whether or not a certain sandal is a practical choice for an active lifestyle. When it comes to buying sandals for kids, there are a couple important considerations to keep in mind.

Fit

A young boy in sandals climbing up a rock.

You want to make sure that kids’ sandals fit just right. Too loose, and the sandal could slide around or even slide off the foot entirely. While a snug fit is preferable, you also want to be careful to avoid buying a sandal that fits too tightly. While many sandals are adjustable, close-toed sandals have a more fixed fit. You should allow about a thumb’s width of space in front of the toe when choosing one of these styles.

Function

Soles of a Teva sandal.

The most economical way to buy kids’ sandals is to choose one sandal that works in many situations. When kids are still going up a shoe size every year, buying one pair of sandals to use for a multitude of outdoor activities is the best bet. A multi-strap, rubber sole sandal can work for walking and hiking over different types of terrain, as well as for participating in water sports like canoeing, kayaking, or sailing. The key factors to consider here are comfort, grip, and breathability. As long as the sandal stays secure on the foot, has good traction on wet or uneven surfaces, and has good airflow, it’s a good choice for versatile footwear.

Other Features

  • Quick-release buckle to help kids and parents put the sandals on and take them off easily
  • Rubber sole for traction
  • Shock-absorbing heel pad for comfort
  • Anti-microbial lining
  • Quick-drying material

Some good sandal brands to consider as you shop for kids’ sandals are Keen, Teva, and Chaco. For expert advice about choosing sandals for kids, visit your local Sun & Ski Sports.