Whether they will wear them on the playground at recess or around the neighborhood during a break from online learning, your children's feet will need some protection this year. Stocking up on
comfortable back to school shoes for kids now will have them set up for the rest of the year and give you one less thing to worry about.
When shopping for children's shoes, there are two very important things to keep in mind: they need to be durable and comfortable. Kids play hard in their shoes, so you want to be sure whatever you buy them will hold up despite all of the wear and tear. Also, kids can be surprisingly picky and no matter how much you spend or how cute you think the shoes are, if they're not comfortable they will not get worn.
As complicated as they may be to find, new shoes are still an essential item on the back to school shopping list. So, to help you get started on your hunt for the perfect kicks, here are a few great options that are cute, durable, and comfortable.
We only include products that have been independently selected by Romper's editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.
Chuck Taylor All Star Low Top Sneakers
Lace up Chuck Taylors are classics, and since these ones come in purple, they have a fun twist. Like most Converse shoes, these sneakers have solid rubber soles that will withstand a good beating and the upper part of the sneaker is breathable for added comfort. One important thing to note about these shoes is that they run large, so you may want to size down for your kid.
Perfect for kids who hate tying their shoes, these slip on shoes have an elastic "V" at the top, so your kid can easily slide their feet in and out without sacrificing a snug fit (and risking a fall). The bottom of the shoe is made from rubber and the top and inner fabric is polyester made with recycled plastic bottles.
Custom Name High Top Sneakers
Made with a canvas top and durable rubber soles, these high tops can be customized with your child's name on them. There are a variety of color combination options, so your kid can get really creative with their design. The shoes lace up for a snug fit and come up to the ankles, providing a little extra support.
Wonder Nation Shine Power Athletic High-Top Sneakers
Aside from looking great, these high-top sneakers are also super comfortable with jersey interior lining and ankle support. While the sneakers have laces, they actually also have a zipper on the inner side of the shoes to make them easier to take on and off. The sole of the shoe is made from durable rubber and the upper part is made from perforated fabric to provide good air circulation.
Adidas Adilette Comfort Slide Sandals
Great for warm days or after sports, these slip-on sandals have a cushioned footbed and an adjustable hook/loop strap along the top to ensure a perfect fit. The design is simple and understated, but also hides dirt and, since they're made of synthetic materials, can easily be wiped clean if they happen to get a little too muddy.
Skechers S Sport Ada Sneakers
These sneakers are cute and cozy with a mesh upper material that provides great air circulation and has a sparkle finish to give them a little glam. The laces are made from elastic bungee to ensure a perfect fit without having to tie/untie the shoe, there is a cushioned insole for added comfort, and the outer soles are made to be non-marking (so they won't scuff up the floors).
Unicorn High Top Sneakers
If the amazing unicorn shoe tongues aren't enough to convince you to buy these shoes, maybe the quality high top design will. These sneakers are laced all the way up to the ankle, providing a snug fit and extra support. They also have a textured rubber sole and pull tabs on the back of the shoe so they're easy to put on and take off.
Your kid can wear these comfortable sophisticated-looking shoes without worry, since they're made from faux leather and can be easily wiped down for cleaning. The laces are just there for looks because the shoe slides on and off easily thanks to the side zipper. The inside sole is lined for comfort and the tongue and heel have pull tabs to make sure the boot fits comfortably.
Toms Cabernet Glitter Rib Knit Classics
The color combination (and subtle sparkles) of this slip on shoe is what makes them stand out, but they're still super comfortable and durable thanks to the non-slip rubber sole and padded insole. They don't have any laces, but there's an elastic "V" at the top of each shoe, making them easy to take on and off without sacrificing a snug fit.
Wonder Nation Striped Casual Court Shoes
Not only are these cushioned sneakers adorable, but they're also a steal at Walmart! They have lace-up fronts for a custom fit, a padded tongue and collar for extra comfort, and have a perforated inner lining to provide good air circulation. Even better, they're made with non-marking soles so they won't scuff up the floors.
Adidas Originals Superstar Elastic Sneakers
These basic Adidas lace-up sneakers are classic, but they're also really durable with their textured rubber sole and leather and synthetic upper design. They're made with comfort in mind, too, because they mold to the foot, require no wear-in time, and are super flexible, making them great for running around.
With their unique design, these sneakers are colorful, stylish, and comfortable. They're made for either athletic or leisure wear and have great traction on the outer soles so your kids can run around outside without worrying about slipping. Instead of traditional laces, these sneakers have adjustable elastic bungee straps which provide a flexible but snug fit.
Cat & Jack Lucian Sneakers
Made with a 100% cotton upper and soft flexible insole, these sneakers are breathable and comfortable for casual wearing or running around outside. They have faux lace fronts and two side zippers and a heel tab to make them easy to put on and take off. Not to mention, they're really cute.
Vans UA Classic Slip-On Sneakers
Your kiddo can add some color to their wardrobe with these canvas slip on sneakers. They have a non-slip rubber sole with a fabric inner lining for extra comfort. Since they don't have laces, they have two small pieces of elastic on the top to keep them snug when they're on, which also makes it easy for your kid to put them on and take off.
Cat & Jack Aleah Microfiber Chelsea Booties
Available in either blush or black, these microfiber booties have a firm design to provide a little ankle support without sacrificing comfort. Each boot has elastic on one side and a zipper on the other to make putting them on and taking them off a breeze. They also have a slightly elevated heel which has quilted stitching for a little bit of extra style.
Adidas Ultimafuture Running Shoes
With a breathable knit upper design and textured rubber sole, these sneakers are both comfortable and practical. They are laced for a custom snug fit, have a cushioned insole, and a pull tab on the heel to ensure a comfortable fit. When they're on, the sneakers hug the feet, giving them a "sock-like" feel.
Wonder Nation Confetti Party Low-Top Court Sneakers
These sneakers are made with an iridescent fabric with a non-toxic water pouch filled with confetti that glitters and shakes around with each step. The rubber soles are textured and flexible, giving them a good grip without being stiff (and they're non-marking). They're not just for looks, either, because the lace-up design provides a custom fit and the inside sole is made with a padded sock for extra comfort.
Cat & Jack Florian Mid Top Sneakers
They look like a boot but fit like a sneaker, making these shoes both stylish and comfortable. They have laces that can be tightened for just the right fit in addition to a side zipper, making them easy to slip on and off without having to untie the laces. The textured sole is made from rubber and polyester with reinforced heel and toe to keep the shoes durable.
Back to school shopping may look a little different this year, but your kids strong opinions of shoes likely haven't changed. Finding the right balance of comfort, style, and durability isn't always easy, but it's worth the extra effort to know your kids will actually wear their new shoes and not just toss them into the corner of their closet.