As the weather warms and adults and kids alike are looking forward to outdoor activities, it is important to choose a minimalist sandal that will be simultaneously comfortable, durable, and good for your feet. This is especially important when it comes to kids.
The rest of this article will list the best barefoot sandals for kids for the spring and summer of 2022.
What are Barefoot Sandals?
Barefoot sandals are the name given to a style of minimalist sandal with few straps and a thin base that conforms naturally to the sole of your foot, giving a similar sensation to being barefoot. This allows the wearer to have the benefits of moving their foot freely, with the added protection of the sole.
The sole is usually made of leather or some equally durable material to give maximum protection while using the minimum amount of material.
Podiatrists praise barefoot footwear, emphasizing that minimalist footwear encourages a different gait pattern that takes the pressure off the ankle and knee, minimizing knee problems later in life.
<div class="heading-small">New to the world of barefoot shoes/sandals?</div>
<div class="_callout-text-wrapper"><p>Learn more about the benefits of barefoot shoes here👟</p></div>
What Should I Look for in Kids' Sandals?
Fit and comfort are of course the most important aspects of a child's shoe. Since young children are very active and very young children (toddlers) oftentimes lack balance, the shoe should be roomy enough to allow them sufficient movement without being too loose and posing a tripping hazard.
Barefoot sandals are particularly beneficial for children, as young children's feet are still growing and developing, and having the beneficial gait influenced by minimalist footwear sets children up for healthy walking patterns as they grow up.
Below are our top picks for the best barefoot sandals for kids:
1.) Zippy Sandals (Tomar Creation)
These sandals are designed for babies and toddlers aged 0 - 3. They are handmade by Tomar Creation, and are made of soft, flexible leather. The sole is constructed from thin, durable rubber, which is standard for most barefoot footwear. A soft layer of comfortable foam sits between the leather and the top of the foot, which protects against blisters.
The Velcro strap fastens behind the heel, making the shoe comfortable but also secure, ensuring that the shoes won't come loose.
Zippy sandals are designed for both boys and girls, coming in a wide range of colors. They are also customizable, with the option to add a sewn leather pattern to the heel or top of the sandal, such as an aeroplane, star, or butterfly.
2.) Z-Trail Sport Sandal (Xero Shoes)
Designed for children and teens aged 3 - 18, the Z-Trail Sport Sandal is made by the company Xero Shoes. The durable foam rubber sole is thin, yet traction makes it ideal for climbing, hiking, and other outdoor activities. The sandals are comfortable and lightweight, designed to protect children's feet while being as inconspicuous as possible.
The Z-shaped straps keep the sandal securely attached to the foot while the sole fits the natural contours of the barefoot, maximizing comfort and stability. They come in three colors: red, blue, and black.
The Z-Trail Sport Sandal comes with Xero Shoes' 5000-mile warranty, which illustrates the company's confidence in its footwear.
3.) Kids Ababa Leather Sandal (Vivobarefoot)
Hand-stitched from leather sourced from the free-range cattle on small Ethiopian farms, Ababa Kids empowers shoemakers and supports Ethiopian communities.
Apart from being an organization that promotes economic stability for developing nations, Ababa Kids delivers high-quality sandals. The sandals themselves are made completely in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, lending to the company's namesake.
The sole is a thin, durable rubber with traction, ensuring great grip. They come with a durable ankle strap and a leather strap over the top of the foot to keep the sandal securely anchored to the foot.
4.) Classic Summer Sandals (Tomar Creation)
Another entry on our list from Tomar Creation, these sandals are made of soft leather with a thin rubber sole. They are sized for children and teens aged 3 - 18 and come in a wide range of colors. The unisex design and variety of colors make them ideal for both boys and girls.
Tomar Creation sandals are hand-made in Slovakia from pure Italian leather. While they are sandals, the straps cover the entire foot, ensuring a secure fit.
5.) Ultra Bloom Kids (Vivobarefoot)
Great for play on both land and in water, Ultra Bloom Kids sandals are unique in that the sole is made from Bloom foam, which is made from algae blooms, the harvesting of which removes these toxic blooms from the ocean and transforms them into something useful.
The flexible, webbed top of the sandal is made from recycled polyester. All materials in the Ultra Bloom Kids sandals are animal-free, making them an ethical choice for barefoot footwear.
The webbing covers the whole foot and the Velcro strap fastens behind the ankle, ensuring a secure fit.
<div class="heading-small">Still not sure? See what the community voted for 🏆</div>
<div class="_callout-text-wrapper"><p>Every year we run the Golden Toe Awards to find the best minimalist footwear. Check out the winners here.</p></div>