14 best kids' shoes for summer

Keep little feet protected and supported this summer with our pick of the best footwear for children

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The Independent Online

Summer’s here – time to chuck out those clunky winter shoes. Our round-up brings you summer footwear for both genders, all ages, and every kind of terrain and occasion. 

1. Clarks Mirlo Air: £34, Clarks

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If you only get one pair of summer shoes this year, make them these top-notch navy and orange leather sandals. There are different widths and half-sizes available, and the adjustable rip-tape means they suit feet of all shapes and sizes. The sole has a good grip and they are lightweight, as well as being instantly comfy.

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2. Monsoon Natural Beaded Tassel Sandals: £20, Monsoon 

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Tassels are all the rage this summer, and there’s no need for kids to miss out on a slice of the action, thanks to these bohemian-look sandals with beaded detail. A real statement pair of summer shoes, they also fit well, thanks to the zip fastening on the side. There’s a good grip and lots of cushioning.

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3. Geox Children's Balù Boy Cut-Out Shoes: £42.50, John Lewis

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No need for hot and sweaty little feet with this brand that’s been making breathable shoes since the 1950s. The secret is in the rubber sole, which contains micro holes, and a lining of special membrane. This pair also has holes in the nubuck and leather mix, along with a removable insole. 

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4. Havaianas Kids Slim Pop: £22, Havaianas 

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These flip-flops from Havaianas are hands-down the most comfortable on the market. They have no shortage of fun, child-focused fun themes, with our favourite for this year being this popcorn print pair. The design won’t fade after multiple washes, thankfully. 

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5. Boden Laceless Canvas Pull-ons: £22.50, Boden

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No need for socks or laces with these casual canvas shoes which are easy to put on and take off. Available in a number of new colours for this year – grey, navy and khaki – they need a bit of breaking in, although not much, and we’d advise buying a size down as they come up big.

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6. JuJu Jellies: £15, Schuh 

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Juju is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the iconic British 90’s jelly sandal. And its unique jelly shoes, which are 100 per cent recyclable, are still going strong, with styles and colours for every age group. They’re waterproof, comfy and made to last. 

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7. Bobux Twist: £42, Bobux 

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Bobux is a New Zealand brand that’s all about comfort, and its shoes use the softest leather we’ve come across in kids’ shoes. This funky pair for toddlers and pre-schoolers is a great hybrid between canvas and sandal. Available in either red or pink, both with navy and white stripes.

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8. Brantano Pod Rocket Canvas Shoes: £16, Brantano

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Aimed at younger kids, these fun, space-themed, everyday canvas shoes fit well, thanks to good sizing, elasticated lace and rip-tape strap. They’re well cushioned, yet sturdy, making them a great choice for adventurous little ones. 

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9. Start-Rite Girls’ Buckle English Classics: £36, Start Rite

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Hard-wearing sandals can be a nightmare at giving kids blisters, especially when they’re first worn. Not so with this timeless pair from Start-Rite, which our testers said were a joy to wear from the off. Part of the Classic range, they are available in various colours and in half sizes.

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10. River Island Boys Weave Boat Shoes: £26, River Island

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Boat shoes are a great investment for the summer because they do for almost every occasion. These ones have just the right balance of smart and casual, with a durable rubber sole and an attractive weave finish with contrast stitching. Also available in brown.

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11. Lelli Kelly’s Children’s Love Hearts Rip Tape Shoes: £54.90, John Lewis

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You want practical, but she wants pretty and sparkly. Sound familiar? These Italian-made shoes provide a combination of both, with gems, sequins and beads galore, but also a sturdy sole and canvas upper. The rip-tape makes them a doddle to remove and put on. They’re expensive, but they are pretty darn special.

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12. Crocs Bump It Clog: £24.99, Crocs

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Suitable for every kind of terrain, including the beach, and easy to slip on and off, crocs also have plenty of ventilation holes. No wonder so many kids live in them all summer. While there are lots of new themed pairs for this summer, including Star Wars, we love this vintage look pair, available in lots of different colours.

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13. Next Flatform Wedge: from £17, Next

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Older girls will love these denim look wedge shoes that make them that little bit taller, but will still keep them comfortable. And as they’re available in smaller sizes too, there’s no need for younger girls to miss out either. They’re versatile and a good fit, as well as a bargain price for the quality.

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14. New Look Textured Slip on Plimsoles: £14.99, New Look

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Available in pink, white or black, these are aimed at tweens and older. They look great and are spot on for days when they don’t want to bare their toes. We found they last well too, making them excellent value for the price.

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Verdict

Clarks Mirlo Air get our top vote for boys this year, whilst the Bobux Twist gets our biggest thumbs up for girls. For a unisex option, we love Crocs Bump It Clog.

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing

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