First Hikes: Choosing the Best Toddler Hiking Shoes
Open trails open up a whole new world for little explorers. Toddlers love the vantage point from backpack carriers, but as they get more mobile (and you get more patient!), they’ll be eager to do some trail blazing of their own.
If you are planning to take your toddler on his or her first hike this year, keep these tips in mind when it comes to gearing up your littlest hiker for the adventure and shopping for toddler hiking shoes.
Flexible, low-profile outsole
New walkers need lots of ground feel as they gain confidence in their newfound mobility. Flexible construction supports natural movement to help develop strong, healthy feet and fine-tune their balance.
Protect those cute toes from all the stumbles that come with navigating new terrain. (Hooray for the iconic KEEN toe bumper!)
Those little feet don’t need extra bulk right now. Protect them without weighing them down by opting for lightweight sandals and shoes.
Roomy and breathable fit
Their toes may be adorably teeny, but they need some wiggle room as they grow. Shoes with a wide fit give toddler feet the space they need to move freely and stay comfortable.
Outside adventures involve everything from sand to sidewalks. Supportive, grippy sandals and shoes that can go anywhere will become their go-to for everywhere.
Practical details go a long way toward making every adventure easier for active families. An easy-on design, machine washability, pesticide-free odor control (KEEN uses natural, probiotic-based Eco Anti-Odor), and PFAS-free water repellency create peace of mind.
Our picks: KEEN Kids’ favorites
The KEEN Kids team’s top toddler hiking shoes are Toddlers’ Chandler CNX and Knotch Peak sneakers and Toddlers’ Seacamp II CNX sandals, as all three offer lots of ground feel and plenty of wiggle room for toes. (Shop them below.) Once toddlers move into preschool territory, more rugged hikers come into play. Our Little Kids’ Targhee Sport vent and Targhee waterproof shoes, and Ridge Flex boots, are great all-around options.
Not sure what size your kiddo needs?
Download our printable, easy-peasy Kids' Sizing Chart (pdf).
Have fun out there, and be sure to share your adventures with us by tagging @keen.kids on Instagram.