Is your family planning to embark on hiking adventures with your little ones this year? If so, one essential investment you should make is a high-quality pair of children’s hiking shoes. While kids may not prioritize their footwear, the right pair of hiking shoes can make a significant difference in their comfort and safety while exploring the great outdoors.
What to Consider When Choosing Kids Hiking Shoes
Comfort: The Key to Happy Feet
The top priority should always be comfort when selecting hiking shoes for kids. Each child is unique, so it’s a good idea to have them try on a few different pairs to find the most comfortable fit. Even if this means purchasing two pairs and returning one, it’s worth the effort to ensure your child’s comfort on the trail.
Support: Keeping Little Feet Secure
When hiking, kids’ feet endure a lot of strain. Look for hiking shoes that offer support for the arch and toe. If your child tends to roll their ankles or fall often, opt for hiking shoes with a mid or high height to provide additional ankle support.
Traction: Keeping Kids on Their Feet
From a child’s perspective, hiking is an opportunity to scramble on rocks, jump on logs, and run down hills. Since it’s impossible to slow kids down, the next best thing is to equip them with hiking shoes that have excellent traction. Unlike sneakers, hiking shoes offer superior grip, making them a worthwhile investment for any hike, whether it’s along the shores of Hawaii or the mountains of Colorado.
Waterproof: Dry Feet for Happy Hikers
Many kids hiking shoes are now designed to be waterproof, which can be both a blessing and a curse. While waterproof shoes keep feet dry, they may lack breathability. Before choosing waterproof hiking shoes, consider the climate and terrain you’ll primarily be hiking in. If you live in a wet climate or plan to hike in snowy conditions, waterproof hiking boots are highly recommended. However, if you’ll be hiking in warmer weather, outdoor sandals or sturdy water shoes with excellent traction may be a better option.
Remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to choosing the best hiking shoe for every child. Each child’s foot is different, so it’s crucial to find the right fit for your little one’s individual needs.
Our Top Picks for Kids Hiking Shoes
Merrell Moab 3 Waterproof Kids Hiking Boots: The Ultimate Support
Sizes: Kids 10.5 – Youth 7
These Merrell kids hiking boots are an absolute favorite. Offering exceptional ankle support, they are perfect for more challenging and longer hiking journeys. Our 14-year-old wore them on a 50-mile backpacking trip and found them incredibly reliable. With these boots, you can have peace of mind knowing your child’s feet are secure and well-protected. Plus, they come in four different colors, making them suitable for both boys and girls.
Key Features of the Merrell Moab kids hiking boot:
- Waterproof to keep feet dry
- Reinforced toe for added durability
- Leather and mesh upper construction
- Antimicrobial lining to prevent odors
- Excellent traction
Looking for lighter options? Merrell has recently introduced the kids Moab Speed hiking boot, available in both waterproof and regular versions. These boots offer impressive flexibility and a more flexible sole—definitely worth considering.
Salomon Xa Pro 3D Waterproof Trail Running Shoes for Kids: Versatile and Dependable
If your child prefers the comfort of running shoes while hiking, Salomon Xa Pro 3D waterproof trail running shoes are an excellent choice. These shoes offer the perfect balance between versatility and support. Your child can wear them for various activities, from hiking and mountain biking to everyday wear. Designed to provide extra traction, these waterproof shoes will keep your child’s feet dry during wet or snowy conditions.
Altra Lone Peak Trail Running Shoes: Freedom of Movement
We highly recommend Altra trail running shoes for older kids and teens. These shoes feature a wider toe box to give feet ample room to move while still providing excellent support. Although not specifically designed for kids, we discovered that their smallest women’s shoe size fits boys with size 2 feet. The lightweight and flexible design, along with superior traction, make Altra trail running shoes ideal for active young hikers.
Merrell Kids Altalight Low Hiking Shoes: Lightweight and Breathable
For a versatile shoe that’s perfect for running, scrambling over rocks, or even mountain biking, consider the Merrell Kids Altalight Low Hiking Shoes. These lightweight hiking shoes for kids offer exceptional breathability, keeping feet cool on hot summer hikes. The anti-bacterial lining helps prevent odors, making them an ideal choice for kids who tend to have sweaty feet. With their flexible construction and excellent traction, your child will have the confidence to conquer any trail.
Adidas Outdoor Trailmaker: Unbeatable Traction
Sizes: Kids 10.5 – Youth 7
Adidas Outdoor has created a line of kids’ outdoor footwear that surpasses expectations. The Trailmaker hiking shoe, with its supportive tennis-shoe-like design and remarkable traction, stands out among the options. These shoes are perfect for rough or uneven terrain, offering stability and durability. Waterproof and abrasion-resistant, they are built to withstand various outdoor conditions. Choose the Adidas Terrex kids hiking shoe for exceptional traction and extraordinary performance.
La Sportiva Jynx: The Perfect Trail Running Shoe
La Sportiva Jynx is an excellent choice for teenagers who crave trail running adventures. Combining the comfort of a sneaker with the stability of a youth hiking shoe, these trail runners provide the perfect blend of shock absorption and comfort. The outstanding outsole traction ensures your child’s safety while hiking uphill or downhill. With added protection from the rubber toe cap and heel stabilizer, these shoes offer durability and peace of mind.
Please note that these are just a few of our top recommendations. Visit our website for a detailed review of the 15 best hiking boots and hiking shoes for kids, including those we’ve personally tried and loved.
Remember, finding the right hiking shoes for your child is an individualized process that requires considering their unique needs. While the choices may seem overwhelming, our comprehensive reviews and expert recommendations will help you make an informed decision.
Investing in quality hiking shoes for your kids will ensure their comfort and safety on the trails, whether you’re exploring Moab Utah, trekking through Glacier National Park, or conquering the Tetons. So, gear up your little adventurers with the perfect footwear, and let the outdoor exploration begin!
To learn more about Thumbuddy To Love’s range of hiking shoes for kids, visit their website here.