After I published this post about cleaning out my mom’s shoe stash, I got a lot of questions on Facebook about what shoes my kids wear.  Specifically, a lot of folks asked about summer footwear.  At the time, I hadn’t shoe shopped for the kids’ summer shoes, so I didn’t have any good answers.  But, I’ve finished that task now and wanted to share my finds.

Far and away, the best shoes for both my son and daughter came from the pediped Flex line.  I bought my daughter a pair of pediped Nikki Flex:

And I got my son a pair of pediped Sydney Flex:

(A little caveat here – we have small feet in our house.  So my kids, although 6 and 4.5, can still fit into smaller sizes than a lot of kiddos their ages.  The pediped Flex line is designed for kids aged 1 to 8, but all styles are not available in every size.)

I am thrilled to find flexible sandals for both kids that feature a closed-toe.  I don’t have to explain the value in this to any parent who has ever nursed a stubbed, bloody toe with a bent-back nail.  (Bonus points if you were at the beach, because sand and saltwater make the drama so much more fun!)

We tried on versions of the Sun-San sandals, like this one, but ultimately the pedipeds were far flexier in the ball of the toe.

My son really liked this pair of Merrell sandals, and those of you okay with an open-toed option should give them a look.  While not as flexy as the pedipeds, they still have a lot of give in them.

My daughter loved this pair of open-toed sandals from Merrell, and I was okay with their construction, but they just didn’t fit her feet well.

I also bought my daughter this adorable pair of navy Mary Jane sneakers from Cienta.

They’re too big now but should be perfect for school.  I love Cienta shoes because they are very flexible, durable, and adorable.  Plus, they’re a snap to get on and off.  This pair sells at Zappos for under $40.  I’ve had my daughter wearing Keds for years and I am finally putting my foot down and saying no to that brand this fall.  They’re far too inflexible in the toe box and my daughter scoots when she walks in them.  So, Cienta it is!

Each kid has a new pair of TOMS … well, actually my son has a new pair and my daughter got his old pair.  (Which is evidently not something I am supposed to be doing.)  And, as I mentioned before, the kids both got a pair of Speedo water socks that we will use at the pool.  They look a lot like my beloved Sockwas.

I hope this provides you all some ideas and options for summer footwear for the kiddos.  Ultimately, the best judge of a pair of shoes is to watch – or better still LISTEN – to your child walk in them.  Next time you go for a walk with your kid, listen to what you hear when he or she strides.  Do you hear a shuffle sound?  A clomp?  A proper heel strike / toe ball push-off should be blissfully quiet.

Chime in with comments on your healthy footwear finds for kids!

(All photos and links for shoes are from Zappos, which is my go-to footwear source for the kids.  I do not receive any remuneration for these links as I am not affiliated with Zappos in any way except as a customer.  I wanted to make this clear because sometimes I do use links to Amazon in my posts and I am an Amazon affiliate, so I get a few cents when you click through and buy from Amazon.)

Find this post at Nourishing Joy’s Thank Goodness It’s Monday #19!

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