Which brand goes best with sandals

The best sandals for kids | Children's sandals tested in 2021

April 24, 2020

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On Instagram I recently asked you about your favorite children's sandals for the summer and got a lot of wonderful answers. In addition to the conventional brands, I was also given some great barefoot shoes for babies and toddlers. When should you get your first pair of shoes and what should you consider when choosing?

When is the first pair of shoes?

Our two sons got their first pair of shoes with their first safe steps on the wall and furniture. For a long time I thought about when the right time was to buy my first shoes and fought my way through all the forums. Unfortunately, we were very early to buy our first shoes, even though we took special advice from a local shoe store at the time: The lady said that standing and a few steps are enough to wear the first shoes. However, this statement is not correct. Why did we choose sturdy shoes so early for the second child? That is probably due to the cold season.

It is recommended that children get their first shoes as soon as they can walk alone for 6 weeks. As a rule, the little ones take their first steps between the 10th and 15th month.

However, I advise against choosing sandals as the very first shoes for the little ones, instead I would go for First walkers decide. It is advisable to always have one in the summer months as well closed pair of shoes to have in the shoe closet.

What should you watch out for?

  • Don't buy your first shoe too early
  • Don't buy shoes that are too big or too small
  • Buy a shoe with a flexible sole that provides good support for a child's foot
  • Feet must be able to breathe
  • Pay attention to the shoe width
  • Removable insoles will help you find it

The right size is crucial: shoes that are too tight or too small could damage the fragile and not yet fully formed bones of children's feet. Shoes that are too big, on the other hand, offer little feet neither stability nor comfort. You should add another 12 mm to 17 mm tolerance to the child's foot length. Since shoe sizes differ from manufacturer to manufacturer, we have thePlus12 increased. It automatically adds 12 mm and you can put it in your shoes to see the right size.

Natural materials such as leather, cotton and wool are particularly breathable. Leather is also very flexible and soft and adapts perfectly to small feet.

The best sandals and brands

I have sorted them especially for you according to the frequency with which they are mentioned. What is important are a buttery-soft sole, breathable materials, a good fit, easy-care fabrics, the place of manufacture, the raw materials that are used in production and whether the shoes are also available in a medium and wide fit. An important criterion is also an environmentally conscious and sustainable production as well as fair working conditions, with fair wages.

For beginners, please make sure that they wear sandals that are closed at the front so that they cannot injure their little toes!

1. Barefoot sandals from Filii

  • Fit: medium& far
  • Materials: leather (also organic), wool, microfibre and rubber soles
  • Production: Sustainable and fair production in the EU
  • From and up to size: from 19 to 35 + adults

2. Sandals from froddo

  • Fit: medium(but were recommended to me as far)
  • Materials: leather and rubber soles
  • Manufacture: in Croatia
  • From and up to size: 18 to 42

3. Naturino sandals

  • Fit: medium
  • Materials: leather, nylon, cotton and plastic soles
  • Manufacture: in Italy
  • From and up to size: from 18 to 40

4. Sandals by Pepino by Ricosta

  • Fit: medium& far
  • Materials: leather (leather from ecologically and quality-conscious European tanneries), soles are made of rubber, caoutchouc and plastic
  • Manufacturing countries: Germany, Hungary, Romania and Poland
  • From and up to size: from 18 to 28 + Ricosta children's shoes from 25 to 35

5. Barefoot sandals from Tikki

  • Fit: medium to wide
  • Materials: 100% chrome-free, vegetable-tanned natural leather and wool from Italy, Germany and Spain and soles made of leather, crepe or rubber
  • Production: in TimiÈ™oara, Romania
  • From and up to size: 17 (crawling shoes) / 19 (children's shoes) to 32 + adults

6. Bisgaard sandals

  • Fit: medium
  • Materials: leather and plastic soles
  • Manufacture: in Portugal
  • Soft sole from size 18 to 33

7. Barefoot sandals from Wildlings

  • Fit: medium
  • Materials: Made of cotton, hemp, linen or boiled wool and made of 80% EVA, 20% walnut shells, polyester, microfiber and soles made of recycled rubber and cork
  • Production: All fabrics are produced in Germany and Europe. The production is located in Porto
  • From and up to size: from 18 to 35 + adults

8. Superfit sandals

  • Fit: medium& far
  • Materials: leather, textile, felt and plastic soles
  • Production: in Hungary and Romania and also some partners / suppliers in the Far East
  • From and up to size: from 19 to 42

9. Keen sandals

  • Fit: medium
  • Materials: Polyurethane, Ethylene Vinyl Acetate, US, European and Australian leather, Dri-Lex and rubber soles
  • Manufacture: in Romania and the USA
  • From and up to size: 17 to 39 + adults
  • Not quite as soft, more suitable for outdoor activities. There are many different models, which can be very soft or very hard. Looks individual. Advantage: very robust and washable.

Other brands that are often mentioned

A little hint: Since many of the brands mentioned above belong to the high-priced models, I got a really great tip from a reader: Magical Shoes via Amazon. With these shoes you absolutely have to know the exact measurements of the feet.


Which brands should I not buy? Do I need shoes in the garden?

My personal tip: You don't need extra children's shoes in summer for the garden or the sandy beach. Especially in summer you should consciously walk barefoot, even as an adult. If a certain surface in the garden gets too hot, I would rather recommend a nice outdoor carpet that protects your feet from too much heat.

I advise against summer shoes like Crocs. Unfortunately, they do not provide enough support for the foot and are quite firm. When vacationing on a pebble beach, there are plenty of soft and pliable water shoes.

Also shoes from the brand Birkenstock are not suitable for children's feet. The firm sole and the preformed footbed are not a healthy alternative for children's feet. The transverse and longitudinal arches still have to develop properly in a toddler. Since these arches are formed by muscles that bring the foot bones into the correct position, a preformed footbed is more than counterproductive. With such a footbed, the arches of the foot are held passively, the muscles no longer have to do anything and are weakened. The footbeds are made by machine, so every shoe is the same. For me personally, Birkenstock fashion shoes are like Nike and Vans and should be kept away from children's feet for as long as possible.


Which sandals do we wear? Our children wear Naturino and Froddo - we are very satisfied. But will test other brands again in the future.

Brands from the list with which we have had experience with sandals: Bisgaard, Naturino and Froddo.


Now you are asked: Which are your absolute favorite sandals for your babies, toddlers and children?