Summer holiday season is here, and if the recent heatwave has got you thinking about holiday shopping, you've come to the right place.
Whether your holiday plans centre around paddling in the pool, swimming in the sea or frolicking in streams and lakes, a good pair of water shoes for children makes all the difference.
Scroll on for our edit of the best beach and water shoes for kids and prepare for your best summer ever.
How we chose the best kids' beach shoes for summer 2023
- Price: We looked for shoes that were the most affordable - kids grow so quickly that realistically these shoes will be good for a single summer only. You don’t want to be spending an arm and a leg on them
- Ease of putting on and taking off: We wanted above all to find shoes that little people would have no problem putting on and taking off themselves.
- Design: Fun, bright shoes were the order of the day - summer is all about having fun, after all!
- Non-slip: Safety was a big concern. Since the children will be wearing these to run around in wet areas they had to have good grips to avoid accidents
- Durable: All the shoes we considered were sturdy and durable enough to withstand endless days of running around, jumping about and playing.
- Easy to clean: Since these shoes are going to get wet, muddy and sandy they had to be all of the wipe / wash clean under the tap variety
Best kids beach shoes for summer 2023
M&S Kids Monster Crocs
Available sizes: Children's size 4 to children’s size 13
These clogs are a favourite with M&S shoppers, who often buy multiple pairs. They’re waterproof, grip proof and easy to clean. You can shop the full range of Marks & Spencer beach clogs here.
Editors note: "These shoes are super fun and are less than half price than RRP of Crocs, which are basically the same, but last a little longer. I've bought M&S clogs several years running for my two and they do look quite worn out by the end of the summer, but it's never been an issue since they had outgrown them by next year anyway."
Decathalon Elasticated Aqua Shoes 120 for Kids
Available sizes: Children’s size 9.5 to adult's size 2.5
These elasticated Aquashoes are designed to be worn while swimming in the sea and exploring rocks on the shore – they remove the danger of little ones cutting their feet on sharp stones. They come in a wide range of colours to keep everyone happy.
Editor's note: "Decathalon in general is our go-to for sporting essentials for kids and the adults in the family alike. We've had these shoes in the past for the kids to go wading in the sea with when there were pebbles and rocks on the sea bed that could have hurt their feet. They're easy to get on and off and dry really quickly."
Crocs Unisex Classic Kids' Clogs
Available sizes: Children’s size 2 to adult size 10
Crocs are the original beach shoe that spawned all the copies. The advantage of shelling out for the real deal is they tend to last longer and wear much better than other models. They’re a bit more pricey, but you can find bargains on Amazon, like the ones above. They’re available in a rainbow of colours, but some colours are more expensive than others, so check before you add to basket!
Editor's note: “Crocs are the shoes we just keep coming back to year after year. Everyone in the family owns a pair, even the adults! I tend to size up with Crocs in an attempt to get them to last a couple of years - they're so durable that they will last. When compared to 'own brand' imitations at the end of the summer, you can see the difference - the Crocs hold up much better."
There's also currently a sale on at the Crocs online store, so you can snap up some bargains at up to 50% off. The kids' baya crocs are 30% off and available in blue, navy or pink.
Crocs Kids' Baya Clogs
Jojo Maman Bebe Summer Garden & Swim Shoes
Available sizes: 0-6 months to 24 months
If you’re heading to beach with a baby or toddler, these shoes, which are available in pink and blue, are perfect. They are made from quick-drying neoprene, have a special flexible grippy sole, protect little feet from sharp stones and sand, and can be worn while swimming too.
Editor's note "I have great memories of these shoes - they were my son's first 'proper' shoes when he was just getting to grips with walking, and they were brilliant. He never complained about wearing them (which definitely can't be said for all of his early shoes!) And they were perfect for everything from beach days to pool days."
HAVAIANAS Girls Brazil logo II flip flops
Available sizes: EU 21-26
These Havaianas are a mini-me version of the iconic adult flip-flops that we all know and love. The heel strap is a great addition to help little ones keep them on when they're running around.
Editor's note: "I've not personally bought these shoes for my children as they can't stand the feeling of having the strap between their toes, but I've included them in this roundup because I know how good Havaianas are as a brand. My husband swears by them and I know from his recommendation that they're super comfy and durable."
Birkenstock peach Arizona Eva sandals
Available sizes: Children’s size 6 to adult size 3
Birkenstock is famous for super comfy sandals and they’ve released some amazing waterproof kids' sandals that are perfect for the beach or pool. Modelled on the cork original, they're made from ultra-lightweight and highly flexible EVA – a high-quality, odour-neutral synthetic material which has been tested for harmful substances and is shock-absorbent, waterproof, and skin-friendly. Shop the full range of kids' Birkenstock here
Editor's note: "I have several pairs of Birkenstocks and the waterproof kids' version is amazing. Don't worry if your child can't do up the buckles, you can just slip them on. These purple ones are a hit with my six-year-old daughter, but they're available in a number of different colours to suit everyone."
Available sizes: Children's size 2 to adult size 2
These cute shoes are light and comfortable and like a second skin in the water. The sole is rubber and the upper is made of stretchy dive material. There’s a removable insole that can be removed for washing.
Editor’s note: “We got some that were practically identical to these just for going in the sea. My daughter was bothered by sharp stones and shells and worried about stepping on jellyfish. These shoes took away her anxiety - don’t expect them to last more than one season though.”
Why you should trust me
Aside from the fact that I’ve been an expert professional shopper for HELLO! Online for over three years now, I’m a mum-of-two myself, and I’ve owned shoes similar to, if not the exact shoes from this roundup during the last ten years. I’m based in Spain, where I work remotely, so pool and beach days are a daily occurrence during the summer months. Trust me, when it comes to beach/water shoes, I’ve tried them all!