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9 Best Toddler Hiking Boots 2023

Looking for the best toddler hiking boots for little feet? Here are the top best hiking boots options for your little one.

Are you planning on hitting the trails with your little one this year? Well, you must invest in a great pair of hiking boots for them!

While your little bundle of energy will be perfectly content to run around barefoot or in whatever pair of shoes they have, with the right hiking boots, you will be able to avoid any unnecessary accidents and injuries on a family hike.

It’s totally worthwhile because they’ll get to have the time of their life while you enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing that their feet are well protected. 

So where can you start your search for the perfect hiking boots for toddlers? Well, if this is the position you’re currently in, you have come to the right place!

Here is a detailed on everything you need to know about toddler hiking boots, from what to look for to recommendations for the best ones you can buy right now. 

This post may contain affiliate links.

What factors to consider when it comes to toddler hiking boots? 

Here are the most important things to consider when choosing the best hiking shoes for your toddler: 

Traction

Proper traction is extremely important for little ones who are attempting to cross streams or climb up rocks for the first time.

Slipping in such a situation can lead to serious injury and good traction can help prevent that in a good pair of hiking boots.

No matter what type of terrain your toddler will be tackling on their hike, proper traction is critical.

Even if they are only going to play in their hiking boots, go for a brand that comes with a form of anti-slip or ultra-grip technology to keep their safe. 

Support

Once you set out on your adventures, expect your little one to get lots of scrapes and scratches. That’s part of the fun, and they’ll heal up pretty quickly.

However, an injury like a sprained ankle or a torn ligament is a very different story. Not only is it extremely painful and will take a lot longer to heal, but if not treated carefully, it could lead to a nagging pain that could last years. Therefore, you want to prevent this at all costs. 

Go for hiking boots that go over the ankle to provide additional protection to the ankles and offer lots of extra support as your toddler moves.

Depending on the terrain you’ll be going to, you can also use lighter hiking shoes to encourage more movement around the ankles. 

Comfort

Comfort is the only way to stop your kiddo from complaining once you start hiking. It is arguably the most important consideration to make when shopping for toddler hiking shoes, or any shoes for kids for that matter.

If your toddler’s shoes are hurting their feet, they will not have fun. You may end up having to carry their for the entire duration of the hike, which is even less fun, especially for you on a long hike.

Fastening System

Getting your little one’s feet in their shoes is a battle that every parent has to fight. It is up to you whether this battle is going to be easy or challenging.

Hiking boots with laces will make your life unnecessarily difficult. Go for shoes with velcro closures, ties,  or slip-on boots instead. 

Are they waterproof? 

This may come as a surprise to you, but waterproof hiking boots have limited usability for toddlers.

They are great for situations where your toddler will come into contact with just a little water, such as a light drizzle or walking through a shallow pool. 

However, they do have some downsides.

First, no waterproof hiking shoes are 100% waterproof. When your toddler jumps into a puddle, their socks, feet, and shoes will inevitably get wet. Secondly, once wet, waterproof hiking shoes take longer to dry.

They also become heavier and have lower breathability when wet. And when water is trapped in your toddler’s shoes for too long, it can cause issues like foot od or and blisters. 

I would not say this is the most important thing when it comes to hiking boots for small feet. Even in a non-waterproof boot, your child will likely be just fine in a light rain.

If wet feet are a concern, though, keep this in mind when shopping for toddler hiking boots.

Price

There are great toddler hiking boots at every price point. Generally speaking, though, the higher the price tag, the better the quality of the shoe, although some brands subvert this and make amazing boots at very affordable prices.

As long as the boots you are eyeing check all the boxes above, you should be fine no matter what the price is. 

Minimalist Style

This is a subjective factor that will depend on your and your toddler’s tastes. Minimalist shoes are important for your little ones foot development.

Sometimes, it is best to keep it simple and go for hiking boots in a minimalist style with a flexible sole and a simple color instead of something flashy or with all sorts of bells and whistles.

Remember, these are hiking boots and they are going to get dirty before too long. No point in having bows and ribbons and all sorts of design elements on there. 

Warranty

The best toddler hiking boots come with a generous warranty.

This serves as a form of quality assurance from the brand that their product is high-quality and they stand behind it.

Whenever possible, ensure your toddler’s hiking shoes are backed by a warranty before you buy them. 


9 Best Toddler Hiking Boots

1. Keen Little Kids’ Targhee Waterproof Shoe – Best Overall Pick

Price: $30-$120
Fastening system: Hoop and loop strap closure
Waterproof: YES
Warranty: 1-year warranty
Sizes available: Little Kid (4-8 years), Big Kid (8-12 years)

Keen Footwear is a brand that specializes in outside styles for men, women, and children.

They make shoes, boots, bags, socks, and clothing for outdoorsy people. Of all their products, though, they are most famous for their amazing shoes. 

Keen Little Kids’ Targhee Waterproof Shoes come with rubber soles that offer a multi-directional grip. They also have a mesh lining that is designed to keep tiny feet cool in warm weather.

The brand offers their Targhee Waterproof shoes in both Little Kid and Big Kid sizes. 

You’ll love how tough these shoes are, which makes them perfect for any terrain you might encounter on your hiking trail.

They also have a minimalist design that makes them usable beyond the trail, which means that your little one can wear them to school if they wants to. 

They offer good grip and are a good option for both longer hikes and short hikes.

Shop KEEN on Amazon here

2. Keen Toddlers’ Knotch Chukka – Most Size Options

Price: $34-$106
Fastening system: Adjustable hook and loop, velcro closure
Waterproof: NO
Warranty: 1-year warranty
Sizes available: Toddler (1-4 years), Little Kid (4-8 years), Big Kid (8-12 years)

Keen Toddlers’ Knotch Chukka boots are designed to provide superior grip in slippery environments.

They are great for cold or wet environments as they are insulated for your little one’s comfort.

These are not waterproof boots but they provide great traction and support thanks to their high tops. These are great for young feet as they offer a variety of sizes.

They are available in toddler, little kid, and big kid sizes. 

Shop KEEN on Amazon here

3. Keen Toddlers’ Chandler CNX

Price: $29-$106
Fastening system: Quick-lace bungee, Hook and loop
Waterproof: NO
Warranty: 1-year warranty
Sizes available: Toddler (1-4 years), Little Kid (4-8 years), Big Kid (8-12 years)

Keen Toddler’s Chandler CNX boots are 100% synthetic toddler hiking shoes that feature a rubber sole with a countered arch for extra support and comfort.

They are designed to be easy for little hands to put on and take off. Apart from hiking, they are also perfect for everyday use, which means your little one will be able to get lots of utility out of them. 

Shop on Amazon here

4. Northside Unisex-Child Rampart Mid-Hiking Boot – Best Full Boot

Price: $24-$50
Fastening system: Shoelaces
Waterproof: NO
Warranty: 1-year warranty
Sizes available: Toddler (1-4 years), Little Kid (4-8 years), Big Kid (8-12 years)

Northside has been making men’s, women’s, and kids’ outdoor shoes since 1985.

Today, the brand is famous for making high-quality yet reasonably-priced shoes that come with features that allow you to do the things that you actually want to do. And they bring this same design philosophy to their toddler hiking boots. 

The Northside Unisex-Child Rampart Mid Hiking Boot is a 100% leather hiking boot that is designed to maximize your kiddo’s comfort as they hike.

It is an all-weather outdoor boot that comes with a moisture-wicking lining inside to keep your little one’s feet dry at all times.

These are also highly breathable and abrasion-resistant, with lots of traction offered by the rubber sole. 

Shop Northside on Amazon here

5. Merrell Unisex-Child Trail Chaser Hiking Sneaker – Affordable Pick

Price: $35
Fastening system: Adjustable hook and loop
Waterproof: NO
Warranty: 1-year warranty
Sizes available: Toddler (1-4 years), Little Kid (4-8 years), Big Kid (8-12 years)

Merrell is an American company that specializes in shoes for the outdoors. They make high-quality hiking shoes for men, women, and kids. 

Designed to keep up with kids, the Merrell Trail Chaser Hiking Sneaker is a shoe that your little one will fall in love with. Easy to put on and take off, it has an extra-comfortable EVA footbed and M Select GRIP for superior traction. This makes it a great choice for your kiddo’s hiking adventures!

Shop Merrel on Amazon here

6. Merrell Unisex-Child Core Chameleon

Price: $28-$92
Fastening system: Hook and loop, velcro strap
Waterproof: YES
Warranty: 1-year warranty
Sizes available: Little Kid (4-8 years), Big Kid (8-12 years)

If you have been looking for a super durable pair of hiking shoes that are also great for everyday use, the Merrel Core Chameleon is it!

Great for big kids and little kids alike, these are designed with extremely active kiddos in mind, these waterproof shoes are almost indestructible. They also offer great comfort, excellent support, and are perfect for growing feet. 

Shop Merrel on Amazon here

7. Teva Kid’s Manatee Sport Sandal

Price: $15-$77
Fastening system: Adjustable hook and loop
Waterproof: NO
Warranty: 1-year warranty
Sizes available: Toddler (1-4 years), Little Kid (4-8 years), Big Kid (8-12 years)

Teva is a US-based sports sandal company that has been making shoes since 1984.

The brand is a true pioneer in this space, consistently releasing innovative sandal designs that encourage their customers to celebrate their freedom and explore. 

Designed for breathability, Teva Manatee Sport Sandals will instantly become some of the most comfortable shoes in your toddler’s collection. They arguable the best kids hiking sandals.

They feature a breathable upper mesh and an EVA foam footbed that work together to give your little one unbeatable all-day comfort. All while softly supporting their tiny feet! 

Shop TEVA on Amazon

8. Mishansha Water Resistant Hiking Boots – Best Affordable Pick

Price: $39
Fastening system: Adjustable hook and loop, velcro strap
Waterproof: YES
Warranty: 1-year warranty
Sizes available: Little Kid (4-8 years)

Founded in 2005, mishansha kids is a London-based company that makes men’s, women’s, and kid’s shoes.

Their kid’s line stands out because of the level of thought that goes into the features included in each shoe. 

Featuring all-inclusive abrasion-resistant toe guards, Mishansha Boots are built to protect your toddler’s feet. They are easy to put on and take off and come with a soft rubber sole that offers amazing traction.

Comfortable, breathable, water resistant, and designed to offer your toddler lots of support, these boots are perfect for hiking, climbing, running, and playing outside. 

Shop Mishansha on Amazon

9. LL Bean Toddlers Modern Trail Hikers – Top Quality

Price: $59
Fastening system: Hook and loop
Waterproof: NO
Warranty: 1-year warranty
Sizes available: Toddler (1-4 years), Little Kid (4-8 years)

LL Bean is famous for making quality clothing and outdoor recreation equipment. The company has leveraged its wealth of experience to create these amazing hikers.

If you’re looking for a quality pair of shoes for your child’s feet, these are a great options.

Designed for the wild outdoors, the LL Bean Modern Trail Hikers are a great choice for the budding adventurer in your life who needs a comfortable shoe for rough terrain.

It prioritizes comfort and convenience by coming with a removable EVA midsole that makes it feel almost like a sneaker. The opening is also wide and toddler friendly to make it easy for tiny hands to put it on and take it off. It is also water-resistant and super breathable for the ultimate comfort of your little one’s feet! 

Shop LL Bean here

Tips For Hiking With Kids

  • Prepare them before you go. Start with shorter hikes, especially if the shoes are new.
  • Avoid rainy days for a little while. Rain is hard to hike in but can be especially uncomfortable for children if they are not use to spending extended periods wet.
  • Pack snacks. Keep them motivated with food and water.
  • Let their feet adjust. Don’t expect to go long distances at first, children’s feet take some time to build up the stamina.
  • Make sure they’re wearing the right size shoes. Kids can have a growth spurt at any time. Before setting out, it’s a good idea to make sure they’re wearing the right size shoe.

Final Thoughts: Best Toddler Hiking Boots

Finding the perfect kids’ hiking boots is one of the most important things you have to do ahead of your family’s countryside hike.

If your little one’s feet are not comfortable, dry, and well-supported on your hike, you might just end up having to carry her for four hours!

Hopefully, with this guide and list of recommendations, narrowing down your search to a few options is a little easier. Happy hiking! 

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