The summer heat is only getting worse as we head into August, and for us, that means lots of time in the water. However, most places around here aren’t soft sand and worry-free walking. So, I insist my kiddos wear shoes as much as a possible. Between elk and bison scat, snakes, sharp rocks and the spiky pants of the high desert, there’s plenty of possible hazards.
Flip flops or anything flimsy also just won’t cut it – there’s too much risk of shoes breaking or not supporting little climbers and adventurers (and big ones too!)
Here’s a quick round up of the shoes we wear and our thoughts on each of them. Note: if you decide to purchase, we sure do appreciate you clicking through these affiliate links. Doesn’t cost you a dime and helps us out just a tiny bit!
- Chacos Z/Cloud 2
- I have worn a TON of Chaco sandals over the years and these are my favorite by far. They are comfortable out of the box. I noticed a huge difference in the footbed AND the straps from other Chacos I have worn. The footbed is truly “cloud-like” and the straps don’t pull and cinch too tight (and require constant re-adjustment). This is especially important with the toe strap. Awesome, awesome, sandals. **And excuse the non-manicured feet here, people. This is real life and I am choosing river time over nail polish time…. #sorrynotsorry**
- Chacos Outcross 1.5
- Sometimes sandals don’t cut it. And neither do water shoes with enough holes that small rocks sneak in. Because there is nothing more annoying than a pebble in your shoe as you are trying to navigate moving waters. I got the Outcross 1.5 this summer and got rid of any other water shoes I owned. They have great support, are soft and supple so don’t chafe when wet and feel awesome both in and out of the water.
- Chacos Outcross
- Better protection than sandals, and possible to wear both with AND without socks. Which means that they are more than just a summer shoe. They are light and airy, easy to get on and off and really great traction for water AND trails. The only thing J doesn’t love about them is that rocks and sand do make their way in through the ventilation holes (but that is sort of inevitable…)
- NOTE: REI has these on sale for a super great deal if they’re the right size for you!
- KEEN Komodo Dragon
- The Komodo Dragon is a completely new style than I am used to seeing from KEEN. Ventilation happens through the mesh (no holes big enough for rocks to get in) and they are tightened with a single adjustable sandal-like strap. They’re a little heavier than other water shoes, but still work great on water and land. The traction is more water-specific, but P does wear his biking and playing on land too.
- KEEN Newport H2
- It’s a little trickier to find good water shoes in a toddler size, and the KEEN Newport have been a favorite for all our kids starting at a size 4. They have decent traction, allow great water play and let little feet breathe better in the summer. Sometimes I wish for a way to get a tighter cinch on the foot…but mostly they’re just great for water shoes on little toes!
- Tsukihoshi Ibiza
- This Japanese shoe company specializes in lightweight, washable shoes for kids that allow their toes to move naturally. I had never heard of them before, but we have been really impressed. They are the lightest water shoes we know of, are very flexible for little feet and have great traction. When we got them at the beginning of the summer, they were a bit big for P, but he has grown into them and prefers them over any of his other water shoes now. They seem like a really simple design, but have held up to some great abuse and are ones we trust and would wear again.
Win a gift card from Chacos!
Need some water shoes of your own? We’d love to hook you up with a $110 gift card to use at Chacos.com to get yourself a pair!
As usual, please use the Rafflecopter Widget below to enter to win. The winner will be emailed and announced on this post in the Rafflecopter Widget. Have questions? Please don’t hesitate to contact me at mountainmamatales(at)gmail(dot)com so I can help! This giveaway is open to the U.S. only.
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