Best Summer Sandals for Toddlers: Keens


IMG_0187 I'm often asked if I'm my son's nanny.  I've even been stopped on the street so someone could remark, "Wow!  He looks NOTHING like you!".  Ummm….thanks?  I guess this would be good news if I were, say, horribly disfigured.  But I'm not, so WTF?  My son is the spitting image of my blond haired, blue eyed husband who tans easily.  I am a dark haired, hazel eyed girl who spells tan L-O-B-S-T-E-R.  But the one thing my son and I have in common is our obsession with water. 

I grew up on the water, and despite my current landlocked locale, am always seeking out water.  It's possible that my little man senses my happiness around water, and therefore has taken it on as his own happiness, but I suspect it's something more.  I, for example, am not nearly as thrilled as he is to see water pouring out of a facet.  Or going down a drain.  I also will not sit for hours playing with a bowl of plain water.  Ok – hours is an exaggeration.  But in toddler-time, it's practically hours.  His water fascination extends to our city's water fountains, mud puddles, sprinklers, a puddle of dog piss on the sidewalk (LOVELY) as well as every little pond or stream that we find while hiking.  It always starts out so fun:  he'll watch the water for a while, then throw something in it, splash around a bit, etc.  It always ends, however with red-faced screaming because his lame parents have yet again thwarted his attempts to fling himself into said body of water.  As he gets bigger (ie faster), he is getting more and more successful.  Our last trip to Boulder ended up with my husband fishing him – sneakers and all – out of the Boulder Creek.  His sneakers took 3 days to dry.  It was time to find some water friendly shoes.  Enter the Keens Kid's Newport H2s.

Keens for Toddlers  Keens for Toddlers Keens for Toddlers

We bought the little man the navy ones (pictured above), but I would've chosen the orange had they been in stock (his only shoes were soaking wet, so I didn't have the luxury of waiting).  However, my very favorite Keens are the girl's version, in Caribbean Sea.  I love how girly-tomboy the Caribbean Sea shoes are.  Very badass.  All shoes pictured can be purchased at for $48.

Why are these the best?  First of all, they look cute (unlike, say, Crocs), they don't fall off and can't be easily pulled off (like Crocs), they are waterproof (unlike leather sandals), they have a cushioned footbed and good traction (unlike cheap sandals at Target), and they cover enough of the toes to keep the little ones from hurting themselves when they trip.  We live in an old neighborhood that is a bit of a 'hood, so our sidewalks are pretty brutal.  In addition to the puddles of dog piss, which, incidentally, I really hope was dog piss.  You never know.



  1. are the soles flexible?? my son just started walking and I was looking into these for his 1st pair of walking shoes for the summer. I want a sole that you can bend though and is really flexible….

  2. Hi Kim – The sole on the Keens is very flexible, but not quite as flexible as the soles on some of the shoes intended for first walkers – namely Robeez or See Kai Run. My issue with both Robeez and See Kai Run is the fact that they only come in leather (though washable) and that they offer very little support or protection. If your son was cruising around for a while before walking, he will probably be fine with the Keens (one additional note of caution with Keens – they run big). If you don’t think your son is ready for the Keens, I think another good choice is the Stride Rite NMS Ogdens. They aren’t quite as cute as the Keens, but I love Stride Rites for first walkers (Stride Rite does a ton of research in this area). These sandals are super flexible, and quick drying.
    Hope that helps!

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