Got an active little one aged 2-5yrs? Not sure what qualifies as a good quality kids shoe? Well we have consulted the opinion of Rachael Waddington, Podiatrist at Pod Co Podiatry, to give us the low down on what to look for when buying your kids shoes.


1. Flexible sole

A kids shoe needs to have good flexibility at the sole – your child should be able to push off easily with “heel toe” walking rather than lifting and placing feet in a “stomping” type walk. Further, the sole should allow some degree of natural side movement and flexibility.


Kids Shoe Flex Demo



2. The upper is sewn to the sole, not glued.

Take the insole out of the shoe if you can and check inside to see if the upper part is actually sewn to the sole. When sewn, you know the construction is strong.  If it is just glued, the shoes will be more prone to coming apart.  Further, if the toe stub is also sewn to the upper, the toe is less likely to peel with ball kicking and bike breaking.


Kids Shoe Quality - Sewn Sole


3. Heel counter should be firm

Don’t be afraid of a firm and well-constructed heel counter on a shoe. Reinforcement or cupping around the heel will keep the child’s foot stable and the heel will be less likely to collapse. It is also advised not to allow your child to slip on their shoes without undoing laces or straps as this compromises the strength of the heel counter considerably.


Kids Shoe Quality - Firm Sole


4. Materials

Breathable & natural materials like leather and cotton mould better to your child’s foot over time and don’t remain too stiff. They are much more comfortable to wear than non-leather. Breathable nylon or mesh is also incorporated with leather in many shoes, particularly active styles, which can provide flexibility, breathability and contribute to shoes being more lightweight.







  • Socks should be worn with enclosed shoes to prevent rubbing, blisters and preventing shoe odour
  • Children benefit greatly going barefoot as this encourages strong foot and leg muscle development

Camino Kids have consulted the opinion of Rachael Waddington, Director & Founder of Pod Co Podiatry ( to form this article.

While Camino Kids have received Rachael’s advice and information to form these conclusions, please note the advice is general in nature.

If your child is complaining of sore feet or you would like to receive more specific information about the type of shoe best for your child, we recommend you make an appointment to see your local podiatrist.


Rachael Waddington is Director & Founder of Pod Co Podiatry

Based in Avondale Heights & Flemington, Victoria.

For all appointments, please visit: