It’s not about the characters. It’s not a matter of colors. No, for parents, the main characteristic of children’s sneakers is this: resistance. Finding sturdy shoes for kids that will last the whole school year (or at least most of it, please) is a parent’s number one priority. So while you’re shopping for back-to-school outfits, basic school uniforms, or just to expand their wardrobe, here are durable kids’ shoes you can pass on.

What about children and shoes? It’s as if they put their feet in a new pair of sneakers and start falling apart immediately. Maybe it’s the miles they walk every day – oh, to have that kind of energy. It could be the hardcore gaming sessions every day in PE class and during recess. Coming home and riding a bike, doing parkour to scare mom… OK, it makes sense why shoes sometimes fall apart right from their feet.

Below are some of the best options for children’s shoes. They are highly rated (on Amazon) with lots of great reviews from other parents. You’re sure to find a pair that will satisfy your desire not to buy shoes for a long time and your child’s wishes to look extra cool in school.

We may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.


Sneakers with a flexible and light sole


Sneakers with elastic laces


Tough yet sparkly sneakers for fashion-forward kids

Just because they’re tough doesn’t mean they can’t be cute. The Harvest Land Glitter Fashion running shoes are available in nine colors to match any child’s personality. They have a carbon fiber sockliner for maximum comfort and support for kids’ active joints, and the EVA soles are non-slip, lightweight and super durable.


Slip-on sneakers in breathable material

If your child isn’t tying their shoes yet or just doesn’t have time to go outside, slip-on sneakers may be in order. Check out this review from a mom who loves the Apawwa lightweight slip-on running shoes:

“Love these shoes for my son! This is the 2nd pair I’ve ordered. They’re lightweight but great for any activity. Looks great with pants or shorts, fits well, easy to put on, durable , affordable and my son prefers these to all his other shoes so I know he is comfortable in them I will continue to buy new pairs as he gets older!


Children’s sneakers with a nice touch of color

The Nerteo Toddler/Little Kid sports trainers are available in 11 color combinations; This navy blue pair will go with any outfit but still features a cute colored pull-on tab on the heel. Most importantly, they have a 4.5-star rating and nearly 15,000 rave reviews indicating that they’re easy to put on, sturdy, and comfortable.


Colorful sneakers with thick and solid soles

MAYZERO children’s tennis shoes have a super cool retro look, but include all the best features of a sturdy tennis shoe (like a hard-wearing rubber sole). This review from a Real Parent says it all:

“Good fit, stylish, durable and comfortable. These shoes are perfect sizing. Sleek, lightweight, great cushioning. They seem well made. It’s pretty rough on the shoes, lots of kicking in rock and sand and they have shown no signs of wear. The velcro strap is sturdy and does not come off easily. Overall, durability and comfort are a step ahead of Walmart and Target branded shoes. J will buy more from this manufacturer.


Retro-looking children’s sneakers

Does your child want a classic look? The Adidas unisex kids’ Grand Court tennis shoe has it, plus over 19,000 reviews from parents saying these things are rock solid. The wide opening and ankle strap make them easy to put on for kids of all ages, the rubber sole is built to withstand tons of wear and the leather-like material is easy to clean.


A waterproof sneaker you can wipe down

Shoes like the Native Shoes Kids Lightweight Sneaker have been hugely popular over the past few years, and for good reason. They’re breathable, comfortable, lightweight, waterproof (so they don’t stink), and super easy to wash. They have nearly 18,000 reviews, a 4.8 star rating, and 32 colors to choose from. Peruse the reviews and you’ll see that many parents agree: the material is comfortable, yet incredibly sturdy.


Breathable sneakers for junior athletes

If your kids want the look of high-end basketball shoes, the Santiro Kids Breathable Knit Athletic Running Sneakers really come close. This review from a mother of two says they last well and hold up to weekly washing:

« True to size, very well made. They are definitely durable enough for my son who is HARD on everything! Bought for my son and daughter (they are 6 and 8). They have been wearing them continuously for four months. I probably washed all 4 pairs at least once a week, in the washing machine. I just let them air dry overnight. They wash well, hold up really well! They are true to size, very easy to get on and off as they don’t tie up. They look sporty and “not cheap”, I’m ordering more in the next size. Excellent value !!”


Lightweight sneakers for kids that might actually make them faster

The Under Armor Pre School Assert 9 running shoes are designed for active kids. They’re lightweight with a cushioned midsole to add extra punch to their running and jumping, and they have durable overlays to protect the shoe’s fabric. A classic rubber sole provides grip and should carry your child through plenty of cat play.


Kids sneakers with over 10,000 great reviews

Want something a little more stylish than the average kid’s sneaker? The unisex infant Carson 2 metal mesh hook-and-loop sneaker has a wide range of sizes to fit kids of all ages, but they all feature a scuff-resistant rubber sole and soft foam interior. And they come in a wide range of colors. They are a perfect blend of style and sturdiness so both kids and parents can be happy with the sneaker situation.


Trainers with cushioned insoles and shock-absorbing soles

The KUBUA kids’ trainers look like they make you faster, so they should be a hit with little ones trying to win PE kickball or recess runs. Check out this review from a satisfied parent:

“I love these trainers. They look great and are very durable. I was constantly buying new trainers for my 6 year old. Turns out I should have invested in more durable shoes. These fit fit the bill perfectly and decided to buy at least one more pair.

Have you found the perfect kids’ trainers for your little scholar to wear back to school? If none of these shoes fit you, browse Amazon and read these reviews to find out what parents have to say about other pairs.