Why Kids and Parents Choose Stride Rite

Life with kids is fun, messy, crazy, challenging and inspiring – and their shoes have to keep up with all of it! That’s why our expert-approved, comfortable shoes for kids are fueled by wild imagination and built for life's adventures – big and small.

For nearly a century, we've made stylish, durable shoes that kids love and parents can trust. Learn more about what makes Stride Rite the best place to buy kids’ shoes.

this guide covers: For quick access, click on any item in the list below.

our legacy

Since 1919, we’ve designed innovative children's footwear based on current trends and the latest knowledge behind healthy foot development. Stride Rite shoes do more than look great – they help build strength, coordination and confidence throughout every step of childhood.

quality you can trust

Quality is our priority. To deliver the highest quality kids’ shoes, we use a multi-step approach and extreme attention to detail to craft every single Stride Rite product. We combine safe materials, a true-to-life last that matches the shape of real kids' feet, superior craftsmanship, and rigorous testing to earn the APMA Seal of Approval for shoes that help promote kids’ foot health.

safe materials

All of our materials come from nominated, reputable suppliers that pass our high quality standards, ensuring there are no harmful chemicals or phthalates in your kids' shoes. We use stitching in many of our shoe designs to minimize the need for chemical-containing glue.

Our shoes can include any combination of these and other non-toxic materials:

  • lightweight rubber
  • premium leather
  • memory foam
  • breathable mesh
  • antimicrobial liners

true-to-life last

A last is a 3D form that's shaped like the human foot and used to make shoes. Traditional lasts typically feature hard edges and flat surfaces. They usually come in one width, place the foot high from the ground, and lack flexibility. The problem with traditional lasts is that kids' and babies' feet look and function really differently from adult feet.

That's where we come in. Our true-to-life lasts are anatomically correct so we can create kids' shoes that actually fit and help promote healthy foot growth. Babies typically have soft, flat feet with no instep. When they're not going barefoot, they need flexible, rounded shoes that cradle their feet without inhibiting movement. With our true-to-life lasts, that's exactly what they get.

Read our FAQ, Size Guide and Fit Guide to learn more about how kids' feet grow.

superior craftsmanship

No Stride Rite shoe is complete without superior craftsmanship. Our SRtech line employs a patented double lasting process, which minimizes bulk so baby and toddler feet sit low and can feel the ground below them. And Soft Motion baby and toddler shoes are designed with smooth, seamless linings, which add comfort to every step; and their uppers are stitched – not glued – to the outsoles, for long-lasting wear.

Stride Rite baby shoes are never flocked with fabric on the outsoles, which can reduce traction and durability. Instead, we use flexible, rounded rubber outsoles that match the natural shape of the foot and promote stability and sensory feedback. Select designs include a reinforced shank for extra support.

rigorous product testing

We never cut corners when it comes to product testing. Because safety is a top priority, we invest the necessary time and resources to properly test every shoe we create.

Each design goes through four testing phases, followed by fit and wear testing:

  • In the first two testing phases, our quality assurance teams examine the safety of the shoe’s technology and material components. The teams review each and every aspect of the finished shoe twice over from lace to sole, including pull tests that literally pull at various elements of the shoe – just like a child might – to ensure safety and durability and reduce the risk of choking hazards.
  • In the following two phases, our product integrity team checks the product twice over again for safety and quality.
  • After testing, we get our sample sizes fit-approved so they're ready for wear tests.
  • Our wear tests are a minimum of 60 hours so we can reliably approve new materials for durability and safety.

We already put our shoes through the ringer, but on top of our rigorous factory- and third-party testing, all Stride Rite suppliers must pass through high international standards to ensure our chemical-free shoes don’t contain any dangerous phthalates.

APMA Seal of Approval

Stride Rite Soft Motion and SRtech shoes have proudly earned the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) Seal of Approval. This seal is awarded to shoes, socks, insoles and other products that relate to foot health. For a product to earn the seal, a committee of APMA podiatrists must independently verify that a product's design encourages proper foot health in terms of both safety and quality.

With podiatrist-recommended shoes for toddlers and babies from Stride Rite, you know your kids' shoes are proven to help support their healthy foot development.

kid-friendly technologies

In addition to our quality materials, thorough product testing, and innovative construction, Stride Rite's advanced features really set our kids' shoes apart from the rest of the competition. Take a look at the unique features and benefits of our top technologies.

soft motion shoes for babies

Soft Motion™ shoes are built for babies taking their first steps. With design features that encourage natural movement, Soft Motion shoes help give wobbly walkers the confidence and stability they need to explore the world on two feet, without hindering their natural development.

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SRtech shoes for toddlers and big kids

SRtech™ shoes for next steps feature our proprietary Sensory Response Technology to enhance proprioception, or the way joints and muscles communicate with the brain to help coordinate movement. This sensory feedback helps develop the fine motor skills kids need to navigate their world safely and comfortably.

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Made2Play washable shoes

Let’s face it, playing in mud and splashing in puddles are some of the best parts of being a kid! Let yours enjoy these small rites of passage without worrying that they’ll ruin their shoes. Stride Rite Made2Play® or M2P shoes are 100-percent machine washable, so your days of scrubbing shoes by hand are gone.

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wide, x-wide and x-x-wide sizes

It's no secret that baby and toddler feet have a little extra cushion – that's why they're so cute! As children's feet develop, it's not uncommon for them to need wide, extra wide, or even extra-extra wide shoes to stay comfortable and give those tootsies enough room to grow. We've got feet of all sizes covered.

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styles kids (and parents) love

Every Stride Rite shoe has the expert-backed, quality construction you want, but style often matters just as much. All of our shoes come in fun, colorful and stylish designs that kids are proud to show off – we know, because our design teams do a ton of market research and continually shop international markets for new trends.

Check out some of the latest styles kids and parents love most!

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SRlights light-up shoes

What child wouldn’t love shoes that light up with every step? SRlights come in athletic styles with EVA outsoles and memory foam insoles to deliver both fashion and function. Outsoles made from EVA, or ethyl vinyl acetate, are lightweight, highly shock absorbent, and more durable that traditional rubber outsoles.

These durable, comfortable and adjustable designs are enhanced by innovative light technologies that add a touch of magic to a child’s everyday wardrobe. Our M2P Lighted shoes are even machine washable!

Learn more about our Lighted shoe collection.

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Phibian water shoes

We’ve infused our Phibian water shoes with M2P washable technology to make the ultimate sneaker/sandal built for land and sea. This breathable, water-friendly design features quick-dry materials and plenty of ventilation for maximum comfort, even when wet.

We took our innovation one step further and created the Phibian Lighted edition that features rubber traction pods that light up with every step or splash! It’s the first-ever machine-washable light-up shoe – a win-win for both parents and kids!

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shoes for boys and girls of all ages

You asked ‘Why Stride Rite?’ and we answered. Our long legacy of superior quality, materials, construction, product testing, advanced features and shoe styles make us stand out from the competition. So go ahead, try us out for yourself! Find all the best shoes for toddlers, babies, and big and little kids at Stride Rite today.

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sandals sandals
sneakers sneakers
boots boots
dress shoes dress shoes
school shoes school shoes
casuals casuals
wide widths wide widths