Photographer: Anna Palma; Stylist: Michel Onofrio; Groomer: Thora Vikar; Props: Cecilia Elguero
The 4 Types of Shoes Every Kid Needs
You can get those shirts to stretch just a little bit more and cropped pants can be charming…but there is no getting around replacing shoes that are too small. The faster their feet grow, the more often you're constantly in the market for a whole new wardrobe for shoes. But while it might feel like you are constantly buying endless pairs to make your kid both stylish and functional, we've cut it down to the essentials with just what you need as the seasons change.
There is actually one shoe that can take your child from school to the playground to the weekend—yes, it's the sneaker. Look for one that's more neutral over hyper-bright colors or busy patterns for maximum versatility. A canvas is great for warmer weather, and a waterproof suede can be surprisingly sturdy for the winter. You pick the winner in laces vs. velcro since it depends where your child is at in terms of getting his or her shoes on.
You know your kid best. Is she a sneaker lover so she needs a second pair? Is he a little preppier and would rather rock boat shoes with his khakis? A solid, neutral leather in either style can go from running around to relatively dressed-up easily (go for a metallic style if you know these will stand in for dress shoes more often than not). Think of these as a two-for-one deal!
The goal with dress shoes is to find one that they are willing to wear, no complaining or tears involved. Try not to go too stiff or formal—patent leather and rigid soles are your nemesis here. Neutral colors and simple shapes mean that these can go with everything, and with a closed toe, try going a half size bigger if you can. They can wear thicker socks and you can stretch this style out for longer (no pun intended).
Every season has its own weather-induced style quirk. If their feet aren't growing as fast, you may entirely skip a season so don't buy these until you need them! We recommend a rainboot for spring, a snow boot for winter, a sandal for summer, and a boot or high top sneaker for fall. For summer sandals, look for a rugged sole that can stand up to hot sidewalks and running in the grass. An ankle strap means they'll be more sturdy on their feet.
Melissa Liebling-Goldberg is a freelance writer and digital consultant, specializing in fashion and lifestyle. Her writing and editing has been featured in Vogue.com, Glamour.com, Teen Vogue, PEOPLE.com, NY Post, NYLON, The Huffington Post, and more.