They’re always lost when it’s time to walk out the front door. They’re constantly being eaten by things like car seats or flung into the abyss of the grocery store aisle when Mom’s back is turned. What am I talking about?

Kids shoes.


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Are you wondering what the magic number of shoes for a child is? Exactly how many shoes should a kid have?

After some trial and error, I feel comfortable telling you that I know without a doubt that the magic number of shoes a child should own is four. If the child is younger than two years old, the magic number is two. Of course, this excludes any hobby-related shoes like cleats for sports.

The Four Pairs Of Shoes Every Kid Needs

  1. Basic tennis shoe
  2. Dress shoe
  3. Rain boots
  4. Seasonally appropriate shoe

A child around age two or younger can happily get by only owning a pair of basic tennis shoes for learning to walk and a pair of seasonally appropriate shoes.

Basic Kid Shoes

I include three basic shoes year round: a great pair of tennis shoes in a rainbow color (not that I even get a say-so nowadays…), a pair of rain boots for jumping in muddy puddles, and a neutral pair of church shoes for attending religious services or formal events like weddings and funerals.

Seasonal Shoes

I like to have one staple shoe for each season. At the end of the season, I sell or donate that season’s shoes since my guys will outgrow them before the next year comes.

  1. Every winter I buy The Girl a pair of heavy duty snow boots from Carter’s. I have been really impressed with the quality and durability of their boots for the past two seasons. They must be really comfortable, too, because The Girl lived in her first pair wearing them Even with so much wear, I usually end up selling ours at the end of the season in like new condition because they hold up so well!
  2. Spring needs comfortable, breathable sandals that stay put on my little one’s feet. I try to find sandals in a neutral color so that they can double as dress shoes when needed. I’ve been very happy in the past with these for The Girl. If I can ever get The Boy to wear any shoe I’ll be giving these a try.
  3. I also like each child to have a pair of water shoes. Sometimes the sandals double as both just depending on what I can find. Last year these were the water shoes we took on vacation with us for The Girl.
  4. I like a nice pair of stylish boots for fall that pair well with leggings and sweaters like these or a pair of cowgirl boots like these (she’s in love with pink, can you tell?).

This adds up to each of my children owning about 4 pairs of shoes at any given time. If we receive hand-me-downs then we may have an extra pair now and then. For us, that’s easily manageable both in the lost shoe department and having enough for any need that may arise. The shoes I’ve recommended wash and wear well so I never have to worry about a pair being out of the action because they’re dirty! Plus I have this to use as my secret laundry weapon that I talk about in this post about creating the rest of a capsule wardrobe for your kids.

Which kids shoes are on your list of must-haves? Share with me in the comments!

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