When we became more outdoorsy as a family, this was a question that I was wondering about. Do kids need hiking shoes? For me, the answer is definitely yes and if your family regularly head out on hikes and adventures in the wild, then I would recommend buying hiking shoes for the kids as well. If you find that you need a certain type of shoe for a particular activity or weather condition, it makes sense that your kids do too.
My husband and I both have a couple of hiking shoes and walking boots and in 2021, I bought hiking boots for my 7-year-old and 5-year-old too. We had started hiking more often and it was clear that the kids needed more appropriate footwear to ensure good traction, comfort, and dry feet.
For my eldest, I bought a pair of hiking boots from Mountain Warehouse. They’re lovely and we were drawn in by the fun colours and the fact that they looked like miniature adult hiking boots. In hindsight, a Velcro option would have been better. My daughter can tie shoelaces, but we have had a few occasions where the shoelace has got stuck on the hooks of the opposite shoe when she’s been running. For her next pair, I will look for an alternative fastening – either Velcro or a lace design without hooks.
When it was time to buy hiking shoes for my middle daughter, we opted for children’s hiking boots from Decathlon and their Quencha range. I have one pair of Quencha hiking boots myself that I’m very happy with (though I do love my Joules ones more as they’re more comfortable and a more stylish design) and she already had some snow boots by Quencha that were good, so it was a brand that we’d happily explore for this purpose too. Months later, her hiking shoes are still brilliant, so they were definitely a good buy for us.
My toddler has not got any hiking shoes or boots yet, but I do think this will be the year that she will get some too as she’s walking more now.
It’s great that the kids have a pair of dedicated shoes each that can handle any terrain and most weathers and that it doesn’t matter if they’re caked in mud when we get back from a family adventure.
Feel free to add recommendations for children’s hiking boots and shoes in the comments – I would love to hear what you think about the shoes you’ve tried with your kids.