A toddler on a family walk
A toddler on a family walk

KEEN-parison: Which Toddler Shoes for New Walkers?

Learning to walk is one of the most important childhood milestones, one that inspires a mix of pride and terror in parents.

One day your adorable baby is crawling around under the coffee table; the next, they’re like your very own little Frankenstein’s monster heading straight for the stairs. Little ones taking their first steps move unsteadily at first, using furniture to help balance themselves and taking a tumble here and there. How do you help your child become a confident walker while protecting those precious toes? The right shoes can help, which is why we make a variety of toddler walking shoes for outdoor adventures and everyday play.

Whether you’re strapping kiddos into the backpack for their first-ever camping trip or sending them off to daycare, count on KEEN for sturdy shoes that slip on and off easily, fit securely, and have grippy soles that keep kids steady on their feet. Once they’ve mastered the balance and coordination walking requires, it’s smooth sailing for you until they learn to drive (and unfortunately there’s no shoe to help them with that).

Which pair of KEEN toddler walking shoes should you choose? Here’s a comparison chart with five of our bestsellers to help you decide:

TODDLER SHOES Low-profile outsole More rugged outsole Insulated Machine washable
Chandler 2 CNX sneaker X X
Knotch Chukka X X
Seacamp sandal X X
Speed Hound sneaker
X
X

Find out a little more about what makes each design special:

Chandler 2 CNX: From concrete steps to gravel paths to grassy hillsides, beginning walkers face new challenges every day, and shoes with good ground feel can help them practice their balance. These all-terrain toddler sneakers are lightweight and sporty and feature a low-profile CNX outsole to help kids find their footing at the campsite or on the playground. Our signature KEEN fit gives little toes plenty of wiggle room, and the rubber toe bumper protects against bumps and stumbles. Webbing loops plus kid-friendly closures keep the fit snug and secure.

Knotch Chukka: Those little legs want to keep exploring, even when it starts getting chilly out. These play-ready chukka sneakers have 100 grams of KEEN.WARM insulation to help keep those tiny feet warm and cozy. The low-profile rubber outsole is lightweight and tough enough to take on different kinds of terrain, from bark chips to blacktop. While the notched, rubber toe bumper helps protect tender toes from trips and falls as they work on coordination.

A toddler on a family walk

Seacamp CNX: If you’re planning to take your new walker near water, consider this bestselling closed-toe sandal. It’s great for nature walks, camping at the lake, and running through the backyard chasing fireflies. Just add socks when it’s a little chilly. The low-profile CNX outsole gives toddlers loads of ground feel as they find their footing on different outside surfaces. With the secure fit of the adjustable lace-lock bungee system, they’re ready to make the transition from being carried in a pack on family hikes to doing some of the walking.

Speed Hound: Is your child ready for the adventure and freedom of a balance bike? These toddler shoes take the protection that comes with our iconic rubber toe bumper and extend it all the way to the heel, so little ones can feel confident moving faster. Inspired by car and bike tires, the grippy outsole is durable enough to stand up to the wear and tear that accompanies zooming around on wheels. Hook-and-loop straps are quick and easy, especially for independent kids who always want to do it themselves.

Strap your little dynamo into a pair of KEEN walking shoes for toddlers, and watch them go. They’re well on their way to a lifetime of adventures.

A child reads a book to a toddler outside

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