Waterproof shoes for a preschooler
September 22, 2015 12:16 PM   Subscribe

My rapidly-growing preschooler needs new shoes for fall and winter.

We live in the PNW. It seems like many of her schoolmates wear galoshes/rain boots on rainy days, sneakers on less wet days. We tried that last year and it was terribly impractical. Rain boots seem hard to run around and climb in (not just for her - it's like all the preschoolers are just stumbling around in these types of boots), and she'd just kick them off anyway and have wet cold feet. Sneaker style shoes stay on, but get pretty wet on the inside from splashing in puddles. What sort of shoes should we get this fall? We've got a younger sibling that would benefit from hand-me-downs so I am willing to pay above Target-prices for things if the quality is worth it. (I thank you in advance for relieving a small portion of the parenting cognitive load.)
posted by stowaway to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (22 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Would these All Weather Moccasins work with wool socks so that the socks wick away the moisture? Toddler sizes are very neutral colored, but the little kid sizes include a violet.
posted by jillithd at 12:51 PM on September 22, 2015

Could you find a kids' Gore-Tex (or similar)-lined velcro hiking boot? That would have the movement of sneakers (almost), but the waterproof-ness of rain boots. Like this, but appropriate for the motor skills of a preschooler (if laces aren't a problem for your kid, disregard all caveats). I'm a grown up but I walk/jump through slushy puddles in boots like that all the time and don't get wet feet.
posted by bibliotropic at 12:52 PM on September 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

My brother had a little slip on pair of muckers when he was a kid and they were great for him. He was a rough and tumble kid who spent a lot of time splashing in mud and they were perfect.

Knowing my family's shopping habits we would have gotten them at a Ross or Marshall's type store and anyway it was ~20 years ago now so I don't have a brand for you.

They looked exactly like the bottom half of this but stopped right below the ankle and had elastic. And were significantly cheaper, I'm sure. (I've always called those muckers, but it would appear google has different ideas.)
posted by phunniemee at 12:54 PM on September 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

I tried to solve this problem with an add on product rather than through the shoe itself. I researched nanotechnology after seeing a video on YouTube about it. I ended up getting Neverwet for shoes. It worked on my Timberlands that are 23 years old and on my cleats, but it required reapplication semi regularly and it left a white haze on the shoe. I will use it again this fall, but with some reservations tbh. The other companies in the space sell to industrial users so buying for the home market is a little hard but can be done.
posted by AugustWest at 1:02 PM on September 22, 2015

We live in NYC where we walk to school in all weather, and for the us, the solution was to keep an extra pair of sneakers at school to change into.
posted by defreckled at 1:13 PM on September 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

I have a 4-year-old in outdoor school and I am considering buying some of these Crocs rain boots because they are lighter and more comfortable than standard rain boots. . The reviews are good, and assuming they're like regular Crocs I think they will work REALLY well as a compromise between rain boots and sneakers.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 1:15 PM on September 22, 2015

My kids found regular rainboots heavy & clunky, but they loved the Crocs rainboots we had because they were lightweight & flexible enough to run & play. They were similar to these, but ours didn't have handles.
posted by belladonna at 1:16 PM on September 22, 2015

How about the Kids' Merrel Chamelon A/C Waterproof Sneakers? They are bungee laced with a Velcro strap and appear to be waterproof.
posted by PorcineWithMe at 1:28 PM on September 22, 2015

Barn shoes/boots might also work.... Search for Barnyard Rubber Barn Yard Chore Boot - neoprene shaft, toddler sizes n
posted by PorcineWithMe at 1:35 PM on September 22, 2015

The mocs jillithd links above are comfortable, difficult to destroy, good for all but the hottest days, and as waterproof as a shoe can get without potentially being uncomfortable. My kid got to middle school and ditched them in favor of ripping through a pair of hightops every three months (sigh) but I'm still fond of mine, and see them on kids and adults everywhere. (I am pretty sure there's also a Dr. Scholl's version, but can't vouch for waterproofiness there.)
posted by gnomeloaf at 1:58 PM on September 22, 2015

You are looking for Duck boots or Bog Boots.
Like these!

They are waterproof on the bottom, but fit tighter than regular rain boots and make the running around easier. You can get them with high tops like regular boots or in more of a slip on shoe style.
posted by csmithrim at 2:06 PM on September 22, 2015

Timberland and Keen both make waterproof hiking boots that stay. on. Available on Zappos; would link but am on my phone
posted by kestrel251 at 2:48 PM on September 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

You can waterproof your old shoes too. There's this method, or various sprays you can buy. But yeah, in general, I'd get kiddo some galoshes for the walk, and slip into something else at school.
posted by hydra77 at 2:53 PM on September 22, 2015

We got our toddler a pair of waterproof high top shoes with Velcro last fall--I can't remember whether they were Keen or Merrell. Getting shoes on and off him is like wrestling a greased pig so we really wanted to minimize the number of times we had to change his shoes. I don't know that I'd send him sledding or out to make a snow fort in them, but they worked really well for rainy or muddy days or playing outside with some residual snow on the ground. He didn't have trouble walking in them.
posted by The Elusive Architeuthis at 2:54 PM on September 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

I should clarify - definitely not looking for another rain boot but I do appreciate the pointers to the better fitting ones on the market. I guess I'm looking for the little kid version of a "light hiker" shoe. Also, she's now in little kid sizes, not toddler.
posted by stowaway at 3:00 PM on September 22, 2015

Keen, Kamik, and Columbia make these kind of hiking sneakers. It is the norm in preschool in my kid's Pacific NW experience.
posted by k8t at 4:21 PM on September 22, 2015

This is the style my kid wore last year. Link
posted by k8t at 4:22 PM on September 22, 2015

6pm has a ton of options http://m.6pm.com/hiking-sneakers-kid
posted by k8t at 4:24 PM on September 22, 2015

My kid has (for the 3rd year) these [link] . There are less pinky/purple colors, too. They are great to run in and wear all day and keep his feet pretty dry.They seem like they would definitely hold up for a hand-me-down.
posted by ReluctantViking at 4:55 PM on September 22, 2015

My son wore Keen goretex hiking sneakers last fall/winter/spring, and they were awesome. I found them super cheap on REI clearance, and I probably should have gotten on that again for this fall, now that I think about it.
posted by Maarika at 9:07 PM on September 22, 2015

I'm in Vancouver and worked at a shoe store for years, so I have helped many a parent find waterproof shoes. Blundstones for kids are what you're looking for. The upper is injected into the sole, so they're totally waterproof, plus super comfy and easy to get on.
posted by thebots at 11:54 PM on September 22, 2015

"Like wrestling a greased pig." Don't I know it! I ordered a pair of high top Keens, hopefully they will work out.
posted by stowaway at 10:51 PM on September 24, 2015

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