The best baby swim shoes for infants and toddlers

A selection of baby swim shoes on a background of water

by Rosie Floyd |

Whether you’re planning a holiday overseas or days out at the local lido, a pair of baby swim shoes should be on your list of summer must-haves for infants and toddlers. They are becoming as essential as wetsuits and towels in your changing bag.

Swimming shoes will keep your little one’s feet secure around slippery surfaces and cushion them from sharp objects, such as stones, shells, and loose pool tiles.

Swim shoes are also great for protecting infants’ and toddlers’ feet on hot surfaces. Sand can become blisteringly hot during the peak of a summer’s day. Swim sandals will help protect little feet as they go from splashing around in the sea to building sandcastles on the beach.

Best baby swim shoes 2022

It doesn’t matter if you’re choosing swimming shoes or sandals - you will want to make sure any shoes that you pick for your bubba are well fitted to their feet. You will need to ensure they won’t slip off while also having room for growth. With all of this in mind, we have selected the best baby swim shoes for infants and toddlers that will keep their little feet cool and comfortable.

These slip-on baby swim shoes fit like socks. These fast-drying water shoes are made from stretchable spandex and polyester with a rubber sole.

Outer Material: Polyester
Sole: Rubber
Heel height: 0.5cm

Review: “I cannot express how essential this item is when going to the swimming pool or the beach. They keep those little toes safe. They are easy to put on. Easy to wash. Love the price too. Very good quality. All mums out there, I can’t recommend those enough! They are a must-have.”

These swim booties are ideal for protecting tiny toes from hot and slippery surfaces. They have a Velcro fastening so you can get them on and off your little one’s feet with ease.

Material: 100% polyester neoprene

Review: “We bought these in 6-12 months for our 15-month-old (she is size 2.5) and they fit perfectly and don’t come off, still with a little room. They have been one of our best buys for holiday around the pool. Tiles are so slippery when wet and these definitely help her get a better grip in and out of the pool. Highly recommend.”

Did you know that these Playshoes Beach Footwear have UV protection? The soles are made from non-slip thermoplastic rubber for safety. The Velcro strap ensures these water shoes stay secure on your child’s feet, while the tab at the heel will allow you to take them on and off with ease.

Outer material: Fabric
Sole: Rubber
Heel height: Flat

Review: “Lovely pair of water shoes for our little girl - they looked great and very useful on pebbled beaches.”

These lightweight baby swim shoes will be easy to pack for a day at the local lido or beach. It has extra fabric around the toes for additional comfort.

Outer material: Polyester + Spandex
Sole: Rubber
Heel height: 0.2cm

Review: “Good size, plenty of grip in the wet. Flat rubber-style sole with the upper stitched to it. Our little one has hardly taken them off since getting them. They have been using them for running around the garden as well as in the paddling pool. They've worked great to stop the moans when stepping on hidden stones in the grass too - bonus all round.”

The Adidas Closed-Toe Water Sandals offer both style and comfort. They’re finished in the typical Adidas style, with the classic three stripes down the side. It has a cushioned footbed, and the closed-toe design of these baby swim shoes provides extra coverage for when your child is splashing around.

Material: Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate (EVA)

Review: “My daughter loves them so much. Perfect fit! She’s comfortable wearing them.”

We love the gorgeous floral print on these baby swim shoes by Joules. They're easy to get on and off, thanks to the pull tab at the back, and the neoprene material makes them easy to wide clean too.

Material: Neoprene

Sole: Rubber

Made with a special grippy anti-slip sole, these shoes will prevent falling on slippy surfaces and protect feet from hot sands and sharp shells too. They're designed to give your little one a barefoot feeling so they shouldn't have any problems keeping them on all day.

Outer material: 91% polyamide, 9% elastane

Sole: 87% PVC, 13% cotton

Review: "Never usually would post reviews but CANNOT stress how wonderful these little shoes were for our holiday. I bought them for my 22-month-old and they fit perfectly. Any other sandal he just kept trying to pull off but he wore these the entire holiday and my anxiety levels completely dropped when faced with slippery surfaces around the pool and inside the tiled villa. I was so nervous about him slipping over and these were so lightweight yet super grippy. Also really useful on hot sand and tiny pebbles in the sea. Absolutely worth 5 stars and more. Highly recommend. They did look a bit battered after a week's holiday but I put them in the wash when we got home and they're pretty much good as new! Will be my absolute go-to for any future holidays!"

The DigiHero water shoes are made from a smooth, stretch material. They have quick-dry ability, so your little ones can avoid having soggy feet when wearing them out of the water. You can also remove the insole for easy washing.

Outer material: Fine stretch fabric
Sole: Rubber
Heel height: 0.5cm

Review: “Love the design. They fit great and are just what I wanted for my daughter to wear when we go swimming, as I didn’t want her walking around barefoot just in case she picks up germs or a verruca etc. My daughter normally hates keeping any sort of shoe on, but she loves these and wants to wear them all the time.”

Made with a quick-drying scuba knit fabric, these baby swim shoes are designed for maximum breathability and comfort. They feature a textured outsole that provides additional traction, which is made from thickened rubber for comfort.

Outer material: Scuba knit fabric
Sole: Rubber

Review: “These water shoes are really well made. It was so easy to choose the correct size as both the shoe length and foot length that were provided were precise. There are so many stone beaches in the UK and my little girl was struggling a bit when she had to walk on stones. Now she can run on the beach and enjoy the water. The shoes also dry fast. My daughter is only 2 years old but is capable to put these shoes on and take them off herself.”

With its soft EVA footbed, your little one’s feet will be comfortably cushioned while wearing these swim sandals. If you’re an environmentally conscious parent, you will be pleased to know these swim shoes are partly made with recycled materials.

Outer material: Breathable mesh

Review: “My 3-year-old twin boys love them. Super comfortable. They even wear them out of the water and around the garden.”

Baby swim shoes FAQs

Why is swimming good for babies?

Swimming is good for babies as it aids in their physical development. It will encourage your baby to independently move, roll and kick all before they can even crawl or walk. Swimming will also strengthen baby’s heart and lungs and help to develop their brain.

When can baby start swimming?

You may be surprised to hear that there is no minimum age for when baby can start swimming. In fact, the NHS states that you can take your baby swimming at any age, and this can be before or after they’ve had their vaccinations.

If you want to get them used to the water before taking them to a swimming pool, having a bath or shower with your little one is a great place to start. You can introduce them to playful, splashy bath times to show them the water is a great place to be.

More information

If you would like some more information and tips on taking your mini-me swimming, check out our guide to baby swimming with advice from Rebecca Adlington.

What should baby wear swimming?

While we might be happy in minimal clothing while swimming, babies and toddlers need more protection. They can’t regulate their temperature like we can, so you will want to make sure your little one is wearing swimwear or a wetsuit that will keep them warm. A swim nappy is also an essential for your baby to wear while swimming.

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