Finding the best kid slippers may seem like a big task, but there are several options popular with kids that are also comfortable, easy to put on, and durable. These slippers come in a variety of designs, including low cut, over the ankle, and knee-high options, and many of them feature grippy soles.
There is also a range of slippers that are more similar to shoes. These slippers feature a more rugged sole that can tolerate the outdoors, and the overall design of the shoe frequently has a more robust upper that is durable and easy to clean.
Finding the right size for your child might be more of a challenge, but with some helpful measuring guides, a little professional input, and some time spent trying on different options, you can find your child the best kids slippers with minimal frustration.
Our Top Picks
- Best Overall Slipper: Minnetonka Kids Cassie Slipper
- Best Premium Pick: UGG Kids Tasman II
- Best Value: The North Face Kids Thermal Tent Mule II
What to Look for in Kids Slippers
Finding the best kid slippers for your child is an essential step in protecting their feet and helping them explore their world comfortably.
Getting A Good Fit
When picking out a children’s shoe size, there are a few things to be mindful of, and a properly fitting shoe is very important. A shoe that fits your child well will reduce the likelihood of injury and protect the foot, while also providing valuable ground feel.
When the shoe doesn’t fit your child well, you may see chafing, red skin, minor wounds, and your child may refuse to wear the shoes or take them off.
Keep in mind that buying your kid shoes that are too large is a tripping hazard, and the shoes may fall off, or become uncomfortable. It’s best to buy the right size that will stay on your child’s foot even if it means you’ll need to buy them a new pair in a few months.
It’s also best if you recheck your child’s feet in two to three months to verify that their shoes still fit well. Toddlers, in particular, grow very fast and frequently outgrow shoes and clothing at a much faster rate than older kids and adults.
You’ll want to make sure and measure both of your child’s feet, as they can differ by up to half a size or so, and make sure to get the shoes that fit the larger of the two feet.
Materials and Warmth
Most novelty slippers that come in your child’s favorite characters feature inexpensive synthetic materials and soles with varying degrees of grip.
These slippers may look cute, but they often cause children to slip while walking or running and are not appropriate for wearing outside of the house.
Slippers are best when they are lightweight, and you’ll frequently find that many shoes offer a weight in ounces for different models. You don’t need to worry too much about picking out the lightest shoes but avoid large clunky and unnecessarily heavy options.
If you want to make sure your kid’s feet stay warm, consider getting slippers that allow them to wear a pair of socks on their feet, or opt for slippers with a wool or pile lining. This fluffy lining will help to hold in warmth and may also make the shoes more comfortable to wear.
Design Options for Active Kids
Some slippers feature designs best suited for kids who are always on the move, and they frequently feature Velcro, straps, or above the ankle designs. Many of these slippers go up to the knee and look like socks to some extent, and these can be great for older kids or for those who need more warmth.
Keep in mind that when you buy slippers that are designed to stay on active children, you may also be choosing a slipper that is harder for your child to put on themselves. Simple slippers with a design that is easy for kids’ hands to manipulate will save you from having to put your kid’s slippers on several times a day, and they’ll enjoy the independence.
Novelty slippers are an excellent choice for some active children who are already expert walkers and less likely to slip on smooth floors. Choose a design that has a stretchy top part that goes over the ankle for a more secure fit.
Many parents argue that buying higher quality shoes that frequently come with a higher price tag isn’t worth it as their kids outgrow their clothing quickly. However, higher-quality slippers are more likely to keep your child’s feet warm and comfortable, which means they are more likely to keep them on.
Quality slippers also ensure that your child’s food is protected as they play and explore. Soft slippers are best, and higher quality materials will flex but are also more durable and can withstand more intense everyday use. Durable slippers also have the added benefit of being able to withstand regular cleaning.
High-quality slippers should have nicely joined seams that don’t rub on the foot, and they should also use material that is appropriate for the area of the foot that it touches. Most slippers suitable for winter or colder temperatures will have a lining for added warmth, but less insulating slippers may have a thin lining or no lining at all.
Slippers that are appropriate for summer will inevitably be thinner than ones meant for winter use, and it’s especially important to investigate these designs carefully for poorly joined seams, light material, and any rough areas in the interior of the shoe.
There are a wide variety of slippers that will fit your child, but often parents need to ask themselves what design is best for their lifestyle and their child’s preferences in addition to the other considerations we’ve listed here.
If your child has wider feet, for example, certain shoe brands offer extended sizes and widths so you can be sure the slipper fits well. Another common feature is the level of insulation as there are slippers that are best suited for cold temperatures such as winter, and others that are more lightweight and perfect for summer use.
You’ll want to look at where the seams are on the slippers and investigate each slipper for areas that may potentially rub on your child’s foot and cause chafing or discomfort. As an added bonus, if your child gets to pick out their slippers the theory is that they will be more likely to wear them.
Many slippers can be machine washed, but drying them may be trickier. Many slippers that include leather or suede, for example, will need to be air-dried without heat to prevent shrinkage and damage to the material.
Before you give your child their slippers, it’s a good idea to check the interior of the shoe to make sure there isn’t any debris that might be uncomfortable for your child’s foot. It’s not uncommon for tags to hide inside of a slipper, and there are often pieces of tissue to help hold the shape of the shoe.
Slipper Types and Which Ones Work Best
If you want to explore the different types of slippers available to ensure you get the best design for your child, read on for our list of slipper characteristics below. You may find several different types of slippers that will suit your child and a wide variety of brands that produce them.
Slippers with Grippy Soles
There is some debate around how grippy the soles of children’s slippers need to be, and the theories include the thought that more grip is better but only if it doesn’t interfere with the flexibility of the shoe.
Flexibility in a shoe when your child is under age five is essential to their foot development according to many experts, and it’s a bad idea to select slippers with no grip at all. Even if your child is wearing their slippers on surfaces such as carpet, soles with some grip will help them walk more naturally and prevent them from injuring themselves.
Other soles include small dots of puffy synthetic material that looks like plastic. These types of outsoles commonly found on character slippers are functional but feature inexpensive materials. While these are cost-effective options, keep in mind that these types of soles may not offer enough friction on the sides or other areas where the grippy dots aren’t present.
Another type of grippy sole looks like a thin piece of rubber with a textured bottom. These soles can be any color, but they are often brown, grey, or black. Moccasins often have this type of sole, which allows for the ultimate amount of flexibility and grip without adding too much weight.
Kids who find their slippers aren’t grippy enough will often take them off or complain that they aren’t comfortable.
Most of us wear our slippers in heated areas inside our homes, but during the winter, extra layers of insulation become necessary despite climate control. Some kids will also need slippers if they are camping during colder times of the year, or while they sleep if they do not like to wear socks or use blankets.
Whatever the reason for needing more insulation, finding the right insulated slippers that also allow the foot to move freely can be a challenge for many parents. Rigid soled slippers are fine when the child will be moving from inside to outside at different times; however, many kids don’t find them comfortable for play sessions.
Older kids frequently don’t mind more rigid soles, and may even prefer them in some cases. Ultimately, your child will need to try them on before you know what they find most comfortable and warm.
Insulated slippers frequently have natural or synthetic linings that are fuzzy, such as wool or pile. Both of these materials work well for holding in heat and are also very cozy next to the skin. Insulated slippers may also have another layer of material aside from the lining and the exterior for added warmth.
Most winter slippers will have some lining, but not all lightweight slippers intended for summer will have linings. Some of these slippers meant for warmer temperatures have only a thin layer of soft material sewn into the interior along with the outer layer, and you’ll want to check the exposed stitching for any rough spots or imperfections.
Some slipper linings are also removable, which makes it easier to keep the slipper clean. These linings may have different thicknesses but are often easy to slide out of the shoe, launder, and replace effortlessly.
Lined slippers can be beneficial for those that need more warmth or for kids who like a softer fabric against their foot. Linings can also protect the foot from the seams of the slipper.
Lining materials can vary widely, and many are not removable, which makes them more challenging to clean; however, they are often able to shed dirt and other debris, so they don’t need washing as frequently as other clothing. Your child may also wish to wear socks with their slippers, which can protect the lining.
Low Cut Options and Slipper Boots
One of the newer designs available is the slipper boot, which is from a vintage design. Old style slipper boots had thin leather soles and woven uppers that resembled thick socks. These slipper boots may or may not have a lining, and are much easier to wash.
These slipper boots still resemble thick socks, but they feature all kinds of materials that have differing levels of stretch. Stretchier fabrics will help the slipper boots to stay on better, and less stretchy fabrics may be warmer in some cases but ultimately may be less comfortable.
Many character slippers are low cut and feature a thick layer of lightly warm and fluffy synthetic material. Kids love these slippers because they depict their favorite characters from shows or movies, and frequently come in fun shapes that wobble about when they walk.
These slippers cut above or below the ankle, and they are spacious enough for wide feet. The ones cut above the ankle feature stretchy material that wraps around the leg, which is both comfortable and warm. This fabric also helps to serve as a handle of sorts that makes it easier for your kids to put on themselves.
Slippers that cut below the ankle are even more comfortable to get on, but many of them also fall off easily while children are playing, or if they’re not the right size. Some of these shoes will also have a pull tab on the back to hang them up, pull them on, or connect them for travel.
Slip-on Slippers and Mules
Slip-on slippers are another excellent option for kids of all ages, and they are easy enough for even younger children to put on themselves. Older kids may also appreciate mules that have no backs and allow them to slip on the footwear of their choice quickly.
The mule design also accommodates socks easily and covers the toe for added protection. This design comes with a wide range of soles depending on the brand and style and is popular with adults as well. If your child’s feet are on the upper end of the size range for kids’ shoes, the mule design comes in adult sizes.
Slip-on designs are probably some of the most commonly found slippers for kids, and they are available in different shapes that range from characters out of shows and movies, to more sophisticated choices that resemble adult shoes.
Slip-on shoes are a good option for finding matching slippers for adults and kids, and brands often carry the same design in both youth and adult shoes.
Finding the Best Size for Your Child
Finding the right-sized shoes for your child is a process that’s worth doing carefully, so you don’t end up with improper sizing and sore feet. It’s also a good idea to get some professional input in certain areas as your child may not be able to articulate what their shoes feel like and if they fit their foot.
Get Fitted by A Professional
Even if you have bought shoes before, it’s a good idea to get professionally fitted periodically or to measure your child’s feet frequently. You’ll need to measure not just the length of your child’s foot, but the width as well to ensure their foot had the space it needs to spread as they walk.
It’s important to remember that not all brands follow the same size charts, and you may find yourself having to look at several different tables to compare your kid’s foot measurements. A professional can help recommend different shoes based on the dimensions of your kids’ foot and suggest other brands that have alternative sizing.
If your child weighs over 80 pounds it may be time to look into adult shoes or women’s shoes depending on sizing. Many youth shoes overlap with women’s and men’s sizes, and these can be excellent fitting shoes when your child is transitioning from youth to adult footwear.
Remember the Socks
If your child wants to wear socks with their slippers, you’ll want to make sure and account for that when choosing the right size for your child. Many slippers and flexible and can comfortably accommodate a thin pair of socks, but thicker socks may require that you size up a half size or more.
Most slippers don’t require that you wear socks, but if you want to wear thinner slippers in winter, adding a layer of socks can help increase their warmth. Likewise, if your child’s feet tend to sweat, a pair of socks are much easier to clean than the slippers in many cases.
Keep in mind that you shouldn’t size up on shoes when you aren’t sure what kind of socks your child will wear if they’ll be wearing socks at all. While many slippers can comfortably accommodate socks, rigid designs may be less accommodating.
When getting measured by a professional to find the right shoe size for your kid, it’s a good time to ask about how socks will work with the footwear in question, and how different socks will affect the comfort of the shoe.
Use A Measuring Device
You can purchase DIY foot measuring devices online, but these are not always the most precise. There are also online measuring worksheets that you can use, and these are often a free alternative that is very easy to use. All you need to use one of these worksheets is a printer and a pencil or pen for marking on the page.
There are also extensive sizing guides online, and many of the bigger stores, such as REI, Amazon, and Zappos have information on how different brands fit and more tips if you are struggling to find shoes that fit.
Bigger kid sizes will run in numerical sizes from one to seven, and Toddler sizes go from one to thirteen, but there isn’t much overlap here. Toddler sizes traditionally have a “T” after the number to differentiate them from Big Kid sizes, and some of the Big Kid sizes overlap with youth and adult sizes in some instances.
Since all of the brands use a slightly different size chart for their shoes, your best option is to try them on in person, use your judgement about how they fit and get a professional to assist when needed.
When you are shopping, make sure you are using the size chart specific to the brand of shoe you are looking to buy, and look for the naming conventions associated with Toddler and Big Kid sizes.
Use A Pinky, Not A Thumb
It’s no secret that kids’ feet are smaller than adults, so when checking to see that shoes are the right size, it makes sense that you would use a smaller finger than the standard thumb customarily used with adult sizes.
When fitting kids’ shoes, using your pinky is a more accurate measurement of how snugly the shoe should fit, and it’s approximately the right amount of space that should be between the tips of the toes and the end of the shoe.
Keep in mind that before you measure this distance, you should check to make sure the kids’ foot is flush against the heel part of the shoe, and properly laced or secured. Your child should also be standing up straight before you check the toe space, and you can also use this opportunity to check how the slipper fits around their ankle area as well.
The goal is to make sure that there is about a half-inch of space in front of the kid’s toes and the end of the shoe so that the foot has enough room to move when they walk. Less than this amount may be ok for a short time, as they are growing, for example, but once space reduces significantly, the shoes will start to feel tight.
Novelty Slippers and Unique Designs
There is also a never-ending assortment of different animal shapes such as sharks and buffalo, just to name a few, and these unique shapes are often popular with elementary-aged children. If your child is looking for more feminine shoes, several designs feature fancy prints and designs like a leopard’s spots, Wonder Woman, Trolls, My Little Pony, and other images.
Many of these slippers also incorporate different textures like faux fur, shaggy fabric, velvet, embroidered designs, and other synthetic materials. It’s common for these character slippers also to have components that perch on top of the shoe and wobble around as the kid walks.
If your child is a fan of a particular TV or movie character, you’ll be able to find a wide selection of slippers with that theme. If you are looking for a more sophisticated design, you can find slippers that use the same colors but have a more traditional overall shape.
Sole or No Sole?
There is some controversy on the best soles for slippers depending on the age of your child, but more flexible options generally seem to be considered better. Flexible soles allow for your child’s foot to move more freely and this allows all parts of the foot to get a workout.
When rigid soles restrict movement, parts of the foot don’t get to move, and that means the muscles in the foot lay dormant. If your child is younger, rigid shoes may also limit the amount of sensory input their feet receive, and this can slow their movement in different ways.
While this slow down might be slight, they’ll likely be happier if they can walk steadily and feel the ground beneath them more readily. Rigid soled shoes can also be more challenging to clean as some of them have components that cannot be put in a traditional washing machine and require cleaning by hand.
Soft-soled slippers are easily machine washed in most cases, and they allow full flexibility of the foot. These shoes are not meant for outdoors, but they come in all different insulation levels and designs. Soft-soled slippers are also less expensive and easy to find which means you can replace them when needed as your child grows.
Shoes that are meant to be warmer or worn in winter come equipped with more robust soles, and it’s ok for your child to wear these if it’s necessary. You’ll want to make sure they aren’t overly heavy or cumbersome as your child is walking, and you may want to have another pair handy in case your child deems them uncomfortable and takes them off.
Our Recommended Products
There are several different kid slippers available online, and many of them are novelty designs that relate to their favorite fictional characters. However, if you want more durable slippers that will keep your child’s feet warm and offer protection, then our top picks are excellent options to consider.
Minnetonka makes many different kinds of shoes for both children and adults, and the brand has an established reputation for high-quality goods. This slipper has a fluffy pile-lined interior that resembles faux fur, and the padded footbed adds extra comfort.
These slippers are comfortable for a young child to put on thanks to the slip-on design, and the pile lining makes them comfortable to wear with or without socks. On the top of the shoe is a decorative lace made from leather, and a suede upper adds a sophisticated touch that pairs nicely with the bold stitching all over the slipper.
- Comes in sizes for Infants, Toddlers, Little Kids, and Big Kids
- Faux fur lining for added comfort and warmth
- Easy slip-on design
- Very durable
- May take some experimenting to get the sizing just right
- Washable, but takes a while to air dry
The outsole on these slippers are constructed using Treadlite by UGG and is rugged enough to wear outdoors, but the shoe itself is a little more challenging to clean than other soft-soled slippers. These shoes also have decorative stitching and braided edging for a more sophisticated look.
These shoes come in three colors for kids: black, blue, and chestnut, so they pair well with all clothing. The interior of the Tasman II slippers is also fluffy and made from UGGPure wool.
The slip-on unisex design of the Tasman II makes it easy for kids to put these slippers on themselves.
- Rugged and thick sole
- Available in a variety of sizes
- Made from highly durable materials
- Suitable for both indoor and outdoor areas
- Not weather resistant
- Difficult to clean
The North Face Kids Thermal Tent Mule II is filled with synthetic material and has a recycled PET upper. These puffy looking slippers offer some of the most significant insulation available in most cases but are not always aesthetically pleasing for everyone.
A bonus to this type of slipper is that they are lightweight despite the high level of insulation that they provide, and they feature soft soles. These slippers are easy to clean and durable thanks to the materials used and the stretchy side panels that make them easy to get on and off.
- Available in multiple colors and sizes
- Pull tabs on the front and back to make them easy to get on and off
- Stretchy side panels
- No arch support
- May be too warm for some kids
There are indeed some very traditional looking kids’ slippers available, but there are also some wacky off-the-wall choices like these hamburger slippers. This creative and silly slip-on design offers a modest amount of insulation and uses multiple layers of fabric to create a cartoonish-looking hamburger shoe that’s sure to be a hit with younger kids.
- Grippy rubber soles
- Upper made from fleece
- Layered design that features lettuce, cheese, tomato, and a meat patty
- You can’t appreciate the whole design looking down on the slipper
This slipper incorporates a faux fur fabric with an attractive spotted print, and glittering claws made from cloth. These slippers cut above the ankle and are lightweight, but their exact weight varies based on their size. These shoes would be great fun for any child interested in animals, and they are available in a wide range of Big Kid, Little Kid, and Toddler sizes.
- Over the ankle design, so they stay on better
- Flashy golden claws that are soft
- Soft dual layered sole
- Sole is not very grippy
- Missing pull tabs for getting these on and off
These slippers have thick rubber soles that are appropriate for wearing outside, and these can be an excellent option for kids who need slippers that work for both indoors and out. The slip-on design is easy for younger kids to get on, and the felt upper is soft on the skin.
- Secure Velcro straps
- Easy to clean fabric
- A robust sole with a high level of grip
- May be difficult for kids to get on by themselves
- The sole may be too rigid for younger children
These slipper boots go over the ankle and part of the calf area of the leg for added warmth and help to keep the slipper in place. This design also includes hook and loop closures at the top to better secure the slipper boot and features a textile lining for added warmth.
- Cuts above the ankle for added warmth
- Easy to secure at the top so kids can put them on themselves
- Easy to wash
- Not as warm as some other slippers
- Little insulation
The See Kai Run Kids Cruz II slippers are an excellent option for kids in preschool or lightweight slippers in warmer climates. These shoes feature an easy to use Velcro strap and a felt upper attached to a grippy rubber sole.
- Kid-friendly Velcro strap
- Lightweight design
- Extra grippy sole
- Limited sizes
- Not as warm as other slippers
These buffalo slippers by Stride Rite are an excellent option for novelty slippers when you also want some grippy soles. These slippers feature a rounded toe design and a padded insole for comfort. The buffalo depicted on these slippers features plush ears, horns, and nose to encourage imaginative play.
- Slip-resistant sole
- Padded insole
- Easy to slip on
- No arch support
- The sole could be more grippy
The UGG Kids Cozy II Rainbow slipper features a mule design that is easy to slip on and off without needing to use your hands, and the shearling color is ultra-soft against your skin. These fun shoes come in two colors and have moderate arch support.
- Brightly colored and textured
- Easy to slip on
- True to size and width
- Difficult to clean
- Not for active play
Slippers come in a wide variety of designs that are best suited for children of all ages, and the type of slipper you get may depend on the activity level of your child.
For younger kids, the best kids’ slippers go on smoothly and secures the foot with straps or Velcro. As your child gets older, they’ll want a pair of slippers that they can put on themselves and may choose a favorite character from a beloved TV show or movie.
For many children, the best thing to do is to allow them to pick out their slippers and focus on getting them the right size for a comfortable fit.
Best Overall Slipper
Minnetonka is a well-known brand that has high-quality slipper options for all ages. Their shoes are known for their durability and high-quality materials across all sizes. It’s our choice for the best kids’ slipper.
The Minnetonka Cassie Slipper is available in several colors and sizes, so you can get the whole family matching slippers if you desire. There are also a select number of prints available, and the thin rubber sole helps make these slippers grippy yet flexible.
Best Premium Pick
The UGG Kids Tasman II slippers are another rugged and durable option that comes in Toddler, Little Kids, and Big Kids sizes. Many adults have found that the sizes on the upper end of the scale are large enough for their feet, so children and their moms can have matching slippers.
These slippers feature several higher quality materials than other designs that make them more comfortable. These shoes are also more durable and last longer than many less expensive slippers, so your kid won’t wear them out before they outgrow them.
The North Face Kids Thermal Tent Mule II is our top pick for best value as they are very warm and able to be worn in colder temperatures, yet are comfortable enough to wear for active play. These shoes are an excellent pick for kids of all ages, and they come in a variety of colors and sizes.