Are Crocs Good for Kids? Benefits & Drawbacks To Consider

Despite their potential suitability for certain events or activities, Crocs are not the most optimal choice of footwear for children to wear on a daily basis.

Young children just learning to walk should not wear Crocs because of the lack of heel support and stability.

Older children can wear Crocs occasionally, but they should not be worn for long periods, while playing sports, or if there are existing foot issues.

According to The College of Podiatry

“Fastenings such as laces, Velcro and T-bars are recommended so that the foot is safe and secure in the shoe when the children are active.

Foot sliding movement in the shoe may cause the toes to curl and grip to reduce this foot slippage and has the potential to cause problems to the toes.”

As a mother of a toddler who is suffering from podiatry issues due to wearing improper shoes, I know how important it is to make sure that your child’s shoe offers the proper amount of support and stability. 

While Crocs may be good for water activities or wearing to the pool, I would not make them my child’s everyday shoes.

Crocs for Children: Good or Bad?

When deciding whether or not to offer your child Crocs, look at all the factors. Crocs are better for certain stages of life than others.

Crocs Support and Protection

A major issue with Crocs and any other shoe that has no back is support. That loose strap in the back does nothing to hold your child’s heel in place when she walks, and that can lead to problems.

Wearing shoes without proper heel support can lead to various issues; however, the most pressing risks for young children include: 

  • Heel Spurs: Prolonged stress on the heel without proper support may result in the development of bony protrusions known as heel spurs.
  • Achilles Tendonitis: Improper support can affect the Achilles tendon, leading to inflammation, pain, and reduced flexibility.
  • Foot Arch Pain: Lack of support can cause discomfort and pain in the arch of the foot, contributing to conditions like flat feet or fallen arches.
  • Ankle Instability: Shoes without proper heel support may increase the risk of ankle sprains or instability due to insufficient stability around the heel and ankle.
  • Foot Fatigue: Without proper support, the feet can tire more easily, leading to discomfort and fatigue, especially with extended periods of standing or walking.

Flat feet, as well as the back of the foot not lining up properly with the front, can be caused by wearing shoes with unsupportive backs, especially if your child is just learning to walk.

In addition to providing stability, shoes also provide a layer of protection for your child’s feet from debris, hot surfaces, and sharp objects that can cause injury. 

Crocs provide a very minimal amount of protection, which is another reason why they should only be worn for certain activities such as going to the pool. 

Benefits of Crocs for Kids

A few benefits of Crocs include: 

  • They can be slip-resistant, making them a good shoe choice for wearing to the pool or the lake
  • Plenty of toe room and comfortable for children with wide feet
  • Easy to clean
  • Easy for children to put on and take off

Disadvantages of Wearing Crocs

Crocs simply do not offer the support a child needs when she is learning to walk.

A child who learns to walk improperly in shoes that lack heel support can eventually have problems with their feet, such as flat arches and hyperpronation, as they get older. 

When your child is learning how to walk properly, they should be in a shoe that does not allow their heel to move freely.

Crocs Age Recommendations

Though Crocs come in sizes for all ages, they should not be worn by a toddler or any child who isn’t already walking with a proper gait.

Podiatrist Emily Splichal says:

“I’m actually not opposed to a child wearing Crocs as long as they are walking mechanically the right way and picking up their feet with each step.

If the child can control the mobility of the foot there is no negative to wearing Crocs. If your child has a flat foot, needs extra arch support, or shuffles her feet when she walks, she might not be cut out for Crocs.”

There is no specific age recommendation for Crocs, but it’s probably a good idea for kids to at least be in elementary school with no foot issues before they try them.

Plain pink Crocs on a young girl at a rocky beach.

When Kids Should Not Wear Crocs

Kids should not wear Crocs when they are engaged in any type of physical activity. Crocs fall off easily, and they do not offer support for your child’s heels.

Crocs are not great for flat feet unless you buy the right kind. Certain Crocs have extra arch support that can help someone with slightly flat feet.

Podiatrists also don’t want to see kids wearing Crocs all day long.

They are easy shoes to slip on for quick outings, but wearing them long-term increases the risks of them falling off or causing foot issues.

Are Crocs Bad for Toddlers?

Crocs are not ideal for toddlers. Toddlers are just learning to walk, and they need to be in semi-tight shoes that won’t fall off or allow them to turn their ankles while moving.

Crocs just don’t have the right support for this job.

What About Baby Crocs?

As long as your baby isn’t trying to walk, baby Crocs are harmless. They may not be very practical, but they will not cause any damage to your immobile baby’s foot.

Best Shoes for Baby Learning To Walk

There are a ton of different brands podiatrists recommend for early walkers, but they all tend to have certain things in common. 

Good shoes for kids learning to walk should be tight enough to be secure but not so tight that they keep your child’s muscles from growing and developing.

Anti-skid features keep your child from slipping, and your child should have shoes that are wide enough in the toe area so they can spread their toes out for balance. 

Rubber soles are also popular because they are light while still offering support. Check out Stride Rite, Converse, or Tsukihoshi for great options.

Podiatrists Recommend These Shoes for Children

Robeez shoes are the favorite of The American Podiatric Medical Association, but there are other brands podiatrists love as well.

Momobaby, Pediped, Stride Rite, and Keen are all considered exceptional choices for a child’s growing feet.