Why These Are the Only Travel Shoes I Pack for My Kids

Jul 2, 2019

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Dedicating an entire travel story to a pair of kids shoes may seem excessive. But, if you have ever traveled in the wrong shoes — or worse — had your kids travel in the wrong shoes, it won’t seem excessive at all. Nothing stops the fun of exploration faster than a poorly placed blister on a little foot.

Usually a story about the best travel product in a particular category includes a round-up of top options, but in this case I have one clear all-around favorite. (And no, this is not sponsored in any way, I just love these shoes and want to shout the good news to other parents.)

Our favorite kids shoes for travel, once kids are in the toddling stage and above, are Native Jefferson shoes. (For the pre-toddle crew, I like Freshly Picked Mocs.) Native’s vegan-friendly shoes are extremely lightweight, comfortable, can be worn without socks, work in and out of water, are easy to clean, dry quickly and (knock on wood) have never caused a problem on my girls’ feet. Perhaps it’s because of the rubbery material and ample airflow in, but they generally don’t stink, either, even after being worn wet.

Related: Best Credit Cards for Family Travel

As you can probably see from the assortment of pictures, my kids have worn Native shoes from toddlerhood to the tween years, and from Hawaii to New York City to Disney World and back again. Unless we are heading to somewhere snowy, we almost never pack a second pair of kid shoes when we travel because there’s no need. 

Photo by Kim Ebert / The Points Guy
Photo by Kim Ebert / The Points Guy

There are colors to fit all personalities ranging from Flamingo Pink, to Ultra Blue to Stars and Stripes and dozens more — including sparkles, if that’s your thing. Sizes range from a Toddler 4 to Junior 6, though not every single color combo comes in every size. There are other Native styles beyond the Jefferson that I can’t speak to from personal experience.

(Photo by Summer Hull / The Points Guy)
(Photo by Summer Hull / The Points Guy)

Every pair we’ve owned has held up well enough to be passed down to the next kid. However, if that doesn’t happen for you, there’s a way to recycle your Natives shoes.

While some colors do occasionally go on sale, prices typically hover in the $35 to $40 price range. You can find Native Jefferson shoes on a number of sites including Nordstrom, Zappos and Amazon. (Be sure and make your purchase through a shopping portal, when possible, to rack up miles.) Half-sizes aren’t available, so sometimes it can be tough to get the right fit when your kid is smack between whole sizes. The good news is that even when the shoes have been a touch tight or a touch big, they’ve still worked just fine for us.

If you want comfy feet, easy-to-clean shoes and a streamlined packing experience, I can’t recommend Native Jefferson shoes enough for kids on the go. They are, by far, my favorite kids shoe for travel and virtually the only shoes we pack these days. (And yes, they also come in adult sizes, though I can’t vouch for wearing them as a grown-up.)

I’d love to hear if your family has a favorite shoe for your kids when you hit the road, too, so sound off in the comments below!

Related stories:

All photos by author.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide, eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.
Intro APR on Purchases
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.