Best shoe stores for New York City kids
Pick up sneakers, boots and more at these city footwear shops.
Wed Aug 17 2011
Photographer: Virginia Rollison
Best for comfortable shoes
Tip Top Kids
The footgear emporium is dedicated to protecting New Yorkers' feet from the often-painful demands of hoofing it around the five boroughs. At their kids-only location (just down the block from their adult store), tiny Birkenstock sandals and Minnetonka moccasins ensure that even the littlest pedestrians get started on the right foot. 149 W 72nd St between Columbus and Amsterdam Aves (212-874-1004, tiptopshoes.com)
Best for first timers
Since 1919, this chain has gained renown for the fit and durability of its kids' shoes. Soft soles and elasticized ankles keep prewalkers' toes protected, while toddlers can take their first steps in rounded-sole shoes that help prevent the inevitable stumble. Young Sesame Street fans can even pick up footwear inspired by the licensed characters. Go to striderite.com for city locations.
Best for craftsmanship
As its name implies, this Italian shoemaker promises the most natural fit for a bambino's tootsies. The sneaks and sandals are cobbled in a way that simulates the feeling of walking on sand, with flexible bottoms, soft uppers and insoles that pull out for easy washing. All three Manhattan outposts are located inside Greenstone stores—pick up tops, jeans and other choice goodies before heading home. •454 Columbus Ave at 82nd St (212-580-4322, naturino.com). •1184 Madison Ave between 86th and 87th Sts (212-427-0679). •1410 Second Ave between 73rd and 74th Sts (212-794-0570)
Best for special occasions
Sure you can find standard-issue kids' footwear here (think colorful Crocs and comfy Keds), but the shop offers several dressier options, too, including strappy Primigi sandals and dainty Nina ballet flats. 830 Broadway between 12th and 13th Sts (212-228-7990, ibizakidz.com)
Best for old-fashioned service
Harry's Shoes for Kids
The Upper West Side standby has been outfitting New Yorkers with stylish footwear for the past eight decades, and its staff continues to pride itself on its standard of traditional customer service. Shoe experts take the time to measure and evaluate the fit of each pair of shoes, based on factors like the flexion, girth and width of a child's foot. 2315 Broadway between 83rd and 84th Sts (212-874-2034, harrys-shoes.com)
Best for variety
Expect a smorgasbord of shoes here—everything from Mary Janes and ballet slippers to rain boots and sneakers. The boutique's fashion-forward but sensible European footwear—from the likes of Camper and Aster—is even placed at kid level so mini shoehounds can easily pick out their favorites. 42 Hudson St between Duane and Thomas Sts (212-406-3270, shooflynyc.com)
Best for athletes
This chain offers an unbeatable selection of footwear for on-the-go kiddos—running shoes, soccer cleats and more. And since all those Nike, Adidas, Puma and New Balance sneaks can quickly add up, sign up for the in-store VIP Club to receive budget-friendly coupons and rewards. Go to kidsfootlocker.com for city locations.
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