Nameberry Style: Baby Needs A New Pair of Shoes

This week Nameberry Style columnist Elisabeth Wilborn, who also authors You Can’t Call It It and The Itsy Factor, picks the most stylish summer shoes for your little one.

Anyone else have a shoe fetish that they’ve passed down to their children?

One of my justifications for loving shoes too much: Footwear sets the tone for the rest of the outfit.  I rationalize the spending part by reminding myself that good shoes take care of growing feet.  Hey, they will wear the right shoes every day for months, right?

For a child’s shoe wardrobe, It’s nice to have the option of a color and a contrasting neutral (think metallic!), a water shoe and a shoe that can double for dressier occasions.  For toddlers, you also might want to choose shoes they can get on and off easily by themselves.  Have a baby at home?  Go shoeless!

Here are top children’s footwear picks for summer 2011, posted this last day of April because the good ones always go so fast!  Descriptions and buying links start below the photo; read from left to right, top to bottom.

Native — Feeling divided on which side of the Croc debate to fall?  Now you don’t have to choose.  Vancouver-based company Native reinvented classic styles that you can hose down and feel good about putting on your child’s feet.  Like them enough you want a pair too?  You’re in luck, they also come in adult sizes.

AdidasRemember Gazelles?  Anyone own a pair of Stan Smiths?  A good tennis shoe gets you far all year long, but there’s something about the Adidas stripes that lends an edge to the rest of the look.

Saltwater— If you plan to buy only one pair of shoes this season, invest in Saltwater sandals.  A perennial classic, these will work as easily at the beach as they do at your brother’s fancy June wedding. (HINT: If you’re ordering online, keep in mind these tend to run large).

Sven– For the slightly older child, these clogs are quite literally, too cool for school.

Livie and Luca — Hand-crafted from leather remains in an array of adorable vintage styles, Livie and Luca‘s are some of the most comfortable and durable children’s shoes. They make soft, bright shoes in the tiniest baby sizes too.

Bensimon— A Parisian staple, these unassuming little tennis shoes convey instant chic.

Did I miss your favorites?  Tell us what they are!  After you snag a pair, of course.

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