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Rain footwear is tough to nail down for anyone, but when you add the constantly changing feet of toddlers and children to the mix, it becomes nearly impossible. Children tend to be more active — and more prone to purposefully leaping into puddles — than adults, and so kids' rain books need to stand up to a lot, without breaking the bank.
By design, kids rain boots are pretty similar to their grown-up counterparts, typically made of rubber and sometimes with additional features like handles for easy on/off. They tend to come in a variety of fun colors and patterns ranging from silly and fun to simple one-color designs.
Of course, the challenge when shopping for any kids' clothing items is that toddlers and children grow fast. You don't want to drop a ton of cash on rain boots that won't fit in a few month's time, but you do want to find something durable and effective at keeping your tot's socks dry. These picks rise to the challenge.
Hunter boots are pretty much the gold-standard in rain gear. The brand's most iconic style, the Hunter First Classic Waterproof Rain Boots, are available in miniature for children as young as five months and as old as eight years.
While they aren't cheap for kids' boots, they're made of durable latex rubber that releases a protective film of wax in humid weather that can be easily cleaned off with a damp cloth. Hunter boots are unlined, but they can be paired with warm socks in cold weather. They come with removable insoles and are available in a selection of classic solid colors.
According to Best Products, these boots "feature a wider shaft to make them easier for toddlers" to slip on and remove without help. As The Baby Swag points out, this roomier shape also allows for more wiggle room as your kids' feet grow, further justifying the steep price tag.
Experienced Mommy, Slate, Mom Loves Best, The Bump, and The Strategist also recommend Hunter boots for kids. This particular pair has 581 reviews on the Nordstrom website. "Perfect for my 4-year-old, he is incredibly hard on rain boots and these are still holding up really well," writes one shopper.
Some kids' rain boots feature handles to help tykes get the hang of putting on and removing their own shoes. The Crocs Kids' Handle It Rain Boots are perfect for slightly older kids who are starting to get dressed by themselves, due to oversized handles built into the top sides.
Made of traditional breathable Crocs material, these have chunky soles with lots of traction, making them a great option for playing on rough terrain. There's also a giant Crocs logo on the side, so they're perhaps not the ideal pick for the logo-averse. But the heels do feature a reflective logo as an additional safety feature.
Writers at publications like The Strategist, The Baby Swag, Mom Loves Best, Best Products, and Experienced Mommy love these rain boots, especially for their durability. The reviewer at Experienced Mommy writes, "The seamless design of the boots makes the Crocs Handle It less prone to leaking or splitting" around the handles than similar options from competitors.
The boots have over 2,300 reviews on Amazon and a 4.5-star rating and are the top Best-Seller for the retailer in their category. "The number one thing I love about these boots: the super light weight!!" writes one reviewer. Keep in mind that most shoppers seem to agree you should size up, because they run a bit small.
Kids are difficult to shop for, not only because they can be picky, but because they grow so darn fast. Target's children's brand Cat & Jack has an adorable selection of affordable rain boots for toddlers for $19.99 and options for slightly older kids for $24.99.
All of them come in cute colors and patterns that will appeal to fun-loving boys and girls. There are ice cream cone boots, shark boots, glitter boots, strawberry boots and more, all highly rated on the Target website.
Most are made of sturdy rubber and designed to come to about mid-calf height on most kids. Some feature pull-on handles attached to the upper rim.
"These strawberry rain boots are super cute and durable. My daughter loves them and they kept her feet comfortable and dry even while jumping in puddles," one shopper writes about the Maddison Strawberry Rain Boots.
Rain boots have a tendency to get stinky since they're worn in damp, mildewy conditions. The Bogs Kids' Skipper Waterproof Rubber Rain Boots have odor-repellent qualities that keep 'em fresh even when they've been worn all day long in humidity.
The boots claim to be 100% waterproof are lined with something called Max-Wick, a moisture-wicking material that keeps sweat and moisture off feet so they stay dry even when conditions are less-than ideal. The brand also employs something called DuraFresh "organic bio-technology," which is said to fight unpleasant smells.
Sizes range from toddler to little kids up to eight years old. This style is highly rated on Amazon, with a 4.4-star rating based on 67 reviews.
"My daughter has very wide feet and I have a super tough time finding shoes and boots that are comfortable for her. After buying bogs winter boots, I took a chance on these and they were a hit. She wears them all the time and never complains. Bogs is one of our go-to brands!" writes one shopper.
According to The Strategist, they also come expert-recommended "for their convenient side handles and their efficacy at keeping little feet dry in extreme conditions."
If your little one has a flair for personal style, the Oaki Toddler Rain Boots come in a bunch of unique, fun prints ranging from crocodiles to narwhals to NASA-inspired designs.
The rubber boots claim to be totally waterproof and feature top handles for easy pull-on action. The interiors are lined with cotton for additional padding and warmth and the bottoms feature a defined tread pattern for sturdiness. Oaki claims its boots are made of all-natural materials for a guilt-free purchase.
"My 2-year-old LOVES these rain boots! She wears them almost everywhere we go. I haven't noticed any issue with her walking or running in these, and they stay on really well," says one reviewer.
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