This post contains affiliate links.
My family goes hiking from time to time, including during the summer. I like hiking best with a good pair of hiking shoes, but we’ve been known to run into creeks or standing water on our travels, especially if it rains a lot. In one recent case, we came across a full-fledged creek that was so high we had to remove our shoes entirely to cross. It would have been nice if we’d had hiking shoes that could get soaked through and still be usable.
Well, companies do make trekking sandals. They’re maybe slightly weaker on foot support than a traditional hiker shoe, but the upside is that they are a little more versatile, allowing wearers to walk in water. I tend to think of trekker sandals as a bit of a middle point between a hiker shoe and a full-fledged water shoe, which is great for walking in rock-filled water but not so great on land.
Aldi sells a few kinds of trekking sandals during the summer, including an adult men’s version. Aldi also sells a kid’s version under Lily & Dan, an Aldi house brand.
Lily & Dan Children’s Trekking Sandals are an ALDI Find, which means they’re a limited-time buy. At the time of this post, they cost $9.99, less than most other kid trekking sandals. They came in both boys’ and girls’ versions, each in a few different sizes. For our purposes, we tried out the girls’ version, although our observations should also apply to the boy version.
The sandals have a few features of note. One, they have a Velcro adjustable strap on the top, which makes it easy for a child to put on and adjust his or her own sandals. The sandal is held to the foot with hook and loop closures, which help keep a snug fit. The outsole has a sturdy, thick feel to it, which, along with the toe cap, seems to be well-made to protect a child’s foot.
Our elementary school-aged daughter has tested the shoes, including for a few days during heavy rain at a state park. She says the shoes are okay (a better evaluation than she had with the Lily & Dan Girl’s Memory Foam Canvas Shoes), although she did sometimes have tiny rocks get caught inside them, which can happen even with a toe cap. She hasn’t gotten any foot injuries, though, and she seems to be able to walk in them as well as in any other shoe.
One thing I have noticed is that there are a few threads loosening in parts of the upper sandal. They’re not pervasive at this point, and I don’t know how much that will increase with wear. In our experience, kids’ shoes tend to wear out fast, but kids’ feet also grow … things all parents know. We tend to think that the sandal should last as long as it fits, but we can never be positive.
In our experience, generic shoes don’t tend to last as long as name-brand shoes, including when it comes to child footwear. That said, the Lily and Dan Children’s Trekking Sandals seem to be pretty well-made, with a tough outsole, a solid toecap, a comfortable interior, and an easy-to-use adjustable strap. And they’re only $9.99. If you’re looking for outdoor footwear for a growing child, these aren’t a bad option.