When children start walking, shoes are necessary to protect their feet from harmful external elements such as heat, cold, sharp stones, etc. It is critical that the feet be measured at a reputable shoe store by someone who has extensive experience with fitting children’s shoes. A good shoe should have a flexible sole and the upper should be soft and comfortable. It is important to have a firm heel counter to support the heel as it strike the ground.
I personally have had New Balance running shoes for my 3 kids. They also have supportive sandals with a back strap for use in the summer and crocs are limited to the beach or pool area only.