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The Ultimate Teen Shoe Guide

For some teens, fashion is a big deal. From science class to after-school adventures with friends, teen shoes must be stylish enough to be worn with confidence during struts down the hallway or in front of the class during that big presentation, comfy enough to be worn all day, and tough enough to stand up to nonstop wear and tear. But just like the struggle of buying clothes your teenager approves of, how do you know what shoes your (sometimes very picky) teen would like? We’ve compiled a list of the top shoes teens are loving so much, they’re willing to spend even their their own money on them.

Stylish Teen With Sneakers On

Essential Shoes for a Teen Girl

It’s not necessarily that your teen is picky—she just has her own style which can be very different than yours (in her eyes). These shoes are so well-loved right now in the teen fashion industry that she’ll be impressed with your up-to-date fashion choices and might even love them as much as shoes she picked out herself.


Teen Girl Fashion Sneaker (img credit: Overstock)

Fashion sneakers are trending everywhere from fashion show runways to high school hallways. These year-round staples are comfy and follow most school dress codes. Retro trainers, minimal low-tops, and edgy high-tops are all hot commodities in the teen fashion world. Why are they so popular? Teen girls are gaining traction in the “sneakerhead” industry, which is focused on people who love fashion sneakers and are constantly in the know with new trends and styles, so a fashion sneaker is most likely a sure-fire bet when it comes to buying shoes for your teen that she’ll love.


Teen Girl Floral Shoe

Flats are a great stylish option for the teen who likes to dress up a bit. A classic ballet will go with a wide variety of outfits, however, opting for a more fun option like a pointy toe or cutout lets her make more of a statement. These trendy shoes are comfortable and easy to throw in a gym bag or backpack when heading to practice after school. Go with a print that matches her clothing style, or get a neutral pair and let her add her own flair.


Teen Girl Gladiator Sandal (img credit: Belk)

A pair of unique and fashionable sandals is a teen must-have for warmer months. A pair with a sturdy sole and arch support, like a pair of popular Birkenstocks (that aren’t just for moms anymore), helps summer feet stay in tip-top-shape. Go with a pair with fun straps like gladiator sandals that will look great with anything from jeans to her favorite dress, or opt for a pair of fun espadrilles for a lightweight option perfect for summer months.


Teen Girl Slide Shoe (img credit: Nordstrom)

Playful slides are in the teen fashion spotlight with wild styles like faux fur and metallic tops standing out from the crowd. Teens are wearing these fun shoes with a wide variety of outfits from sweats to jeans. Go with a vintage pair featuring a popular athletic brand like Nike or Adidas for sporty girls, a neutral pair featuring simple yet gorgeous designs like those by Universal Thread for the minimalist teen, or a unique pair with velvet or added sparkle for the fashionista in your life.


Teen Girl Stacked Bootie Shoe (img credit: Nordstrom)

You really can’t go wrong with a classic pair of boots or stacked booties. These fashion essentials are comfortable, can be worn year round from spring to fall, and go with almost any outfit. While there are lots of fun prints and colors to choose from when it comes to booties, a neutral dark color like black is the most versatile. Moms—it wouldn’t hurt to pick a pair up for yourself while you’re bootie shopping! These will easily become new favorite shoes for both of you.


Teen Girl Red Heels

A pair of pumps is important for a teen so she can be ready for dressy events. A classic nude or black pump is a great go-to option, but a more comfortable and unique style like a low pump with a kitten heel, pointed toe, and slingback strap or a heel in a bright color is a more fashionable choice that’s sure to be appreciated.

Essential Shoes For A Teen Guy

Guys’ wardrobes can sometimes be a bit more streamlined than girls', but not always! Here are a few shoe essentials every teen guy needs in his closet.


Teen Guy Sperry Slip-Ons (img credit: Walmart)

Sperry and Converse dominate the casual slip-on industry, and dress shoe options like loafers add style and sophistication to a teen’s wardrobe.


Teen Guy Fashion Sneaker

Sneakers are more versatile than ever and are taking over the fashion industry. Guys can dress them up—even pairing them with tailored suits or dress jackets—or dress them down with jeans and still have a fashionable look. Try a variety of styles: an athletic option like Nike running shoes or a casual streetwear option like Vans are always a hit.

Dress Shoes

Teen Guy Oxford Shoe (img credit: Giorgio Brutini)

Every teen guy need a fashionable, go-to pair of dress shoes in his closet. Popular styles include the classic oxford, a stylish loafer, or a fashion-forward mule. Don’t be afraid to add some personality and style to the dress shoe of your choice. A trendy brown oxford or a unique mule goes with any of his outfits from jeans and a blazer to even a dressy suit.


Teen Guy Chelsea Boot (img credit: Walmart)

Boots are perfect for any season and are often an extremely versatile men’s wardrobe accessory. A Chelsea boot—whether it’s a classic black option or a more fun option like a dark blue—stands up to the elements and looks classy with a variety of outfits. Your teen can pair jeans and a graphic tee with these boots, or even use them to add a casual yet still professional twist to a suit. Or for a more relaxed style, check out a pair of Chukka boots for a laid-back yet trendy look.