Kids with growing feet don't need a closetful of shoes for every backcountry occasion. What they do need: solid, midweight support; reliable waterproofness; a foot-hugging fit; and grippy tread. This classic boot delivers. Even one 7-year-old, who has always resisted high-top hikers because they "feel weird around my ankles," was won over.
The PU-coated leather and gusseted tongues kept his feet dry through countless puddles (have you ever seen a kid go around one?), and the lugged outsole gave him plenty of traction on rock and mud. Available in kids' 10-13 and youth 1-6. $65; 1 lb. 6 oz.; vasque.com.
Teko's Summit tekoMERINO have medium-weight cushion and three-season warmth, and the fit is great on small feet. $11; 1 oz.; tekosocks.com.