Merrell Kids’ Bare Steps H20 Water Shoe – Review

Merrell Kids’ Bare Steps H20 Water Shoe – Product characteristics

  • 100% Leather and Textile
  • Imported
  • Rubber sole
  • Shaft measures approximately low-top from arch
  • Extra wide toe box gives wiggle room to growing toes
  • Outsole with rounded edges to follow the natural shape of a child’s foot
  • Flexible grooves on the outsole for a barefoot feel
  • Convenient alternative closure for a snug fit and easy on/off
  • M Select GRIP for flexible, non-marking traction
  • Made with recycled materials
Merrell Core Bare Steps H20 Water Shoe, Blue/Orange, 6 US Unisex Little Kid*
  • Extra wide toe box gives wiggle room to growing toes
  • Outsole with rounded edges to follow the natural shape of a child’s foot
  • Flexible grooves on the outsole for a barefoot feel

Merrell Kids’ Bare Steps H20 Water Shoe – Reviews

Perfect shoe for toddler with large fat pad on top of foot

These shoes are amazing. We have tried every brand toddler shoe out there in every size and widest width available and nothing would work. Our son doesn’t have a super wide foot but at 16 months he still has a big fat pad on the top of his foot so it felt like we were having to shove every shoe on. The shoes would be too long, but very tight and leave marks on the top of his feet. I was hesitant to try these b/c they say they are water shoes, but I was desperate to find something that would work and be comfortable for him. They look and feel like a normal tennis shoe. These came today and I immediately knew they were perfect. The top fully opens up to allow the entire foot to slide inside with no resistance and you can adjust the Velcro as needed across the top. I only wish they came in different color options so I could buy a second pair. These will be our go to shoe as he grows.

Reviewed in the United States on April 14, 2019

Pleasantly surprised

We are those people who buy 100 pairs of shoes and return 99 of them until we get that 1 pair that actually fits my toddler’s XW feet. He rivals fred flintstone & getting him into any shoes (aside from New Balance which reliably come in XW) is painful. While these aren’t perfect, they are as close as we’re going to get for a water / beach shoe he can wear into the fall. The mix of wide sizes (although XW would be better!), flexible material, and easy / wide opening makes it a winning combination – sometimes you can only get 1 or 2 of the 3. These hit all three. I think they fit a little small in length, so would recommend sizing up 1/2 size at least. God speed to the other parents with fat flat feet on their kids!

Reviewed in the United States on July 16, 2019

Best toddler shoes in the market

I was very surprised that baby/toddler sneakers are made quite narrow for fashion purpose. It’s horrible for their feet development and toes. (I’ve been wearing narrow shoes my whole life and now have to deal with ingrown toe issues for years) so I wanted to make sure my baby’s shoes are comfy, breathable and wide so his chubby little toes have enough space. This is it! I finally found the perfect shoes! These are so durable, lightweight and wide! Just a few more bucks make a huge difference. I love the fact that it’s made for water because my boy always finds a puddle to play in. When he does, I can just hand wash them and dry. I’m so happy to find a perfect pair of shoes for my boy.

Reviewed in the United States on July 15, 2021

My kiddo said they’re the most comfortable shoes!

I’ve already put them in the washing machine twice! My son said they are super comfortable and he could wear them all day. I wish they’d made him in smaller sizes. I’d buy them for my daughters!

Reviewed in the United States on June 3, 2022

So disappointed, returning

I found out about these shoes when looking for Stride Rite water shoes, because that brand was what my son’s pediatrician suggested for his wide feet so he wears SR tennis shoes in a 6.5W. As the weather in AZ has started warming up my son has wanted to start play with his water table and hose on the patio, and though his tennis shoes are supposed to be washable I didn’t want his shoes and socks getting soaked nor do I want him barefoot and slipping. So I purchased a 6.5W because knowing he may quickly outgrow these because water shoes being too big seems like a safety concern. Anyways, they fit, there is some but not excessive room in the toe area and the shoe is wide, has a nice Velcro grip and cute style. The reason I am disappointed, however is the seam around the ankle rubbed and scraped the back of his heels, painfully. I considered keeping them and putting bandages on his heels or having him wear socks, but he had no part in the bandages and one of the reasons for buying water shoes was not to have wet socks. So I am returning. My other problem with these shoes is the insole removed very easily but it doesn’t seem like they are removable just the adhesive to keep them in the shoe is weak and wore off after getting the shoe wet. I still need water shoes for my wide foot child so I am very disappointed that these won’t work for us. I should have taken note of the other review that mentioned the shoes also scraped their child’s heels.

Reviewed in the United States on February 15, 2022

Love these!

These are my favorite shoes for my son. He wears them all of the time not just as water shoes. My son is a hot kid and his feet are always so sweaty with shoes. They’re lightweight and breathable so there is minimal feet sweat and he seems to find them comfortable. He doesn’t have to wear socks because they are so easy to wash. They do take the better part of a day to dry but if I put them in front of a fan I’m sure it would be much faster. I got the wide width because he has somewhat wide feet and they felt a half size bigger than his other shoes (which are the same size but normal width). I am thinking about ordering a 2nd pair because I love them so much.

Reviewed in the United States on June 9, 2019

Runs BIG

Seems like a great shoe however they seem to run bigger then most shoes.

Reviewed in the United States on March 9, 2021

Perfect shoe for kids

I’m so glad Merrell decided to start making “barefoot” style shoes for kids. My toddler normally wears a robeez style shoe but we needed a little more shoe for the splash pad or hiking and playing in the creek. These are light, flexible, and flat from toe to heel. My son just started walking within the last month and he has no problems walking in these. They open really wide so it’s easy to get his foot in. Dirt wipes off easily.My only complaint is that they don’t come in bigger sizes for my older child.

Reviewed in the United States on May 11, 2019
Merrell Core Bare Steps H20 Water Shoe, Blue/Orange, 6 US Unisex Little Kid*
  • Extra wide toe box gives wiggle room to growing toes
  • Outsole with rounded edges to follow the natural shape of a child’s foot
  • Flexible grooves on the outsole for a barefoot feel

Merrell Kids’ Bare Steps H20 Water Shoe – FAQ

Any clue on the size? My kid wears 11 kids. 28 european. Not sure how that translates into this size.

These shoes are awesome. In answering your question, you can easily size up and have room to grow. That’s what we did for my two younger children. The Velcro strap keeps them on, and you’ll get lots of wear out of them that way. Or, you can just order the normal size 11 that your child wears. Win win!

Are these shoes machine washable?

I’ve washed them 3 times and they seem to hold up, I air-dry them after.

Is the “little kid” size for toddlers or older kids? Looking for a toddler size 6 for my 21 month old

Toddlers. Just remember to order via prime so you can return with no hassle.

How accurate is the size chart? I can fit my wide-footed toddler into a size 7 shoe but the chart says he should get an 8.5 at 6 ins long.

I followed the size chart when I ordered my sons shoes and they fit perfectly.

How do you clean these? Are they machine washable?

I washed them in th washing machine without any problem

how do you clean this shoes

I machine wash and air dry. My son has loved these shoes.

How do these do in the sand/mud? I’m looking for something my two year old can wear to the lake and beach this summer.

We did that a lot with our kiddo. He was 1 at the time so not as active as a 2 year old but I’d imagine they’d still be great. They were always very easy to clean up as well.

Is there an arch in these shoes?

No, not that I can tell. These are more of a barefoot style shoe.

Merrell Core Bare Steps H20 Water Shoe, Blue/Orange, 6 US Unisex Little Kid*
  • Extra wide toe box gives wiggle room to growing toes
  • Outsole with rounded edges to follow the natural shape of a child’s foot
  • Flexible grooves on the outsole for a barefoot feel

*If you buy a product through one of these links, I will receive a small commission from the seller. There are no additional costs for you, and you support my work on this site. To learn more read here. Thank you and Feel Grounded. Dirk