Updated January 2022
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Best of the Best
Puma Speeder Illuminescent V Light-Up Sneaker
Speeder Illuminescent V Light-Up Sneaker
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Bottom Line

A quality light up sneaker. LEDs light when pressure is applied, rather than being constantly on.


A comfortable shoe with great grip. The sock liner and cushioned midsole are removable. These sneakers feature a standout design – the big cats light up rather than the whole sole. A big hit with young wearers.


Sizes can run small, so you may want to size up.

Best Bang for the Buck
YUNICUS Kids LED Light Up Shoes with USB Charge
Kids LED Light Up Shoes with USB Charge
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Bottom Line

There's a lot to love about these shoes - like multiple light modes and USB charging. Durability, however, may be an issue for some.


Easy for kids to put on by themselves, thanks to hook-and-loop closure. Several different light-up modes, and charges with USB cable. A single charge lasts for hours, and the lights can be turned off to conserve power. Options for both boys and girls.


Lights stopped working quickly for a few users. Shoes could be more durable.

Skechers Kids Litebeams-Gleam N'dream Sneaker
Kids Litebeams-Gleam N'dream Sneaker
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Bottom Line

Praised as head-turning light-up sneakers that look even better in person. Their durability, however, gets mixed reviews.


Open wide, so they're easy to slip on and off little feet. Hook-and-loop closure instead of tie laces. Most find them to be very comfortable. Lights activate when child takes a step, so they do not drain the battery.


Some say they wish shoes were more durable. Occasional reports of one shoe arriving not lighting up.

Stride Rite Boys M2P Lighted Neo
Stride Rite
Boys M2P Lighted Neo
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Bottom Line

A durable sneaker that's made to last - and the proof is in the weight.


Comes in wide widths, which can be hard to find in kid's sizes. Sturdy sole with plenty of tread. Light when child stomps rather than button-activated. Lining is anti-microbial to help prevent odors. Reinforced toe helps to keep these fun shoes in good shape.


A few reports of insoles coming loose and bunching inside shoe. Heavier than some other options.

Skechers Kids Boys Energy Lights Sneaker
Kids Boys Energy Lights Sneaker
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Bottom Line

Older kids can join in the fun, too, with this stylish pair from a trusted brand. Tweens can charge their shoes repeatedly; but toddler sizes lack a port.


Comes in sizes for both young kids and tweens, although only the larger sizes are rechargeable. Variety of color and light pattern options in larger shoes. Very comfortable and look stylish even when not lit.


Smaller sizes cannot be charged. Some reports that one shoe in pair stops lighting. Be careful not to overcharge.


We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

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Buying guide for best light-up shoes for kids

Trends come and go, fads fizzle out, but the flashy appeal of light-up shoes for kids somehow never seems to fade. Featuring built-in LEDs, kids’ light-up shoes blaze a colorful trail of attitude behind attention-loving tykes, instantly brightening up even the dullest days. Whether they're high-tops or low-tops or fasten with laces or straps, light-up shoes outshine regular sneakers any day of the week.

But with ever-evolving technology, choosing the perfect pair isn't exactly a walk in the park. Some shoes come with a variety of settings that make shoes flash and change colors; others even have a remote control as well for your child to take charge of the fun. Before you buy, you’ll also want to consider the materials, battery life (and the benefits of rechargeable models), and the importance of waterproofing, so your kid’s favorite shoes will last a long time.

If you're in the market for a pair of light-up shoes for kids, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve created the detailed guide below to help you choose. When you’re ready to buy, consider one of our top picks.

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Just like regular shoes, light-up shoes come in a variety of styles. Sneakers are hands down the most popular, but it’s also possible to find light-up boots and even sandals.

Key considerations

Lighting mechanism

Not all light-up shoes are created equal, and because the lights are the star attraction, you’ll want to pay special attention to how they work and what they do. Kids’ light-up shoes typically fall into one of two basic categories: pressure-activated and rechargeable. Let’s take a look.

  • Pressure-activated. These light-up shoes feature built-in sensors that require kids to step, stomp, or jump for the lights to come on. Not surprisingly, pressure-activated models are incredibly effective at getting kids up and moving. Because the LEDs only light up when pressure is applied, the chances of preinstalled batteries outliving the shoes themselves are good.

  • Rechargeable. Equipped with USB charging ports and control switches, usually located somewhere near the heel collar or inside the tongue, these shoes remain lit up until they’re switched off or the battery dies. Although rechargeable models tend to have a battery life of only a few hours, most charge reasonably quickly, and they often boast variable light settings, to boot.

Light placement

LEDs can be installed in various areas on a shoe, so don't forget to give some thought to light placement. While traditional light-up shoes typically have LEDs fitted around the entire sole, some only light up in the heel or toe area. Still others feature light-up graphics on the shoe itself, usually in the form of beloved cartoon characters, popular kids’ movie themes, or brand-specific emblems.


Focusing all your attention on the lighting system is an easy trap to fall into, but remember — shoes that are all flash and no substance won't go the distance. Kids certainly have a knack for putting gear to the test, and light-up shoes are bound to see some heavy wear in the first few weeks. Below are the materials to look for to make the shoes last:

  • On the soles: To ensure that they last long after the initial novelty has worn off, look for light-up shoes with a durable construction. Robust rubber soles will go the extra mile while also providing traction to keep little ones from slipping while they skip, hop, or dance.

  • On the uppers: When it comes to the shoe’s upper (the part that covers the top of the foot), look for age-appropriate materials. For instance, shiny PU leather shoes can be ideal for adolescents, but they’re likely to suffer serious scuffs and scrapes at the hands (or feet) of tykes. When choosing light-up shoes for the younger crowd, sturdy fabrics, genuine leather, or faux leather with reinforced toe caps might be a better fit.


As with any other shoe, finding a proper fit is vital. Shoes that are too small will be downright uncomfortable and, as much as your child might want to wear them, all the lights in the world won't make up for painful pinching, squeezing, and rubbing. On the other hand, light-up shoes that are a bit too big can hold the promise of offering “room to grow,” but they’ll also hamper coordination, increasing the chances of stumbling and falling.


Variable light settings  

Although just about any light-up shoe is likely to win big smiles from little children, models with adjustable light settings tend to hold more appeal for older kids. Most rechargeable light-up shoes offer at least a handful of light modes, including static, flashing, and a selection of colors. Not only can customizable LED colors and light patterns help keep things interesting, but this nifty feature also affords kids the opportunity to match their light-up shoes with a wide variety of outfits.

Remote control

Some kids’ light-up shoes boast as many as 15 different settings. Needless to say, having to repeatedly press a switch on each shoe to reach a desired color or light pattern can become tiresome pretty quickly. Models that come with remote controls deliver the ultimate in light-selection convenience, allowing children to change colors and patterns at the press of a button.


At the end of the day, shoes are shoes and even light-up varieties need to be able to stand their ground in the face of splashes, rain, puddles, and mud — especially when they have little feet filling them. Luckily, most manufacturers understand this and go to great lengths to ensure that a bit of moisture doesn't spell lights out for their shoes.

However, it's important to note that, although the average light-up shoe can handle a quick run through the rain, the efficacy of the waterproofing can vary dramatically from shoe to shoe. In some cases, prolonged exposure to moisture can impede battery life, so be sure to check the manufacturer guidelines before giving your kids the green light to wear their LED shoes in inclement weather. [You may also be interested in our top picks for kids’ rain boots.]

Light-up shoes for kids prices

Inexpensive: Smaller sizes, lightweight materials, and obscure brands tend to cost the least, with prices ranging anywhere from $10 to $20. While it's possible to find a fairly decent pair of toddler-sized light-up shoes in this price bracket, budget-priced models might end up needing to be replaced sooner than you’d like.

Mid-range: Light-up shoes that aren't suspiciously cheap or outrageously expensive can offer the best of both worlds as long as your expectations are reasonable. Models priced between $20 and $35 generally boast a good blend of functional durability and fun features.

Expensive: If only the best will do for your child, big brands, premium construction materials, and extra bells and whistles can set you back anywhere from $35 to $70 or more.

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Did you know?
All light-up shoes look amazing on the dance floor, but rechargeable models that can be left on while kids bust out their best moves have a definite edge over pressure-activated varieties.


  • Skip the laces for littles. If you're looking for light-up shoes for a toddler or a younger child, consider slip-ons or sneakers with Velcro straps. These are easier to get on and off without help and eliminate the possibility of tripping over untied shoelaces.

  • Inspect the inside of rechargeable light-up shoes before you hand them over to your child. Switches and USB ports should never have sharp edges that can cut into skin and need to be positioned where they won't rub against joints or tendons.

  • Keep an eye on battery life when light-up shoes are set on color-changing mode. As much fun as a color-changing light show can be, it's worth noting that this setting can drain batteries faster. Brighter colors like white or yellow also tend to use up more battery life than cooler colors like green or blue.

  • Don't ditch sock liners unless you have to. Removable sock liners can extend the shelf life of light-up shoes by providing an additional barrier against moisture and odor-causing bacteria.

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If you’re buying light-up shoes for a child under the age of three, we recommend choosing a pressure-activated model. Toddlers love filling little gaps with anything that will fit, and the USB ports on rechargeable models might prove to be irresistible.


Q. Can light-up shoes be switched off for day-to-day wear?
Light-up shoes that can be turned off when necessary deliver a fantastic balance of fun and functionality, but not all models are up to the job. Unfortunately, the vast majority of pressure-activated shoes can’t be switched off and most will continue to light up with every step until the battery dies or the LED lights give out. If you need your kids’ light-up shoes to pull double-duty, but don’t want to shell out extra for a pressure-activated option that’s equipped with an on-off switch, choosing a rechargeable model with a fairly basic design is your best bet.

Q. How long do rechargeable light-up shoes take to reach a full charge?
This varies from shoe to shoe. While a small percentage can take as long as four hours to recharge, the average light-up shoe typically reaches a full charge within two to three hours of being plugged into a power outlet.

Q. Can I wash my child’s light-up shoes?
Electrical circuitry and moisture have never been known to mix well and submerging light-up shoes in water generally isn’t advisable. Rechargeable light-up shoes with USB ports are particularly susceptible to malfunctioning due to moisture seeping in through openings, so you might want to err on the side of caution by keeping these as dry as possible. While a handful of manufacturers state that their shoes can be washed, we recommend keeping cleanups simple. Use a damp cloth to wipe down the exterior and tackle crud stuck to the soles with an old toothbrush.

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