Who would buy Nikes for a toddler? I would.
For a while I was of the mindset that spending money on brands like Nike, Adidas, etc for a toddler was foolishness. We bought our little guy (now not so little) whatever was well priced when he needed a pair, and fit his feet. What made me change my mind? Well, we noticed that at around age 3 he started to complain about going for walks that were more than a couple blocks long. It didn’t matter which shoes he wore, he would ask to be picked up after a couple blocks. We tried several pairs, thinking that it could be the shoes didn’t fit well, but it didn’t seem to matter. On a whim when we were searching for new shoes we tried on a pair of Nikes and as soon as they were laced up he started to hop in place smiling. Crazy. To be honest I still figured it was a fluke, but we went ahead and bought them as they were on sale.
Fast forward to that weekend and we asked him if he wanted to go for a walk. His response was much as before but we went ahead and got him dressed and went outside. Put simply it was the longest walk we had in months and not a single complaint. He walked (often ran) the entire way and from that point forward was excited to get outside.
So, I take back everything I said / believed about higher end athletic shoes not being worthwhile for toddlers. Since then we’ve stuck with it and wouldn’t change it for anything. Don’t believe me, give it a shot. Buy a pair that fit and take them home. Let your toddler wear them around inside the house (you can always take them back if they’ve not been worn outside) and see how they react.