Have you been looking for a pair of Nike shoes for your child? Nike is without a doubt one of the most popular shoe brands for children and adults, but I have found that most Nike shoe styles are not the most suitable choice when it comes to keeping the feet of your children healthy.
Allow me to elaborate.
Due to my experience in evaluating children’s feet and fitting different shoe styles, I became familiar with the best shoe brands for children, and Nike is certainly not one of them.
I have been working for a specialized children’s shoe store for over 10 years now. This experience has afforded me many insights into children’s shoes and the way they fit. Our store specializes in shoes for children with foot and leg problems, but we provide regular shoe fittings as well.
I believe that Nike’s shoe popularity comes from their marketing campaigns that showcase successful and charismatic athletes with attractive sneakers. The company is fashion-focused and they use the influence of celebrities and musicians to create buzz about their shoes.
That being said, I don’t recommend Nike sneakers for children because their shoes lack some of the most basic features that are required to keep the feet of a child healthy.
Let me show you the 2 main reasons why you shouldn’t buy Nike shoes for your kids:
1st Reason: Their Shoes Don’t Fit High Insteps, Wide/Extra Wide Feet
Did you know that there are no Nike shoe styles capable of accommodating children with wide or extra wide feet? Most Nike kids’ shoes are also not able to accommodate children with high insteps.
Do you know what the instep is? The instep is the top part of the foot, and when it’s high we need to find a pair of shoes that are deeper, to allow the foot to fit deeply inside the shoes and prevent the top part of the foot and the toes from rubbing against the top part of the shoes.
Nike shoes are not available in different widths, they are too shallow, and they all come with pointier instead of rounder toe-boxes. This means that if your child happens to have wide or extra wide feet or a high instep, you should stay away from Nike shoes.
Let me show you an example of a child with a high instep wearing a pair of Nike shoes. The parent is blaming the Velcro strap of the sneaker when in reality the issue is that the child has a high instep.
Let me show you an example that will help you visualize what I mean. The pictures below are from two different shoe styles one made by New Balance (navy blue) and the other one made by Nike (grey). These shoes are the same shoe width and the same shoe length. However, can you tell the difference in the toe-boxes? It seems pretty clear that the New Balance one is much rounder than the Nike one.
Shoes with rounder toe-boxes prevent the child’s toes from overlapping one another or rubbing against the side of the shoes.
The main issue that a lot of parents face is that children with high insteps, wide or extra wide feet still want to wear Nike shoes due to the brand’s popularity, and end up wearing shoes that are too narrow for their feet. This leads to the child developing several foot issues such as blisters, calluses, and corns, as well as general foot and leg pain.
Be mindful that children’s feet come in different shapes and sizes, and shoe companies need to keep this in mind when they manufacture their shoes.
So, you might be wondering why Nike is not manufacturing kids’ shoes in different widths? I believe this is due to production costs and the less variations there are, the less the cost is for shoe companies. So, by manufacturing only the most common shoe width: “medium” the cost of mass produced shoes is kept fairly low.
I know it might be hard to believe that such a powerful and successful company such as Nike doesn’t have the capital or vision to manufacture shoes in different widths. They might not want to put too much emphasis on their kids’ shoe products or they simply don’t care about children with wide or extra wide feet, since they know their shoes are popular and will get sold regardless.
If your child happens to have wide or extra wide feet or a high instep, please stay away from this shoe brand. I can guarantee you that their shoes won’t fit the shape of your child’s feet.
The shoes that you provide for your children affect the development of their feet. The wrong type of shoes can lead to the misalignment of joints, restrict the normal growth of the feet, and limit the natural movement of foot joints.
Please emphasize to your child how it doesn’t matter how cool or trendy the shoes are, if the foot doesn’t fit well within the shoe, they are not going to perform well and might end up hurting themselves.
2nd Reason: Unsupportive Shoes that are too Flimsy!
Most Nike children’s shoe styles tend to be too flimsy and unsupportive, and they provide no support whatsoever.
Let me prove this to you. Let’s take a look at a couple of different Nike shoe styles to help visualize what I mean.
In the first image I am pressing on the heel counter of the shoe and you can notice how flimsy it is. The heel counter is the back part of the shoe that provides ankle and heel support. The firmer the heel counter is, the better.
In the second image I am pressing on the middle part of the shoe, and you can see how easily it bends. The sole of the shoe is the part that attenuates the impact that the feet take when they come in contact with the ground.
Did you know that children place an enormous amount of stress on their feet and legs, and their feet endure 3 times more stress than the average adult foot?
If you fit your child in a pair of unsupportive shoes that are too soft and don’t attenuate the impact that your child’s feet take when they come in contact with the ground, your child might end up developing foot and leg pain.
I am not saying that your kids’ shoes need to be rigid or stiff. I actually believe that children need to wear shoes that provide a combination of good support and flexibility at the same time.
Buying Nike Shoes that are Too Long – Don’t Hurt Your Kids’ Feet!
I have helped hundreds of children who come to the shoe store wearing the wrong shoe size. For the most part they are wearing shoes that are too narrow, but I have seen several children develop foot issues from wearing shoes that are too long.
I have seen several cases of children with wide feet or high insteps who are determined to wear Nike shoes and they will keep trying the shoes in longer sizes until there is no pressure on the widest part of their feet and toes.
I strongly recommend that you don’t allow your child to do this, since wearing longer shoes has the same drawbacks as wearing shoes that are too narrow. Shoes that are too long will compromise your child’s stability and make your child more prone to falling down. In addition, shoes that are too long allow for too much foot movement inside the shoes, and that constant friction between the feet and the shoes leads to foot issues such as blisters, calluses, and corns.
The fact that Nike doesn’t consider children with wide or extra wide feet is not the only issue with this shoe company. They also don’t seem to put too much investment in their manufacturing of kids’ shoes.
BOTTOM LINE: The reason why I believe that Nike is not a good shoe brand for kids is because they simply don’t consider children’s foot needs when they manufacture their shoes.
What Type of Feet Do Nike Shoes Accommodate? – Let’s Find Out!
Children who have narrow or medium width feet might have no problem wearing Nike shoes. However, please keep in mind that if your child has a foot condition such as flat feet, overpronation, low muscle tone, or rolled ankles, I recommend fitting your child in a pair of more substantial and supportive shoes.
Nike Shoes Don’t Accommodate Orthotics – Here’s Why!
Another point I almost forgot to mention is about orthotics. If your child happens to wear orthotics with the shoes, you need to stay away from Nike shoes. They are not supportive enough to hold the orthotic in place, and they will most likely be too narrow for the orthotic.
Orthotics take a lot of space inside the shoes. Most Nike shoes are too shallow, too narrow, and come with a pointier toe-box instead of a rounder one.
This means that if you try to fit an orthotic inside the shoes you might end up destroying the front part of the shoe. Here is a picture of a Nike shoe with an orthotic fitted inside of it. Do you notice how the orthotic is poking at the front of the shoe?
When it comes to children’s shoes, Nike seems to be very fashion oriented but not very concerned about the child’s foot health.
I am here to tell you that are other alternatives of shoe brands that might not be as stylish, but they will keep your kids’ feet healthy.
The Best Shoe Brands for Kids – Keep Your Kids’ Feet Healthy!
I actually wrote an article where I describe the best shoe brands for kids. If you want to find out which ones they are go to the link below:
If you happen to have a child with feet that are wide, extra wide, or with a high instep, then keep on reading because I will show you which shoes will accommodate the shape of your child’s wide feet.
There are certain shoe companies that keep children’s foot health in mind when manufacturing their shoes. They make high quality, supportive and lightweight and flexible shoes that are available in different widths such as medium, wide, and extra wide.
They also manufacture shoes with 2 key features:
✅ Extra Depth: To allow the child’s feet to fit deeply inside the shoes.
✅ Rounder Toe-Box: To prevent the child’s toes from overlapping or rubbing against the side of the shoes.
In order to accommodate the different needs of kids, I have put together a selection of the best shoes for children with wide and extra wide feet, as well as for children with high insteps, and you can refer to the articles below:
What has been your child’s experience with wearing Nike shoes? Is there a specific Nike shoe style that has been able to accommodate the shape of your child’s high instep or wide/extra wide feet?
Please do not hesitate to contact me if your child has a foot condition or a particular foot shape that is making it harder for you to find shoes that fit. You can send me pictures of your child’s feet barefoot standing on a flat surface or feel free to send me videos so I can better evaluate your child’s walking gait: email@example.com