Are Nike Shoes Good for Your Kids’ Feet? – The 2 Reasons why They Will Hurt Your Kids’ Feet!

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 shoes 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 believe that Nike’s shoe popularity comes from its 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 most Nike shoes are not 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. Take a look at all of the extra foot volume that needs to be fitted inside the shoes when a child has a high instep:

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 of two different shoes that are the same width and the same length. However, can you tell the difference in depth? It seems pretty clear that the New Balance one provides extra depth and it will accommodate the shape of a child’s high instep a lot better:

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, but some shoe companies don’t keep this in mind when they manufacture their shoes. 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.

Remember when I told you that Nike shoes tend to have pointier toe-boxes instead of rounder ones? Let me prove this to you. Do you notice how the shoe on the right has a much rounder toe-box compared to the Nike shoe on the left?

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’s take a look at a couple of different Nike shoes 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.

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.

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.

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 to shoe brands that 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 that are durable and affordable.

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.

Certain shoe companies 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:

1️⃣ Extra Depth: To allow the child’s feet to fit deeply inside the shoes.

2️⃣ Rounder Toe-Boxes: To prevent the child’s toes from overlapping or rubbing against the side of the shoes.

To accommodate the different needs of kids, I have put together a selection of the best shoes for children with different foot shapes. Disclosure: Keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases.

Additional Shoe Resources for Children

I have created several resources over the years that describe the best sneakers for children with wide or extra wide feet.

Why Doesn’t Nike Manufacture Kids’ Shoes in Wide Widths?

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 fewer 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 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.

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?

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:

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