Best Alternatives to the 990 New Balance Kids’ Shoe – Top 3 Alternatives!

I work for a specialized children’s shoe store and parents often ask me if the 990 by New Balance is the best shoe for kids, especially those dealing with foot issues (flat feet, in-toeing, toe walking, etc.) The 990 series, known for its support and fit (accommodates wide feet and orthotics), is really one of a kind for support and comfort. This shoe has been a go-to for its blend of support, cushioning, and wide sizing options (available in wide and extra wide widths). The problem is that the price is on the higher and sizes also sell out pretty quickly, so I am going to show you which shoes provide similar features to the 990 and that might be more affordable as well.

What Makes the 990 the Best Choice for Children with Foot Issues?

When we’re talking about shoes for children with foot issues such as flat feet, in-toeing, overpronation, or “complicated” foot shapes such as wide or extra wide feet, the 990 shoe rises to the top with three key features: support, fit, and durability.

The technology New Balance incorporates into the 990 series makes a real difference. The firm heel counters and the ENCAP midsoles are renowned for their durable cushioning and support, while the shoe is available in wide and extra wide widths to accommodate “complicated” foot shapes as well as orthotics.

Best Alternatives to the 990 – Top 3 Alternatives

Unfortunately, there are not many shoe brands that manufacture shoes with the support, fit, and quality of materials that the 990 by New Balance provides. However, over the years I have found certain models that provide similar features as the 990. Before I show you specific shoe recommendations, I want to remind you that every child’s foot is different, and what works really well for some children might not work as well for others.

1️⃣ The first shoe that comes to mind is the Saucony Cohesion, which is available in both girl’s and boy’s colors. This specific shoe provides similar features as the 990 such as a supportive outsole and firm heel counters. The only downside to this shoe is that it doesn’t fit as deep or wide as is not available in extra wide widths.

2️⃣ The second alternative is the New Balance 2002 (also available in girl’s and boy’s colors). This shoe provides very similar features to the 990 in terms of support, fit, and durability. The shoe provides extra depth to accommodate orthotics, and the main downside is that the shoe is not available in extra wide widths. Another New Balance shoe similar to the 990 is the 574.

3️⃣ The third alternative is made by Memo, an orthopedic shoe brand that manufactures footwear to help children with foot conditions such as flat feet, in-toeing, toe walking, etc. The Memo Chicago shoe provides a thermoplastic asymmetric stiff heel counter for proper foot protection and stabilization as well as a Thomas heel for the prevention of flat feet.

All of the alternatives I recommended have sturdy midsoles (crucial for shock absorption), reinforced toe caps, and materials that can withstand the scuffs and strains of daily wear. It’s worth noting that the more durable the shoe, the more likely it will support your child’s foot correctly for a longer period.

Contact Me for Specific Shoe Recommendations

Children’s shoe needs can vary depending on their age, activity level, and any specific foot conditions they may have. If you have any questions or need any further assistance, you can also contact me via email or through the comments section below and I will get back to you as soon as possible. 

Remember that children’s feet are constantly growing and developing. Ill-fitting shoes can lead to problems down the line. Think about it: if a shoe doesn’t offer the right support or fit, the child’s foot may compensate in unhealthy ways, potentially leading to issues like overpronation or flat feet.

As I mentioned before, the issue with the 990 is that the price is on the high end (many families cannot afford this shoe), and the sizes sell out pretty quickly, especially the wide and extra wide widths. Not every shoe is perfect for every foot. Your goal should be to find shoes that provide the correct amount of support with proper fit to encourage healthy foot development.