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Best Running Shoes for Kids with Extra Wide Feet — Available in Extra Wide Widths (XW)!


Editor’s Note: This post has been updated and revised for accuracy on May 2022 and reflects an up-to-date selection of the best running shoes for kids with extra wide feet.

Has your child started to show an interest in running but you can’t seem to find a single pair of running shoes that are wide enough for your child’s extra wide feet? Does your child complain that all running shoes feel too tight?

Whether children are ready for their first 5K, to joining the track and field or cross-country team, their feet need the correct type of footwear to take them there.

Children can run safely at any age as long as they’re excited to do so and don’t experience pain while running. The issue is that children with extra wide feet always have a harder time finding shoes that fit, and running in a pair of shoes that are too narrow will lead to discomfort and pain.

In addition, running in a pair of shoes that are too narrow can lead to your child developing several foot issues such as blisters, calluses, and corns. This can be discouraging for your child who might simply give up on running due to feeling uncomfortable.

Some children have high insteps in addition to having extra wide feet. Do you know whether your child has a high instep or not? The instep is the top part of the foot and when it’s high, it makes it a lot more challenging to find shoes that fit.

Below there is an image of a child with a high instep. As you can see there is a lot of extra foot volume that needs to be fitted inside the shoes.


My Experience Fitting Children’s Shoes

I know which running shoes are better for children with extra wide feet as I have been working for a specialized children’s shoe store for the last 10 years. We specialize in helping children with “complicated” foot shapes and common foot conditions such as flat feet and rolled ankles. I have helped hundreds of children with extra wide feet find the perfect pair of running shoes for their feet, and I believe I can help your child too.


What Makes the Running Shoes I Recommend Effective for Extra Wide Feet?

✅ Rounder Toe-Box: This feature is going to help prevent your children’s toes from overlapping or rubbing against one another or the side of the running shoes. Let me show you the difference between one of the running shoes I recommend and a different style. These shoes are the same length and width, but as you can see they have very different toe-boxes.


✅ Extra Depth: Some children in addition to having extra wide feet have a high instep. It’s important for your kids running shoes to provide extra depth to allow your child’s feet to sit deeply inside the shoes and prevent the top part of their feet from rubbing against the top part of the running shoes:


The Complications of Wearing Running Shoes that are Too Narrow

I have seen several children develop blisters on the back of their heels and small toes from running in shoes that were too narrow. Below you can find some images of the 2 most common places in which children develop blisters when running:


Let me show you which are the best and worst running shoe brands for kids with extra wide feet. Keep in mind that among these shoe brands certain running shoes provide better support and fit better than others.

Best Running Shoe Brands for Kids with Extra Wide Feet

Both of the shoe brands below manufacture running shoes in extra wide widths (XW). They are my go-to running shoe brands for children with extra wide feet and high insteps:

  • New Balance
  • Saucony

Worst Running Shoe Brands for Kids with Extra Wide Feet

The 3 running shoe brands below are among the most popular shoe brands for children in terms of style. However, none of these 3 shoe brands offer their shoes in extra wide widths and they tend to only fit children with narrow or medium feet.

  • Under Armour
  • Nike
  • Adidas

How to Retrieve Your Child’s Exact Foot Length and Shape

Before I show you a selection of the best running shoes for kids with extra wide feet I want to make sure that you know your child’s exact foot size and shape. I created a different article in which I help parents determine their child’s foot size from home:

How to Measure Your Kids’ Foot – 2 Simple Steps to Determine Foot Length and Foot Width

Best Running Shoes for Kids with Extra Wide Feet ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Make sure that you order these shoes in an extra wide (XW) width. Disclosure: Keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases.

Unsure About What Shoe Size You Should Order?

In each of the descriptions of the shoes I indicate whether you need to order a half a size or a whole size bigger than your child’s foot size to provide the correct amount of growing room.

Your kids’ running shoes must come with shoelaces instead of velcro closure. Shoelaces provide better support and stability than shoes with an alternative closure. I actually recommend using a specific shoe lacing technique that my coworker who has over 30 years of shoe fitting experience taught me. This shoe lacing technique will push your kids’ feet back, securing and protecting them against the back of the shoes.

This shoe lacing technique also helps prevent heel slippage when running. You can learn more about this shoe lacing technique in a different article I wrote called:

How to Lace Kids’ Shoes to Prevent Heel Slippage – 3 Easy and Simple Steps!

Is it Worth Investing in a Pair of Running Shoes?

First of all, I want to emphasize how more expensive running shoes don’t necessarily translate into better shoes for your child. Most running shoes I have fitted are reasonably priced and provide excellent comfort and support at the same time.

I understand how several families hesitate to buy running-specific shoes because the price is higher for a shoe that their child may quickly outgrow. I believe that investing in a pair of running shoes is a wise decision, for several reasons.

Reason #1: Running shoes provide significantly better support and comfort than your child’s everyday sneakers. That being said, the running shoes I recommend can be used for running as well as for everyday walking. Let me show you the difference in support between one of the running shoes I recommend and a different style:


Reason#2: Running shoes provide targeted cushion to specific areas of the foot which helps prevent injuries that range from ankle rolls and shin splints, to blisters and general foot and leg pain. It’s important for your kids’ running shoes to provide targeted cushion around your child’s heels to prevent blisters around that area.


Reason #3: Running shoes provide better traction which helps prevent children from slipping and falling.


Finding a pair of running shoes for a child who has extra wide feet can be frustrating and time-consuming, but I hope I made things easier for you by providing a selection of the best running shoes for kids with extra wide feet. Remember that in addition to being lightweight, flexible, and supportive, the overall fit of the shoes should remain your top priority.

The Best Running Socks for Extra Wide Feet – Seamless and Breathable

I have fitted certain running socks that are breathable, seamless, and comfortable. These socks are going to reduce the friction between your kids’ feet and the shoes. Below you can find a selection of the best running socks for kids:

One of the best features of these socks is that they hug the child’s foot and keep the sock in place while running. These socks are going to allow your child to get the most out of their run as they help maximize comfort and performance.

I always recommend parents to take their children to their specialized children’s shoe store. The issue is that most stores are closed now, so there is no way parents can get an expert opinion on whether their children’s running shoes are fitting correctly.

One way you can check whether your kids running shoes are wide enough is by checking if your child’s small toe is being pressed against the side of the shoes. If you notice a small bump that is your child’s small toe being pressed against the side of the shoes from the shoes being too narrow.


If you are unsure whether your kids’ running shoes are the correct size, feel free to email me at: fittingchildrensshoes@gmail.com 

Some children don’t care about traditional team sports and running can still be a social activity, especially for those children who join a track team. I believe it’s important for children to create a regular exercise habit as they benefit mentally and physically from being active.

Have you found a specific running shoe that has worked well for your child’s extra wide feet? Let us know in the comments section below so other families can benefit from your findings.


I created this webpage to help parents understand the importance that shoes have in healthy foot development and how they can prevent foot problems in the future.Join the rest of the parents who are taking care of their kids feet and get my guide for free: 10 Mistakes Parents Must Avoid When Buying Shoes for their Kids.

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