Are you having a hard time finding a pair of narrow running shoes for your child? Do you feel like every single running shoe style that you try for your child’s feet is too wide and gaps too much around the ankles?
If your children are serious about running, you must provide them with a pair of supportive shoes that will also fit the shape of their narrow feet perfectly.
The issue is that finding a pair of narrow running shoes can be a frustrating and time-consuming experience if you don’t know what shoe styles to look for.
It is true that the selection of running shoes for children with narrow feet is extremely small, but there are certain running shoe styles that will fit the shape of your kids’ feet perfectly, and I am here to help you find them.
I have been fitting children’s shoes and orthotics for the last 10 years at a premier children’s shoe store specializing in children with foot and leg problems, and also providing regular shoe fittings.
We carry some of the most supportive children’s shoes and orthotics, and I am familiar with which shoe brands and which shoe styles among those brands are better than others.
For the last 5 years I have been helping families find the perfect pair of shoes for their children online.
Parents seem to have one question in common: Why is it so hard to find narrow shoes for their children with narrow feet?
Shoe companies stopped manufacturing kids’ running shoes in narrow widths simply because of the lack of demand. This doesn’t mean there are no children out there with narrow feet, the issue is that most parents are not even aware that their children have narrow feet.
Let’s start by making sure that your child has narrow feet. There are two very simple steps that will help you determine whether your child has narrow feet or not.
✅ The first method is to check if there is too much extra shoe material in the front top part of your kids’ shoes. Have your child stand up straight and slide your finger and pinch to see if there is extra shoe material. Take a look at the picture below for clarification:
Do you notice how there is a lot of extra material in the front of the shoes?
✅ The second method is to check if there is too much extra space around your kids’ ankles. You can check this by sliding your finger around your kids’ ankles and see if you can fit one or two more fingers in that area. Take a look at the picture below for clarification. There shouldn’t be all that extra space around your kids’ ankles.
Finding running shoes for a child with narrow feet can be extremely time consuming if you don’t know which shoe brands or which shoe styles to look for. The good news is that I will be able to show you which are the best shoe styles that I have fitted them before.
Providing your children with a shoe style that is too wide for their feet can lead to all sort of issues such as blisters, calluses, and corns. When a shoe is too wide, the foot moves too much inside the shoes and that constant friction and rubbing between the feet and the shoes will lead to the issues mentioned above.
In addition, when children are running, they are stressing their feet and legs at a whole different level, and if the shoes are not fitting them properly, they can develop foot, leg, and back pain.
One of the most common problems that children with narrow feet have is that their heels tend to slip out or move too much around the ankles. There are certain shoe styles that come with heel counter that are narrow than others.
Let me prove this to you…
Notice how in this first image the shoe has a much rounder heel counter than the shoe style in the second image.
This third image shoes another shoe style with a narrow heel counter looked from a different angle:
Before I provide you with a selection of the best narrow running shoes for kids, let me first show you what features these shoes will provide and how you can figure out your child’s exact foot size from home.
Running Shoes for Kids – The 5 Most Important Features!
Besides fitting the shape of your kids’ narrow feet perfectly, the shoes must also provide the 5 following important features:
✅ Substantial Sole: This feature will help reduce the impact that your kids’ feet and legs take every time they come in contact with the ground. When children are running, they are stressing out their feet and legs at a whole different level, so we need the shoes to be supportive.
✅ Firm Heel Counter: This feature will protect and support your kids’ ankles as well as strengthen and straighten them. If the shoe that you provide for your child has a heel counter that is too flimsy, your child won’t get any of the benefits that the shoe has to offer. Please take a look at the picture below for clarification on where the heel counter of the shoe is:
Always press on the heel counter of your kids’ shoes to make sure that it feels firm. The firmer it is, the better.
✅ Good traction: This will prevent your child from slipping and falling down, especially when running fast.
✅ Breathable: The shoes must be breathable in order to prevent the buildup of bacteria inside the shoe.
✅ Shoelaces vs Velcro Closure: I always recommend parents to provide children with shoelaces instead of Velcro closure, especially when it comes to running shoes. The main reason for this is that shoelaces will provide more support and stability to your child’s feet. Shoelaces will also hug your kids’ feet better and fill any remaining gap around your kids’ ankles.
I am always emphasizing to parents that it doesn’t matter how many features a particular shoe style provides, if the shoes are not fitted properly, your child won’t get any of the benefits that the shoes have to offer. What’s even worse, if you don’t provide your child with the correct shoe size, you will end up creating all sort of issues to your child’s feet such as blisters, calluses, and corns.
This is the reason why I always recommend parents to take their children to their local shoe store that they trust, so take a look at a map I created where I describe the best fitting children’s shoe stores by state:
If you don’t happen to have a children’s shoe store in your area, then proceed to take a look at an article I wrote where I describe the simplest, yet most effective way to figure out your child’s foot size from home:
Now that you know what features a running shoe must provide and how to figure out your child’s exact foot size from home, you are ready to take a look at a selection of the best narrow running shoes for kids.
The Best Narrow Running Shoes for Kids ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
I only write reviews of shoe styles that I have fitted before, otherwise I wouldn’t know how well-made they are, the amount of support that they provide, and how they fit.
Here you can find selection of the best narrow running shoes for kids. Disclosure: Keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases.
All of these shoe styles fit “true to size”, which means that you need to provide your children with a half a size to a whole size longer of the size that they measured at the standard foot measuring tool (Bannock device), in order to allow for growing room. This amount of space will also prevent your kids’ toes from rubbing against the front or the side of the shoes.
If none of these shoes happen to come in your child’s size, please leave me a message in the comments section below and I will be able to show you which shoe styles come in your child’s specific foot size.
Do you happen to need a pair of narrow running shoes for yourself? I actually wrote an article where I describe the best narrow width running shoes for women. Go to the link below:
Running Shoes with Shoelaces – Support ✅ Stability ✅
Like I mentioned before, shoelaces will make a tremendous difference not just in the way the shoes fit, but also in the amount of support and stability that your child will get from the shoes.
There is a particular shoe lacing technique that I have found to be the most effective one when it comes to tying shoes for children with narrow feet.
This shoe tying method will push your kids’ heel back, securing and protecting them against the back of the shoes.
✅ First Step:
Start by lacing the shoes like you would normally do, but when you get to the top leave the two eyelets (shoe holes) open as shown in the picture below.
✅ Second Step:
Lace the shoelaces through the top hole first.
✅ Third Step:
Go through the two holes that you left open.
Leather Tongue Pads for Shoes – Yet Another Alternative!
Tongue pads are extremely effective in minimizing any remaining gap in your kids’ shoes. Tongue pads will put more pressure in the instep of your child’s feet, pushing and securing your kids’ heels against the back of the shoe, and filling up any remaining gap left inside the shoe.
Tongue pads are adhesive backed-pads that fit in the tongue of the shoes and they work in all enclosed shoes.
If I try a pair of narrow shoes for a child and use my shoe lacing technique, but the shoe is still too wide for the child’s feet, that’s when I proceed to try a tongue pad.
I describe how tongue pads work in more detail in another article. Please go to the link below:
Have you tried a particular running shoe style that has worked well for your child with narrow feet? Please share your findings below so other parents can benefit from your experiences.