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The Best Running Shoes for Kids – Allow Your Kids’ to ZOOM in Their Shoes


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

Are you looking for a pair of supportive, lightweight, flexible, and durable running shoes for your child? Did you know that children’s feet and legs undergo a great deal of abuse? I have put together a selection of the best running shoes for kids that are going to support and protect your kids’ feet and legs.

As children get older and become serious about running, they will need a pair of running shoes. Even if your children are not going to be actually doing competitive running in their shoes, a high-quality and supportive running shoe offers significantly more support and comfort than the everyday sneaker.

You will be surprised to know that the best running shoes are not made by some of the most well-known shoe companies such as Nike, Adidas, Reebok, or Under Armour. Those shoe companies actually make some of the worst running shoes for kids, and several children that I have helped actually were dealing with foot and leg pain from wearing running shoes made by those shoe companies.

I will be able to show you which running shoes are better than others in terms of support, comfort, and durability. In addition, the running shoe styles that I recommend are available in different widths such as medium (M), wide (W), and extra wide (XW). Most children have wide feet, and if you provide them with running shoes that are too narrow you will end up creating several foot issues such as blisters, calluses, and corns.

My Experience Fitting Children’s Shoes

I have been working for a specialized children’s shoe store for over 10 years now that focuses on children with foot and leg problems, but we provide regular shoe fittings as well. Over the years I became familiar with the best running shoes for kids.


What Makes the Running Shoes I Recommend Effective?

Certain running shoes provide targeted cushion to key areas of the foot such as below your kids’ arch and heels, to minimize the impact that your kids’ feet take every time they come in contact with the ground. For example, let me show you the amount of cushion of one of the shoes I recommend versus a different shoe:


As children grow, they run faster and jump higher, and their feet and legs receive more impact and abuse than ever before.

The average child takes 20,000 steps a day. Running shoes for kids are engineered to provide your child with the support, cushioning, and motion control that they need to run around all day while preventing foot and leg injuries associated with each particular activity. However, there are certain running shoes for children that provide more support than others, and I will help you find them.

I also believe there is a misconception about minimalist shoes for kids. Children should wear substantial shoes when running. Let me show you the difference in support between one of the running shoes I recommend a different style:

I will provide you with a selection of the best running shoes for kids shortly but first let’s take make sure that you know your child’s exact foot size. You won’t be able to order the correct shoe size online if you don’t know your child’s foot size to begin with.

This leads me to this next question:  Are you 100% sure that you know your child’s exact foot size?

I always recommend parents to take their kids to be properly fitted for shoes at the local shoe store that they trust, where a shoe fitter can properly measure their feet and find shoes that fit.

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

Not all parents have a good fitting children’s shoe store in their area. That is the reason why I decided to create a resource where I describe the best fitting children’s shoe stores by state:

The Best Kids’ Shoe Stores in the United States – Where to Go for Proper Fittings!

If after looking at the resource you still can’t seem to find a kids’ shoe store in your area, then proceed to read an article I created where I describe the simplest, yet most effective way to figure out your child’s foot size from home:

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

In that article I help parents determine their child’s exact foot size and whether the child has narrow, medium, wide, or extra wide feet. I also will be able to tell you whether your child has a high instep or not.

Now that you know what features the kids’ running I recommend provide and how to figure out your child’s foot size from home, you are ready to take a look at a selection of the best running shoes for children.

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. Disclosure: Keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases.

The Best Running Shoes for Kids ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Narrow – Medium Feet

I always recommend running shoes that come with shoelaces instead of velcro closure as shoelaces provide better support and stability.

Below you can find a selection of the best running shoes for kids with narrow or medium width feet.

The Best Running Shoes for Kids ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Medium – Wide – Extra Wide Feet

The running shoes below can fit children with medium (M), wide (W), or extra wide (XW) feet.

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.

*A half a size bigger translates to 3/16 of an inch or 0.4 centimeters of space between your child’s longest toe and the end of the shoes.

*A whole size bigger translates to 3/8 of an inch or 0.8 centimeters of space between your child’s longest toe and the end of the shoes.

Now that you know the key role that good, supportive running shoes play in keeping your kids’ feet healthy, you are ready to make the most informed decision.

Sturdy, supportive shoes with a firm heel counter that are also lightweight and flexible will prevent foot injuries such as twisted ankles.

Always make sure that your kids’ running shoes are tied properly, The shoes should be comfortably tight, but the tighter they are the most stable your child is going to feel.

Running Shoes for Kids – How Much Should You Spend?

I have spoken with several parents that hesitate to buy running-specific kids’ shoes because the price is higher for a shoe that their children may quickly outgrow.

While it depends on the style of shoe that you are looking for, you can end up paying anywhere from 40 to 100 dollars for a good, supportive running shoe. I have seen certain running shoes in the 40-dollar range that provide the same support and durability as shoes in the 70-dollar range, so don’t assume that expensive shoes automatically translate into better shoes for your child.

Economizing is part of everyone’s life, but when it comes to our kids’ feet, you will end up saving a lot of money in the long run by providing them with shoes that will keep their feet and legs healthy.

Remember when I told you that Nike, Adidas, Under Armour, and Reebok manufacture some of the worst kids’ running shoes? Most shoe styles from those brands are too flimsy, unsupportive, and they tend to fall apart really quickly. Some of the best shoe brands that manufacture kids running shoes are Asics, Saucony, and New Balance.


Minimalist or Supportive Running Shoes for Kids? – Let’s Find Out!

Did you know that kids’ shoes should simulate the same features that adult shoes do? It is true that when children are first learning how to walk, they need shoes that are lightweight, flexible, and soft. However, this strictly applies to children who are learning how to walk. As children start getting older they will need more substantial shoes to support their feet and legs.

Some parents believe that children should wear shoes with minimal support and there is a lot of hype going around about minimalist shoes but their popularity is actually going down since fewer shoe companies and manufacturing minimalist kids’ shoes.

Kids live a much more active lifestyle than adults, so if your adult shoes need arch support, shock absorbency soles and heel cushioning, why wouldn’t your child’s shoes provide the same features? Some parents would point out that their child’s feet are still developing. I would agree, but point out that because children’s feet continue to develop past their teenage years, that is all the more reason that we need to take care of their feet by providing them with good, supportive shoes.

I describe why your child shouldn’t wear minimalist shoes in another article I wrote. Go to the link below:

Minimalist Shoes for Kids – It’s Time to Straight Up Some Rumors

Children need arch support, heel cushioning and shock absorbency in their running shoes.

Are Any Other Shoe Choices Available?

Do not hesitate to contact me directly at my e-mail if you have any further questions or if you need a different pair of shoes for your child. My e-mail address is:


Have you found a particular running shoe style that has worked well for your child’s feet? Please share your findings below so other parents can benefit from your experiences.


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.

Do You Buy Your Kids’ Shoes Online?

Subscribe and get my personalized shoe size chart for free to help you find what size to order online.

Shoe Sizing Chart

12 Comments on The Best Running Shoes for Kids – Allow Your Kids’ to ZOOM in Their Shoes

  1. Hi Juan,

    Awesome information! I have been looking for running shoes for my kids’ (they are older now and they run like crazy). My older is complaining about foot pain and when I took him to the doctor he said that the shoes were too flimsy and non-supportive. He was wearing a pair of converse shoes which he loves, but I told him we need to find a better pair. I ordered a pair of Asics from the shoes you recommend, and boom! It worked! No more pain! Thank you!!!

    • I am glad you got it all figured it out! Keep an eye on his feet and make sure the pain doesn’t come back!

      Converse shoes are great and stylish, but they are more fashion oriented than anything else. Asics are top of the line when it comes to support and structure. Let me know anytime you have questions about your kids’ feet.

  2. One of my big complaints about schools is that they insist on kids wearing plimsols for PE lessons. They need to realise that its 2017 and that plimsols are very poorly designed for any form of physical activity let alone sports! I just bought my 7-year old son a pair of New Balance (373s) and he just loves them. They are very comfortable and look great. Are they one of your recommended trainers for kids?

    • Hello Kristian,

      That is crazy! Is that the school policy or the physical education teacher is recommending those shoes? Plimsolls are meant to wear as casual shoes, when kids’ go to the shopping mall or for short periods of walking, but they don’t provide any support or stability.

      The pair of sneakers you got your child is much better than plimsolls since it has better structure, a much firmer heel counter, and will provide your child with more stability. It is not one of the shoes I recommend for running simply because the sole of the shoe is not as substantial as I would like.

  3. Wow! I have been trying to find good information about kids shoes for a while! My kids’are starting to engage in sports with hige levels of competition, and it’s time to provide them with good running shoes. I found some websites where people review and comment about the shoes but I wanted to be sure I was providing my kids’with the best type of running shoes. I am confident after reading your post since you seem to have so much experience and been fitting kids’shoes for a long time. Thank you thank you!!!

    • I am glad that you found the post informative. Let me know anytime you have a specific question about your kids’ feet and shoes.

  4. Hello Juan,

    I got a real education on your website today, until today I had no idea there was such a thing as kids running shoes.

    What is the purpose of the kids running shoes, are they just for active kids into sports or are they a good choice of shoe for any kid who loves to play outdoors? My kids are always running around and I want to provide them with the best shoe support. What are the most supportive shoes for a child with wide feet?

    • Kids’ running shoes are for children who engage in more intense activities but also good as their everyday shoes. I always recommend parents to get a running shoe for their kid so they can wear for their everyday activities! Please read the post carefully, I explain there and show you a selection of the most supportive running shoes that come in wide and extra wide widths.

  5. You know, I never considered getting my kids a good pair of running shoes. I knew I needed a pair for myself, I guess I never considered the impact on their legs and feet. I agree that shoes that come with shoe laces are best when running. Do you know where I can get women’s shoes for myself? Do you recommend any particular style and which online store offers the best price?

    • Hello Anita,

      What is the shoe size that you wear? If you wear a women shoe size 8 ½ or smaller you can get the kids’ version of the shoe and pay half of the price. I am talking about the same support and structure, but at a much more affordable price. Most parents don’t even know about the shoe size conversion, but I have fitted hundreds of mother’s who come to the store and learn how they can be fitted for kids’ shoes.

      Read my post: Women And Kids Shoe Size Conversion Chart – Save Big Buying Kids Shoes

      I explain there in more detail how this shoe size conversion works!

    • Hello Sarah,

      That particular shoe style offers good support and structure, so it will work great for your child who needs orthotics/medical inserts. It is also available in wide widths (keep in mind that orthotics take a lot of room inside the shoe). The lace version of this sneakers will provide more support and more stability for your child!

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