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

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. The running shoes I will show you are also capable of accommodating different foot shapes such as narrow, medium, wide, or extra wide feet.

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.

Pro Tip: If you’re pressed for time, you can go straight to the selection of the best running shoes for kids.

About Running Shoes for Kids

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.

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.

What Makes the Running Shoes I Recommend Ideal for Running?

1️⃣ 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.

2️⃣ Sturdy, supportive shoes with a firm heel counter and supportive outsole that are also lightweight and flexible will prevent foot injuries such as twisted ankles.

I 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 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.

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.

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: Some links in this post may be affiliate links and we may receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you) when you click our links and make purchases. This allows us to create free content and resources for many families around the world. 

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

The Best Running Shoes for Kids 

Narrow – Medium Feet

Medium – Wide – Extra Wide Feet

Unsure About What Shoe Size You Should Order?

In each of the descriptions of the running shoes, I indicate whether you need to order a half size or a whole size bigger than your child’s current foot size to allow for 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.

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. Note, 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 email if you have any further questions or if you need a different pair of shoes for your child.

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.