Have you noticed that there is a growing trend of children leaning towards more fashion oriented shoe brands such as Nike, Under Armour, and Adidas? You will notice how the older your kids get, the more they will start asking you to get shoes from these brands.
These three brands may be some of the most popular not just in terms of footwear, but active clothing in general.However, when it comes to making shoes for children, they make some of the worst styles for their feet.
Wait… What? How is that possible? People tend to relate the name of these brands with quality footwear and clothing, but when it comes to kids’ shoes, this is far from the truth.
Children who wore shoes from Nike, Adidas, and Under Armour complained about experiencing foot and leg pain a lot more compared to children who wore other shoe brands such as New Balance, Saucony, or Asics.
The shoes that these companies make for kids are not supportive enough for their feet. The shoes are flimsy (they don’t provide any arch or ankle support), shallow (the shoes are not deep, meaning that the child’s foot doesn’t fit deeply inside the shoes), and they always end up wearing out faster than expected.
Do your kids ever complain that their feet and legs hurt? When your children start complaining about foot or leg pain, the first step before taking them to the doctor is to check if that the shoes they are wearing are supportive and that they are wearing the correct shoe size!
I have been working for a specialized children’s shoe store for the last 10 years now. This experience has afforded me many insights into children’s shoes and the way they fit. Our store specializes in shoes for children with foot and leg problems, but we provide regular shoe fittings as well. Many parents bring their children after having their kids’ shoes fitted at the shopping mall, complaining that their kids’ feet hurt.
Shoes that don’t provide the correct amount of support are the leading reason why children develop foot issues and complain about foot and leg pain.
Did you know that none of these three shoe brands seem to care about children who have wide or extra wide feet? Aren’t these three shoe brands aware that children’s feet come in different shapes? I am sure they know, they just think that children will cramp their toes if it means being able to wear one of their “cooler shoes”.
I want to clarify that this doesn’t mean that if your child is wearing a pair of Nike, Adidas, or Under Armour shoes they will automatically develop foot issues or experience foot pain. Every child is different, maybe your child has been wearing shoes form these brands and his/her feet are healthy. My point is that if your child wears any of these three shoe brands, there are higher chances that he/she might experience foot pain.
For some reason Under Armour, Nike, and Adidas invest in making quality footwear for adults, but when it comes to children I believe they think that their logo is enough for kids to want to wear their shoes, and they can cut down in investing in good quality footwear for children.
Let me prove it to you why you shouldn’t provide your child with shoes from any of these three brands, and show you a selection of high-quality, supportive, durable, and better fitting shoes for children.
I know kids’ can be quite persistent when it comes to getting the shoes that they want, and most parents try to make their kids’ happy. It’s hard sometimes to say “no” to your kids’ since it’s not just about the shoes, but also about allowing him or her to make the right decision and wear something they are happy about!
Under Armour – ONLY for Kids with Narrow Feet
Did you know that Under Armour shoes will only fit a child with narrow feet? Most parents are fitting their kids’ feet in Under Armour shoes not knowing just how narrow they fit.
Every time a child comes to the shoe store that I work for wearing a pair of Under Armour shoes and complains about foot pain, I immediately check the width of the shoes first, and every single time… the shoes are too narrow.
If your child has a wide or extra wide foot, you should stay away from this brand! If your child has a medium width foot, you can try them and see if they are wide enough, but I have even seen children with medium width feet not being able to fit in Under Armour shoes.
Maybe your child has narrow feet and you wanted a pair of narrow fitting shoes, but that is not the only issue with Under Armour.
Under Armour shoes provide no support whatsoever. Their shoes are flimsy, shallow, and they always end up wearing out faster than expected.
Just keep in mind that Under Armour shoes for kids’ are poorly made, and they won’t provide the everyday support your child needs to run around all day.
Under Armour, Nike, and Adidas Shoes – Why are Their Shoes so Flimsy?
Take a look at the picture below and notice how flimsy the shoe is! I shouldn’t be able to bend the shoe in half with my hand. Those type of shoes are great for a baby who is learning how to walk, not for a child who is already on his feet all the time and running around.
If I press the heel counter of the shoe, the same thing happens. See how easy it bends? The heel counter of the shoe is the part that provides ankle support and prevents ankle pain! The firmer the heel counter, the better! Especially if your child is into running around a lot!
I will say that 90 % of Under Armour, Nike, and Adidas shoes have the same features as the shoe in the image described above. Keep in mind that in the bigger shoe sizes (3 ½ and up), Adidas and Nike (but not Under Armor) do start making more substantial shoes.
Even though we carry all of these three shoe brands at the children’s shoe store that I work for, I always try to explain to parents and kids that if the child is active and likes to run around, there are other type of shoes that will be better for their feet.
Did you know that Under Armour, Nike, and Adidas don’t make shoes in different widths? I guess these shoe companies believe that all children’s feet are the same! That means that if your child has a wide to an extra wide foot and he is wearing any of the brands mentioned above, he is probably wearing the wrong shoe size.
I still don’t understand why these shoe brands don’t make their shoes in different widths, I guess that they must be satisfied with the tremendous amount of sales they are already making, and don’t feel like they need to change anything.
Where can you Get your Kids’ Shoes? – Let’sFind Out!
I will say that most of the children that come wearing shoes that were fitted at the shopping mall are either wearing the wrong shoe size, or the wrong type of shoes! I always recommend that parents take their kids’ to be properly fitted for shoes at their local children’s shoe store that they trust.
You must always avoid big retailers such as Nordstrom, Stride Rite (most stores have been closing down), or Payless. They don’t have employees that know how to properly fit children’s shoes, and making a sale is their top priority, even if it means that your child will walk out of the store wearing the wrong pair of shoes.
However, don’t just take my word for it, ask other parents and you will get the same feedback.
Start by taking a look at a map I created where I describe the best fitting children’s shoe stores by state:
If after looking at the map you still can’t seem to find a good fitting children’s shoe store in your area, then take a look at an article I wrote where I explain the simplest, and most effective way to measure your child’s foot size from home:
NEVER underestimate the importance of providing your child wit a pair of well-fitting shoes.
Providing children with the correct shoe size and the correct type of shoes will keep their feet and legs healthy, and you will end up saving a lot of time and money in the long run.
The Best Shoe Styles for Children ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
I have put together a selection of the most durable, better fitting, and most supportive shoes for children! These shoes are all available in different widths such as medium, wide, and extra wide.
The shoes below will fit children that have medium, wide, or extra wide feet (choose the width accordingly).
Disclosure: Keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases.
This selection of shoes fit “true to size”, which means that you need to go a half a size longer of the size that your child measures in the shoe measuring scale in order to allow for growing room.
Please keep in mind that I only review shoes that I have fitted before, since that is the only way for me to tell the quality of the shoes, the support that they offer, and how they fit.
What are the Best Shoe Brands for Kids? ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
STOP thinking that just because the shoe brand name is Nike, Adidas, or Under Armour that automatically means that their shoes are the best choice for your kids’ feet. Trust me, this is not the case!
For the older kids’ (ages 13 and up), Nike and Adidas do make more substantial and supportive shoes. However, if your child is 12 years old or younger, I always recommend finding shoes made from a different brand.
If you want to learn about which are the best shoe brands for children you can do it in an article I wrote called:
We decided to stop carrying Under Armour shoes since we are a fitting shoe store that provides good quality footwear for kids’, and their shoes are just awful. This might even be the worst shoe brand for kids that I have ever fitted before, and I have fitted over 40 different shoe brands.
It’s not just that their shoes are flimsy and non-supportive, they make some of the worst fitting shoes as well! They will definitely work well in a child that has a very narrow foot, but the problem again is that the shoes won’t provide any support to the kids’ feet.
Plus, if your child has very narrow feet, there are several other kids’ shoe brands that will fit the shape of your kids’ feet and also provide them with good support such as Asics for example.
I put together a list of the best shoes for children with narrow feet and you can find it here:
Now you know why you shouldn’t fit your children in shoe brands such as Under Armour, Nike, or Adidas. Remember that their shoes are more fashion oriented than function oriented.
There are hundreds of other shoes for your child that provide more support and that will be a better fit for their feet!
Does your child like to wear shoe brands such as Under Armour, Nike, or Adidas? Do you feel like their shoes tend to fall apart faster than expected? Please share your thoughts and experiences below so we can all benefit from them!