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The Worst Shoes For Kids – Stop Buying Under Armour, Nike, And Adidas!

The Worst Shoe Brands

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 they get, the more they ask you to get shoes from these brands! These three brands may be some of the most popular not just in terms of footwear, but clothing in general, when it comes to making shoes for children, they make some of the worst styles for their feet!

I am sure that it came as a surprise to you that Under Armour, Nike, and Adidas make some of the worst shoe styles for children! 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. The shoes that these companies make for kids are flimsy, shallow, and not supportive, and they always end up wearing out faster than expected!

The majority of their shoe styles are not supportive or substantial enough for your kids’ feet! This can lead to several foot issues such as foot and leg pain! Do your kids ever complain that their feet or legs hurt? When your children start complaining about foot or leg pain, the first step before taking them to the doctor is to check 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 over 7 years now, and I know everything that relates to shoes and your kids’ feet. Many parents bring their children after having their kids’ shoes fitted at the shopping mall, complaining that their kids’ feet hurt!

While most of the time the pain is because kids are not wearing the correct shoe size, many times the pain is due to not wearing shoes that are supportive enough!

In this post, I will explain to you why you must stop providing your child with shoes from Under Armour, Nike, and Adidas, and the most supportive, better made everyday shoes for children.

Kids With Foot Pain

Why Are Under Armour Shoes So Bad For Your Kids’ Feet?

Did you know that Under Armour shoes will only fit a child who has narrow feet? This is great if your child has narrow feet, but most of the times parents are fitting their kids’ feet in Under Armour shoes don’t know just how narrow they fit! Every time a child comes to the shoe store that I work for wearing 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!

Under Armour shoes make some of the worst shoes for kids’, not only because they fit narrow, but because the structure of the shoes provide no support whatsoever! Their shoes are flimsy, shallow, and they always end up wearing out faster than expected. If your child has a wide to an 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.

I know kids’ can be quite persistent when it comes to getting the shoes 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!

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.

Stop Hand

STOP Getting Under Armour, Nike, and Adidas Shoes Your Kids’!

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 three brands at the kids’ 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 his or her 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 do not make their shoes in different widths, I guess they must be content with the tremendous amount of sales they are already making, and don’t feel like they need to change anything.

Foot Pain From Shoes

Where Can You Get Your Kids Shoes? – Make Sure Their Shoes Fit!

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, or Payless! They don’t have employees that know how to measure or properly fit kids’ 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 response!

I explainwhy you must shy away from taking your kids’ to be fitted for shoes in those places  in more detail in this post:

The Best Place To Buy Kids Shoes – Avoid Stride Rite, Nordstrom, Payless…

NEVER underestimate the importance of well-fitting shoes for your child! Providing them 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 money in the future!

Below you can find a selection of the best fitting and supportive shoes for children! These are shoes that are also available in different widths: medium, wide, and extra wide!

The shoes below will fit a child that has narrow, medium, or wide feet (choose the width accordingly).

This first selection of shoes fit “short”, which means that you need to go a whole size longer of the size that your child measures in the shoe measuring scale in order to allow for growing room.

The shoes below will fit a child with medium, wide, or extra wide feet.

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.

What Are The Best Shoe Brands For Kids’? – Learn The Secret!

STOP thinking that just because the shoe brand name is Nike or Adidas that automatically means 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 other type of shoes.

I actually wrote a post where I describe the best shoe brands for kids. You can find that post here:

The Best Shoe Brands For Kids – The 5 Most Durable And Affordable Brands

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’!

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 your 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!

Here you can find the best shoes for a child that has narrow feet :

The Best Shoes For Kids With Narrow Feet – Stop Hurting Your Kids Feet!

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 are 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!


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 kid’s feet and get my guide for free: 10 Mistakes Parents Must Avoid When Buying Shoes for their Kids.

Join the rest of the parents who are taking care of their kids’ feet and get my guide for free: The 5 Most Common Mistakes Parents Make when Buying Their Kids’ Shoes

14 Comments on The Worst Shoes For Kids – Stop Buying Under Armour, Nike, And Adidas!

  1. Juan.

    I bought my child some shoes from Under Armour and they were the worst purchase I have ever made. He insisted he wanted that shoe brand, because his friends also wear them. The shoes gave him blisters and fell apart a month after purchasing them! You are right about Under Armour kids shoes, they SUCK!

    • Hello Nico,

      Like I stated in my post, Under Armour shoes for kids’ are terrible. I have never seen shoes that fall apart so quickly. They are also really flimsy and won’t fit a child with a wide or an extra wide foot. Sometimes even children with medium width can’t fit inside them!

      • I once bought new balance shoes for myself. They just sucked completely and nobody, not even me, thought they were cool. Then I bought Under Armour and EVERYONE liked them. I spent more money on the new balance and it was worse. In the under Armours, they have lasted for half a year, look sick, and I don’t have any discomfort. I would recommend my Under Armour shoes (UA Team Drive 4) for anyone, even a 6 year old. I had a similar experience with nikes and Asiacs and don’t want to ever buy Asiacs ore NB for anything again.

        • Hello Dan,

          I don’t know if you are referring to adult or kids’ shoes, but in my article, I specifically talk about children’s shoes.

          Sometimes when a particular shoe style doesn’t work it doesn’t mean that the whole shoe brand is bad. It might be a manufacturer’s defect with that particular shoe and if that is the case most companies will replace the shoe.

          I do agree that children and some adults find Under Armour shoes “cooler” than New Balance, but I always emphasize to parents to not choose shoes motivated by fashion and rather choose their kids’ shoes by what their kids’ feet really need. I have found Under Armour shoes for children to be flimsy and non-supportive, but they are fine if you don’t have any foot issues or if you are not involved in any type of intense physical activity.

          Thank you for sharing!

  2. I am always telling my kids to be aware of what type of shoes they are buying for my grandchildren. While they may be what is in style the other end of it is painful feet and horrible posture. I have had many problems with my own feet as a young kid and I can tell you now, I wish I knew then what I know now. I have noticed how when they wear Under Armour shoes the shoes cave in and always fall apart in no more than two months! Horrible shoes that offer no support!

    • Under Armour makes some of the worst shoes for children. They are non supportive, flimsy, and they tend to fall apart before the child outgrows the shoes! This is crazy considering how fast children feet grow. I always recommend parents to stay away from this brand, no matter how much the child asks for it!

  3. Hi there,

    This is a great article on this particular, very important subject and I can see that you are very knowledgeable on this topic. Well done for highlighting these issues and I guess what happens is the kids see the brand names and nothing else, as all of their friends wear them and they must get a pair as well.

    Fit is the most important thing, but young parents seem to prioritize fashion over fit. Little they know about the damage they are doing to their kids feet.

    I can see you are passionate about this situation and I know that people will sit up and listen, but it may take time.

    Cheers….Phil Browne

    • Hello Phil,

      Thanks for stopping by. I agree with you that young parents seem to prioritize fashion over fit, without realizing the damage they are causing to their kids feet. Wearing shoes that don’t offer the appropriate support or that don’t fit well will lead to several foot issues including foot and leg pain, calluses, blisters, and corns, among others.

      Parents will also end up saving a lot of money in the future by providing their kids with the correct pair of shoes!

  4. What an interesting article!

    Having brought up four boys I understand the importance of having correctly fitting shoes.

    I remember having to wear the least fashionable shoes when I was young and watching the ‘black patent brigade’ walk past me on a daily basis at school. Believe me, I didn’t like those shoes one little bit but looking back they were the best I could have possibly worn for my little feet!

    Listening to the problems my friends have with their feet now it can be blamed on the choice of shoes they had when their feet were growing.

    Thank goodness my mom knew what was best for me (I still have a hankering for black patent though!!)

    Which are the best shoe brands for children?


  5. Up to now we have always bought Nike shoes for my son. However, he has very wide feet so after reading your article I have started to doubt if this is good choice for him. We have had width issues before with Nike – as few styles didn’t fit my son but we managed to find styles fitting him. Nikes we bought were long-lasting – they actually didn’t wear out quickly taking into account that my son wore them daily. So the quality of the shoes is OK. Yet – the fit is an issue, especially as he has extra wide feet. So I think we will try new balance as the next style. Do you have a post about new balance shoes?

  6. I appreciate that your article is available just as we are sneaker shopping for our 4 & 2 year old boys. We have been buying UA sneakers assuming they were ‘best.’ Back to the shoe store we go to select the sneaker brand(s) you have suggested.
    Thanks for your knowledge and recommendations, they have certainly helped in our desire for the best sneakers for little developing feet.

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