The Worst Shoes for Kids – Stop Buying Under Armour, Nike, and Adidas!

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 3 brands are some of the most popular not just in terms of footwear, but in active clothing in general. However, when it comes to manufacturing shoes for children, they make some of the worst shoes for kids in terms of support and comfort.

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 shoes from other shoe brands such as New Balance, Saucony, or Asics.

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 the shoes they are wearing are supportive and that they are wearing the correct shoe size.

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 Nike, Adidas, and Under Armour don’t manufacture shoes for children with wide or extra wide feet? Aren’t these 3 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”. 

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.

Under Armour, Nike, and Adidas Shoes – Why Are Their Shoes Flimsy and Unsupportive?

Take a look at the picture below and notice the difference in support between a pair of Nike shoes and a pair of New Balance shoes. Do you notice how the New Balance shoe has a more substantial outsole? This helps minimize the impact that kids’ feet take when they come in contact with the ground.


Now let’s take a look at a different picture that shows how little ankle and heel support Nike shoes provide. The heel counter of the shoe is the part that provides ankle support and prevents heel pain. The firmer the heel counter, the better!


I will say that 90% of Under Armour, Nike, and Adidas shoes have the same features as the shoe in the image described above.

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 them 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 only fit children 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 wide or extra wide feet, 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.


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, other types of shoes will be better for their feet.

Where Can You Get Your Kids’ Shoes? – Let’s Find 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 need to 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 resource I created where I describe the best-fitting children’s shoe stores by state.

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

If after looking at that resource 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.

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.

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.

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. 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.

The Best Shoes for Children

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

What Are the Best Shoe Brands for Kids?

Don’t assume 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! Here you learn about which are the best shoe brands for children.

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 for 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. 

Get a Personalized Suggestion

There are hundreds of other shoes for your child that provide better support and that will be a better fit for their feet. Do not hesitate to contact me directly by 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:  [email protected]

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!