How do I Choose the Best Kid's Running Shoes?

Vicki Hogue-Davies

There are a wide variety of brands and styles of running shoes available for kids. To choose the best kid's running shoes, visit stores that sell top-quality adult running shoe brands. Most top running shoe makers make kid's versions of their adult shoes. If you have a dedicated running shoe store in your area, consider starting your search for your kid's running shoes there. Personnel at specialty running shoe stores often are more knowledgeable than their counterparts at regular sporting goods stores about the qualities of good running shoes.

Supportive shoe insoles are an important feature of running shoes.
Supportive shoe insoles are an important feature of running shoes.

Be sure to take your kid with you to the shoe store when shopping. Just like adults, kids must try on their shoes to ensure comfort and a good fit. Your child should wear the type of socks that he or she typically will wear when running in the shoes.

Shopping at a store that sells high-quality adult shoes is a good way to find the best kids' running shoes.
Shopping at a store that sells high-quality adult shoes is a good way to find the best kids' running shoes.

Choose a kid's running shoe that has good cushioning in the sole and that fits snugly, but not too tightly. Don't buy running shoes that are too big, thinking that your kid can grow into them. Shoes that are too large can slip off at the heel. A good rule is to allow about a thumb's worth of room between the child's toes and the end of the shoes. Choose shoes that are flexible at the front of the foot behind the toe area but not in the arch.

The best kid's running shoes should fit your child’s foot type. Stores sell running shoes for flat feet, shoes for normal arches and styles for higher arches. They also sell models that can help correct problems with running gaits, such as overpronation or underpronation.

Pronation has to do with how the foot hits the ground. A person who overpronates has feet that roll inward more than normal when striking the ground. Someone who under-pronates has feet that roll inward less than normal. Neutral running shoes are for kids who have a normal amount of pronation in their gaits.

You often can tell whether your kid is an underpronator or an overpronator by looking at a pair of old shoes. An overpronator's shoes will show an inward tilt, while an underpronator's shoes will tilt outward. Shoes of kids with neutral gaits will show even wear across the bottom of the shoe.

Another thing to consider when choosing kid's running shoes is the cost. If your child is serious about running, buy the best shoe you can afford. A high-quality shoe usually will last longer and will offer your child better support than a lower-quality, cheaper version.

You might also Like

Readers Also Love

Discussion Comments

Both of my kids have an overpronating gait and you can tell by looking at their shoes how their feet hit the ground when they run. If you look at a pair of shoes they have worn for awhile, you will notice that they tilt inward.

Once I realized how important buying the correct pronation running shoes were, I found out they had less problems with their feet. This is really a simple concept, but one that I think a lot of people don't realize.

It also means they wear out a pair of shoes faster than someone who has a neutral gait, but it also gives them better stability and more comfort when they run.


With some styles of shoes you can vary the thickness of the socks and not have any problem. I have found that with running shoes, it is important to wear the same thickness of sock all the time.

It is also important to have these socks with you when you take your kids to buy new running shoes. If the shoe is too tight, they will know immediately when they put it on. If you don't have the socks with you, it is much harder to get the right fit.

My daughter is a runner and she has different running shoes for different seasons of the year. The shoes she wears during the spring and summer are different than her winter running shoes.


My son is growing so fast that I can barely keep up with clothes and shoes for him. When he told me he needed a new pair of running shoes for track, I didn't go out and buy a very expensive pair for him.

The rate he is growing I will probably have to buy another new pair before the season is even over. I didn't go with the cheapest or lowest quality I could find, but I certainly didn't spend as much as I could have.

If you are going to be spending a lot of time in your running shoes, I do think that quality is important, but I also don't think you need to break the bank.


I learned by experience how important it is to take your kids with you when you are buying them running shoes. When I was out shopping I came across a great deal on kid's running shoes and bought some even though my kids weren't with me.

Neither of the pair of running shoes I bought fit my kids properly and when we went to exchange them, they were out of the sizes we needed. Running shoes is something they really do need to try on and get a proper fit.

I thought I would be saving myself some time and money, but it didn't work out that way. The next time my kids need running shoes, I will make sure they come with me.

Post your comments
Forgot password?