August 13, 2018

10 Best Running Shoes For Kids: Reviewed, Rated, & Compared

best running shoes for kids

Children’s feet require certain things to get the support they need while on their feet. That’s why it’s crucial to invest in the best running shoes for kids.

Equipping them with the proper pair of shoes allows them to participate in the physical activities they love and burn off some of their energy.

Image 
Product Name
Size Options
Colour Options
Price Guide & Amazon Rating
View Product
ASICS Gel-Noosa Tri 11 GS Running Shoe

ASICS Gel-Noosa Tri 11 GS Running Shoe

Little Kid (4-8 Years), Big Kid (8-12 Years)

4 Options

$$$$

NIKE Boy's Downshifter 7 (GS) Running Shoe

NIKE Boy's Downshifter 7 (GS) Running Shoe

3.5-7

Black, Red, Mega Blue, Gray

$$$

ASICS Kids' Gel-Contend 4 GS Running Shoe

ASICS Kids' Gel-Contend 4 GS Running Shoe

Little Kid (4-8 Years), Big Kid (8-12 Years)

11 Options

$$$

adidas Performance Hyperfast 2

adidas Performance Hyperfast 2.0 K Running Shoe

Little Kid (4-8 Years), Big Kid (8-12 Years)

24 Options

$$

ASICS Kids' GT-1000 5 GS Running Shoe

ASICS Kids' GT-1000 5 GS Running Shoe

Little Kid (4-8 Years), Big Kid (8-12 Years)

4 Options

$$$

NIKE Boy's Zoom Pegasus 34 (GS) Running Shoe

NIKE Boy's Zoom Pegasus 34 (GS) Running Shoe

4.5-7

5 Options

$$

adidas Kids' Kanadia 8 K Trail Runner

adidas Kids' Kanadia 8 K Trail Runner

Little Kid (4-8 Years)

Core Blue/White/Energy, Energy Blue/White/Easy Pink

$$$

New Balance KJ890 Grade Lace-Up Running Shoe

New Balance KJ890 Grade Lace-Up Running Shoe

Little Kids (4-8 Years), Big Kid (8-12 Years)

10 Options

$$

New Balance KJ888V1 Pre Running Shoe

New Balance KJ888V1 Pre Running Shoe

Little Kids (4-8 Years), Big Kid (8-12 Years)

7 Options

$

ASICS Kids' Pre-Contend 4 Ps Running Shoe

ASICS Kids' Pre-Contend 4 Ps Running Shoe

Toddler (1-4 Years), Little Kid (4-8 Years)

11 Options

$$


What to Look for in Kids Running Shoes


Here are the qualities that are important when looking for kids running shoes.

Lightweight

 

You don’t want running to be difficult for your children. That’s why investing in a pair of sneakers that’s lightweight is vital.


When kids wear heavy shoes, they get tired easier and have to put more effort into their actions. It’s also harder for them to get their speed up when wearing a heavy pair of running shoes.

Minimal

 

Some people prefer to use a minimal shoe for their children. It helps them to feel the ground they’re walking on more easily and allows their body to move naturally.


This is important when the bones are still developing. You don’t want a lot of cushion and arch support in your children’s running shoes.

Breathable

 

It’s no secret that kid’s feet sweat – just ask anyone that does their laundry. You want a pair of shoes that have a breathable upper. For them to be comfortable, choose materials like mesh that allow for airflow.

Protection

 

Children will go anywhere so their footwear must protect them. There’s uneven terrain, hard surfaces and rocks to contend with.


Remember that whatever shoes you put on your child will be responsible for keeping them safe when running, climbing, jumping and all the other activities they’ll do outdoors.

Grip

 

Kids tend to run around no matter what type of surface they are on. When they encounter wet or slick surfaces, they won’t slow down.


Having a pair of shoes that feature a grippy sole is essential to keeping them safe, no matter what situation they’re in.

Flexibility

 

You want as much natural motion as you can get while still maintaining support. Don’t put loose runners on their feet, but allow them to have some flexibility. Allowing the foot to move naturally improves their development and their balance.

Wiggle Room

 

For a kids foot to arch correctly, the toes must be spread apart enough for support. Their toe box should provide enough room to let that happen. Just like you don’t want to cram your toes into a pair of shoes, you shouldn’t do it to your children either.

Durable

 

Children might outgrow their shoes before they need a new pair, but that doesn’t mean you should skimp on durability. You don’t want the shoes to fall apart during regular activity.


Take note of the materials used to construct the shoe and read the best kids running shoes reviews to find the shoes that are right for you.

Support

 

You want your kid’s running shoes to be supportive so they don’t risk injury. Their bones are still forming and growing, so the right shoes make all the difference.

Trail vs. Road

 

You need to pick a pair of shoes that’s right for the activities they’ll be participating in. You wouldn’t purchase basketball shoes for them to go skateboarding. For the same reason, if they’ll be navigating mud, rocks and dirt, they need a quality pair of trail running shoes, not road runners.


10 Best Running Shoes for Kids Reviewed


When you wonder what are the best running shoes for kids, you have to do your research. Read the reviews and look for the best-rated running shoes for kids to get precisely what you need.

1. ASICS Gel-Noosa Tri 11 GS Running Shoe

ASICS are known to create comfortable shoes that offer superior support, so they make an excellent choice for your children as well. These Gel runners give them that added protection they need plus they feature an additional rearfoot gel system for shock absorption.

There’s a removable sock liner which can be taken out if you need to add a medical orthotic instead. This shoe is available in a variety of colors for little kids and big kids, but it isn’t geared toward those with wide feet.

The price is a little higher than some people are willing to pay for kids shoes, but this pair won’t wear out, so the value is high.

ASICS Gel-Noosa Tri 11 GS Running Shoe

Our Rating

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

88%
 Chance of Success

Pros

  • Supportive
  • Comfortable
  • Removable sock liner
  • Variety of colors
  • Durable

Cons

  • Not meant for wide feet
  • Pricey
NIKE Boy's Downshifter 7 (GS) Running Shoe

Our Rating

2. NIKE Boy's Downshifter 7 (GS) Running Shoe

If you have an active child, you want the best running shoes from Nike. These help them to perform and run to the best of their abilities.

They’re seamless and lightweight to provide all-day comfort for your active kid. There are also flex grooves located on the sole to grip any surface and keep them better protected.

The mesh upper in this design allows your child’s foot to breathe. These are available in big kid sizes for boys and there are several stylish colors available to choose from.

The majority of people felt that they ran true to size, but a few of the styles force the price up a little.

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

87%
 Chance of Success

Pros

  • Seamless
  • Lightweight
  • Flex grooves on the sole
  • Breathable mesh upper
  • Lots of styles to choose from

Cons

  • Wear out quickly
  • Some styles cost more

3. ASICS Kids' Gel-Contend 4 GS Running Shoe

This pair from ASICS is the best pair of running shoes for kids with wide feet. There’s just enough arch support for the beginner runner, plus they provide all-day comfort.

With the supportive structure, you know that your child’s feet are protected. They’re even good as a pair of cross-trainers.

With the removable sock liner, this shoe accommodates medical orthotics if needed. There are boys and girls styles available plus sizes for both little kids as well as big kids. Half sizes are available but watch that price as it goes up quickly based on the style you choose.

ASICS Kids' Gel-Contend 4 GS Running Shoe

Our Rating

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

86%
 Chance of Success

Pros

  • Good for wide feet
  • Perfect amount of arch support
  • Removable sock liner
  • Plenty of style choices
  • Supportive

Cons

  • Not meant for narrow feet
  • Some styles cost more
adidas Performance Hyperfast 2

Our Rating

4. adidas Performance Hyperfast 2.0 K Running Shoe

This shoe has a lightweight design that helps your child perform the best. They also have just the right amount of cushioning to be comfortable all day long.

Many people found that they were durable, but they tend to stretch out easily, so you might want to start off on the tighter side and let them wear in.

This shoe comes in many big kid sizes and styles but isn’t available for younger kids. You might even be able to find a few of the styles at bargain pricing.

These shoes are perfect for kids without any foot ailments but don’t offer the stability that someone who overpronates would need.

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

89%
 Chance of Success

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Perfectly cushioned
  • Durable
  • Plenty of style choices
  • Some styles priced low

Cons

  • Stretch out easily
  • Not to be worn for overpronation

5. ASICS Kids' GT-1000 5 GS Running Shoe

These are the perfect shoes for both the beginner and the experienced runner. They’re breathable and flexible, allowing kids to move in any direction.

The company has been creating these for many years, mainly because of the popularity. With the lightweight design, kids run faster than ever before.

Not only are prices reasonable, but they come in a variety of sizes and seem to fit fairly accurately. You can get a pair for younger or older children.

Unlike some other options, there are only four styles available with this choice, but still, there’s something available for everyone to choose from. 

ASICS Kids' GT-1000 5 GS Running Shoe

Our Rating

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

89%
 Chance of Success

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Breathable
  • Many prices are reasonable
  • Variety of styles
  • Comfortable

Cons

  • Durability concerns
  • Not meant for wide feet
NIKE Boy's Zoom Pegasus 34 (GS) Running Shoe

Our Rating

6. NIKE Boy's Zoom Pegasus 34 (GS) Running Shoe

This is the newest edition of the Pegasus which has been an excellent choice for kids to run in. They feature an air pocket located in the sole to increase cushioning and heavy impact protection. This shoe is versatile and excellent for many activities.

There’s a supportive structure built into the heel making them great for long or short distance running. These added features do increase the weight slightly.

They’re available in big kid sizes only and there are several style options. As expected with some Nike shoes, the price jumps up high with some of the styles. 

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

78%
 Chance of Success

Pros

  • Air pocket in sole
  • Protects from heavy impact
  • Versatile
  • Supportive heel structure
  • Several style options

Cons

  • Heavier
  • Might run small

7. adidas Kids' Kanadia 8 K Trail Runner

This bestselling trail running shoe is ideal for off-road adventures that children love to have. They’re breathable and offer plenty of comfort for long days of exploring.

The firm grip is perfect for running on wet surfaces. The durability and resilience of this shoe is widely praised.

What’s interesting is that there are only two styles: one for boys and one for girls. That doesn’t leave them with many options to pick their favorite colors.

In addition, just a few sizes are available and they are all for younger children. They do seem to fit true to size and aren’t overly expensive considering they’re trail runners. 

adidas Kids' Kanadia 8 K Trail Runner

Our Rating

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

86%
 Chance of Success

Pros

  • Rugged
  • Breathable
  • Strong grip
  • Durable
  • Fit true to size

Cons

  • Only two styles
  • Limited sizes
New Balance KJ890 Grade Lace-Up Running Shoe

Our Rating

8. New Balance KJ890 Grade Lace-Up Running Shoe

This choice often makes the best running shoes for kids list because of the lightweight design. It’s a comfortable shoe that’s also flexible.

This allows for a greater range of motion while kids are active and having fun. They could be used for a variety of sporting activities which makes them great value for the money.

You’ll find available sizes for little or big kids. They seem to fit true to size for the most part. There’s also a ton of styles for kids to choose from. For the price, it might be good to grab a couple of pair so they match their different outfits. 

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

85%
 Chance of Success

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable
  • Allows a great range of motion
  • Good value
  • Lots of styles

Cons

  • Durability is an issue
  • Not meant for wide feet

9. New Balance KJ888V1 Pre Running Shoe

This exceptional shoe is created from the highest quality materials for maximum durability.

These are designed to be worn by little or big kids who are preparing to run. With the comfortable design, these shoes are great to wear all day long.

They feature a rubber sole, Imeva midsole and Abzorb heel to protect from impact. They fit nearly perfect according to reviews and there are lots of sizes to choose from. 

There are also several colors for both boys and girls to choose from. Many of the styles also have a nice low price available. 

New Balance KJ888V1 Pre Running Shoe

Our Rating

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

91%
 Chance of Success

Pros

  • Durable
  • Comfortable
  • Sturdy, rubber sole
  • Absorbs impact
  • Lots of styles

Cons

  • Not meant for running
  • Heavier
ASICS Kids' Pre-Contend 4 Ps Running Shoe

Our Rating

10. ASICS Kids' Pre-Contend 4 Ps Running Shoe

This pair of sneakers is lightweight and breathable. They’re constructed of high-quality materials and offer a superior fit.

The removable insole makes it easier to clean but also allows room for an orthotic if needed. The Velcro fastening system is convenient and offers some additional security.

There are sizes available for little and big kids, plus plenty of color options. Most people felt that they ran true to size, but some of the styles cause the prices to jump on the high side.

Keep in mind that these shoes aren’t designed for kids with wide feet.

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

86%
 Chance of Success

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Breathable
  • Velcro fastening system
  • Fit true to size
  • Lots of styles

Cons

  • Not meant for wide feet
  • Some are expensive
question

Frequently Asked Questions

Should you buy your kids shoes that give them room to grow?


You want to buy the appropriate size to avoid unnecessary movement and blisters.

How often will they need new shoes?


High-quality shoes should last them for years, but most of the time, kids outgrow them first. Check the size of your child’s feet every six months to see if they need a new pair.

How do I know if my child under or overpronates?


You’ll see the same symptoms as with an adult. The foot either rolls outward or inward.

How tight should the laces be tied?


You want the shoe to fit snugly, but not that they squeeze the foot. Lace them all the way to the top and fasten them securely while still allowing a little room to move.

Can you get good quality running shoes on a budget?


Price often reflects the quality of footwear, but it doesn’t make the expensive brand the best. Look for quality over price and you might be able to find a deal. Often, Amazon has special sales running that allows for you to purchase a good shoe at a lower price.


Conclusion


Your children deserve the best running shoes for kids, but they don’t know how to choose them for themselves.

Take your time, read the reviews and purchase a pair that will encourage their natural movement and growth. In this way, you ensure a healthy foot future for them down the road. 

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