A kid sitting on the bicycle and wearing Running Shoes for Kids

How to Choose Running Shoes for Kids

Child footwear is very important, especially when buying the toddler’s first shoes. But, as time passes, many parents forget the importance of footwear as their child gets older. 

Considering this fact, how much attention do you pay to running shoes for kids? A little, or not at all? Whatever is the answer, we are not here to judge but to help!

Even though your child might not be at the earliest stage of their life, their feet still develop and need proper support. 

Thus, let’s check the most important things you need to remember on how to choose running shoes for kids!



How to Pick Running Shoes for Kids?

Remember these five crucial things when picking toddlers’ running shoes!

  • The shoes should offer good arch support, firm heel support, and a shock-absorbing sole.
  • The shoes should be easily fastened.
  • When choosing running footwear, measure your child’s feet’ width and length. Use our Footmeter tool to get precise dimensions. 
  • Let your kid try several pairs of shoes to find the one that fits their foot shape perfectly.
  • Make sure they wear suitable socks and bring along shoe inserts.

Besides these things, your kid should be able to fasten the shoe securely. 

Thus, you might look out for Velcro shoes more than those that slip on since they provide better support.



What Are the Best Running Shoes for Kids?

One of the best, most reputable brands for kids running shoes are:

When choosing the best running shoes for kids, we recommend starting with good-quality brand footwear. 

This doesn’t mean that you need to buy a top-of-the-line luxury model. Solid name-brand footwear with quality materials-constructed shoes will do the job.

When making shoes, each company utilizes its foot mold. A smaller heel, a broader toe box, or a higher arch may be required. Try on many different brands to find which one best suits your kid’s foot structure.


Where to Buy Running Shoes for Kids?

All the mentioned brands have running shoes for boys as well as running shoes for girls


All these brands have an online store available for worldwide shipping, and some of them can even be found on platforms like Amazon or eBay.


Are Kids Running Shoes Different?

Running shoes for kids are designed to look like adult training shoes. But, it is obvious that even though the kids running shoes resemble adult shoes, they lack the same structural components.

Kids’ running shoes are lighter than adults, and they weigh around 1 to 1.5 pounds. Kids’ shoe sizes are smaller; thus, less material is used to craft them. Besides, running kinematics and kinetics differ between children’s and adults’ shoes. 

Kids’ footwear lacks stability and is less supportive and cushioned than adult footwear. These are very important features that running, athletic, and sports shoes should have.

Thus, paying attention to these things is crucial when buying your kids their first running shoes. 

Let’s see some examples.

  • Kids’ and adults’ ASICS models are different. Gel cushioning is found in adults’ rearfoot and forefoot of ASICS Resolution shoes, whereas only rearfoot gel cushioning is present in ASICS Resolution shoes for kids.
  • The same thing refers to the Adidas Ultraboost model for kids. If an adult walks or runs in these kids’ shoes, the soles would flatten out quickly compared to the Adidas Ultraboost for adults. This will happen because adults’ weight is much higher than compared of kids.
  • Yet, there is a brand Brooks running that no longer manufactures running shoes for adults and kids. Their cushioning and structural support are the same. They have extended the sizing range in adult footwear rather than manufacturing separate running shoes for kids.


What Are the 3 Types of Running Shoes?

There are 3 types of running shoes: stability shoes, motion-control shoes, and cushioning shoes. However, besides these, there are two more.

Let’s check them all and see what they are intended for.

  • Lightweight shoes
  • Trail shoes
  • Stability shoes
  • Motion-control shoes
  • Cushioned shoes

Each of the mentioned shoes is intended for different physical activities. 

Lightweight running shoes are good for running, sprints, and competition. If your child does these activities, consider getting these light shoes for kids. 

Trail running shoes are the best for stability, support, and protection. These might be the best ones when your toddler explores the world around them. They are very practical and can withstand different playgrounds.

Stability running shoes are suitable for kids that have neutral or normal arch feet. They offer comfortable midsole cushioning and good support.

Motion-control running shoes provide support for flat feet, heavyweight, or severe overpronation. The midsole provides significant arch support, as does the heel cup.

Cushioned running shoes have extra padding on the shoe sole but without much support.

They are good for runners with little to no pronation. This is because they provide shock absorption and protection with minimal extra support.


Foot type and pronation

Before you even proceed with your shopping, make sure you determine your child’s foot type. Three different types of the foot:

  • Neutral arch
  • Low arch 
  • High arch

You can determine how the foot rolls – or pronates – based on the height of the arch.

Neutral arches cause the foot to roll into a healthy position.

A low arch causes the foot to roll excessively inward or overpronate.

A high arch causes the foot to roll slightly inward at impact or under pronate.


How to determine the foot type?

To determine the foot type, look at the bottom of your child’s running shoes. The wear on your shoes will reveal the child’s type of foot.

  • If the running shoes show even wear, it means that your child has a neutral arch and a normal pronator.
  • If the shoes’ inner soles are worn down, the child is an overpronator and probably has a low arch.
  • If the excessive wear is on the outer soles, your kid is an under pronator with a high arch.


What Is the Difference Between a Running Shoe and a Regular Shoe?

Running shoes are usually lighter in weight but heavier in cushioning, especially on the heels and toes. 

The mentioned mesh keeps the shoe light, allowing the air to move freely. 

Regular or walking shoes do not need to be as light and breathable as running shoes. But, they do need to provide good arch support. 

If your child has a high arch, they have less natural shock absorption. Therefore, their walking shoes should have more cushioning. 

If they have flat feet instead, they slack the support, leading to muscle and joint stress. Seek out kids’ walking shoes that offer higher stability.

Whether for walking or running purposes, parents will always try to seek out the best shoes for the kids


Can You Use Running Shoes for Everyday Use?

Your kid and you as well, can wear running shoes daily. This includes stability, motion control, and cushioning footwear. If they fit and your kid feels comfortable, there is no specific reason why they shouldn’t use them every day.

But, there are some downsides to wearing running shoes for walking purposes. Typically, the insole and grip of running shoes wear out faster than other components.

So if your kid wears running shoes daily, you will probably need to change them every now and then. Sometimes the wear and tear factor is not the only reason for a change. Kids’ feet grow very fast. Thus before you know it, they will rather outgrow them than wear them out.



When choosing running shoes for kids, there are a lot of factors to consider. 

The most important thing to remember is to forget about the style and concentrate on the materials and comfortability of the shoes.

Remember to measure your child’s foot length and width, determine the child’s foot type, and try on different reputable brands to find the best fit. Besides that, good running shoes should fulfill all the essential requirements, such as good arch and heel support, and a shock-absorbing sole.

Our little guide had the aim to ease your shopping experience for kids running shoes, and we are hoping that we achieved our goal.

If we missed something or forgot to mention it, please let us know, and we will try to answer you shortly!



  • Petra Moskatelo

    Petra is the main editor and writer here at Footmeter. She is passionate about helping people find the right solution. She holds a university Master's degree in pedagogy, and she knows a lot about children and learning.