Couple of kids running on the green, grass field, in the sport shoes for kids

Ultimate Parents Guide for Kids’ Sports Shoes

Proper footwear for kids of any age is crucial. Thus, suitable and comfortable kids’ sports shoes are a must if we want to provide our youngsters with healthy progress of their feet and appropriate motor skills development. 

Oftentimes, when a kid is complaining of foot pain, the main culprit is usually uncomfortable footwear. These shoes can cause kids blisters, pain and even lead to some deformities. 

There are particular shoes for the intended activity when it comes to playing sports. Kids need special equipment, whether running, jumping, playing basketball, or football. Today, we will see what to look for when shopping for kids’ sports shoes and how to choose wisely rather than being guided by the option that the more expensive, the better.


How to Choose Sport Shoes for Kids?

As for any different type of shoes for kids, sports ones require some features in order to provide the kid the best possible wear. 


Before starting our search, you should identify which brand fits best according to your kids’ needs. Luckily, many brands are available today, but each one uses a unique foot mold to design its footwear. Thus, according to your kid’s foot shape, you might look for narrower shoes or wider toe box footwear. In general, once you determine which one fits your kiddo the best, you can stick with that brand.

Here are a few tips to consider before you decide to buy kids’ sports shoes:

  • It is recommended not to buy larger size shoes. Parents usually do this in the hope that the kid will wear them for a more lengthy period of time. They will be uncomfortable, they will probably slip off of their little feet, and might even cause tripping. 
  • Alongside that, the foot should not rub against the inside of the shoes, meaning that they are excessively tight. This means that the shoes are too small, and the kid’s feet will have no space for feet to breathe or even move their toes freely. 
  • If a kid has a chance to try the shoes, let him/her walk a little in them. Look at your kid from the back and pay attention to their heel. Because even if the footwear appears comfy if their heels are rising up from the shoes, they are not a good fit. 
  • If there is a bit difference in the size of kids’ feet, opt for the size of the bigger foot.
  • When it comes to running shoes for kids, you may want to look out for an extra pair since these shoes take some time to return to their original shape. 

Additional tip: If you are shopping in a store and have found your kid a fitting pair of shoes, check out that same model and size in an online store. Usually, online shops are cheaper than buying in the actual store. Plus, even more, options are sometimes available online, including different designs and colors. 



Shoes should fit perfectly 

Getting the right fit for your kid’s sports shoes is vital for comfortability, performance, and even preventing potential injuries. Even so, shoes with proper arch support are crucial if your kid has flat feet and is planning on doing some sports activities. 

When choosing a shoe for your kid, remember they’ll likely wear them out before they outgrow them. However, it is still very important to get the right fit. 

If you are shopping in the store, you can get help to get foot measurements for your little one. Once the kid got their size and shoes on, use your thumb to see if there’s a space between the end of the shoe and the kid’s big toe. As for the heel, make sure it’s secure and snug. We also recommend bringing socks that kids usually wear to ensure they fit correctly. 

If you are doing online shopping, you can measure your kids’ feet easily and precisely with the Footmeter tool. There are two options to do this:

  • Printable sheet option – Simply print out the sheet with the chart. Then, place your kid’s foot on the piece of paper and get the right size.
  • Determine size without printing – If you do not have the opportunity to print out the sheet, you can find sizes by using a ruler. Therefore, Footmeter will also provide tables for the parent to get the right size, whether US size, UK size, or EUR size.

We recommend you to do this with both feet because sometimes one foot than to be bigger or wider than the other. Also, always measure your kids’ feet in the evening because their feet tend to swell as the day goes by. 


Quality of the shoes

Sports shoes for kids have to endure difficult conditions during their wearing time. There are a few characteristics that indicate a high-quality shoe, so let’s check them:

  • The midsole should be solid and not hollow in order to maintain support
  • Durable, rubber outsole for long-lasting traction on hard surfaces 
  • Shoes that are stitched rather than glued 
  • A removable insole (suitable for washing) that enhance the fit of shoes

Overall, kids’ growing feet require maximum stability, high protection, and well cushioning during everyday activities. This is especially important when it comes to sports activities such as running and jumping. Following these guidelines for selecting the right shoe will help you gauge your kid’s needs and help them achieve their goals in their sport.


Multi-purpose Sport Shoes for Kids

Choose a sports shoe suitable for the sport your kid wants to play. Sports stores or even specialized ones have all kinds of footwear for different activities, and thus you can find the one your kids need easily. 

However, there is footwear intended for various purposes and activities your kid may undertake. Those are multi-purpose shoes that kids will wear during the day, on the playground, and even at school. 

Usually, these types of kid’s shoes need to have some important features such as:

  • Thick and well-padded sole 
  • Proper ankle support
  • Features breathable materials 
  • Easy to maintain and clean
  • Firm back brace 

Besides these features, kids’ sports shoes should be flexible enough to support and strengthen the foot muscles. These features are good for everyday activity, including those for gym classes, but if your kid wants to play a certain sport, you should get them specialized shoes. Let’s check that.


Soccer Shoes for Kids

As you probably already know, kids’ soccer shoes are crafted differently from other sports footwear. Here are a few tips to get you going when looking for soccer shoes:

  • Shoes should fit snug around the foot, but they should not touch the toes. 
  • The heel counter of the shoes should be strong in order to provide full control and stability 
  • The shoes should be firm and strong in the midfoot and should not bend in the middle 
  • Make sure the studs engage the ground so your kids can have a proper grip on the field
  • Features good padding, especially at the top of the shoes, in the toe area


Basketball Shoes for Kids

Basketball shoes are totally different than shoes for soccer. So if you think you can use one for another, we do not recommend it. Let’s see what good basketball shoes for kids should have:

  • The upper of the shoes – according to your kid’s needs, choose the low, mid, or high-top shoes.
  • They should be light and not too heavy for a kid’s foot.
  • A good cushioning to better absorb the impact when the kid jumps.
  • Durable shoes that will be able to withstand hard surfaces and constant play.


Running Shoes for Kids

When it comes to running shoes for kids, here are a few things to look after: 

  • Good protection and the right support
  • Flexibility – the shoes should be flexible around the toes but not on the arch area
  • Proper cushioning
  • Lightweightness 

The midsole is an equally important part of any running shoe as a cushioning and stability layer. So try not to search for running shoes with hard and stiff midsoles but rather look out for EVA foam midsole.


Other Sports 

Besides these popular sport and their special footwear, there are other shoes as well for other types of sports. According to those activities, pick shoes for its needs. Let’s check some of them.

If your kid is planning to play hockey, then its shoes should have a rubber sole that provides a strong grip on the pitch while allowing them to change direction quickly. It is important to keep their shin guards in mind and ensure that the kid has plenty of room around their ankles. Additionally, hockey shoes should have a waterproof coating to keep your kid’s feet dry in wet conditions.

When it comes to tennis shoes, first determine what kind of surface your kid will play with. Those playing on soft courts will benefit from better traction, while those playing on hard courts will benefit from better durability. Those ones with rubber soles and a herringbone pattern will also provide good traction. 

And last but not least, if you are looking for cricket shoes, you should look for a molded rubber outsole that provides superior grip during sudden movements. Also, look out for shoes with a lot of cushioning, especially for those long games. 


What can Happen if Kid has Inappropriate Sport Shoes

We cannot stop you from passing kid’s footwear from one sibling to another. This is especially useful if you have good-quality and sustainable shoes, and also in terms of cost since you can save up some money. However, each kid’s foot is different; thus, their footwear is shaped according to their feet. And if you pass an older-shaped shoe to another kid, where there is a strong possibility that it is not going to be suitable or comfortable. 

The growing foot of each kid develops at a different rate. Thus, their walking style will influence the shape of their shoes. Hence, you can realize why that footwear will not suit someone else.

If your child tends to tiptoe or lacks balance, it can indicate that the shoe is not fitting the kid properly. At this point, the kid can end up with blisters and other foot issues and even require special soles and a visit to a podiatrist.



Sports shoes for kids are one of a kind. When you buy this type of footwear, ensure you get some information in your hands to get the right ones. This little guide aims to help you with your purchase and make it an easy experience

All you have to do is determine which sport your kid will play and follow the advice on what to look for in those shoes. If you are looking for the all-purpose ones, ensure they have well-padded soles, proper ankle support, and feature breathable materials. 



  • 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.