Kids love to run, jump, and play, especially when they’re playing games or sports. Like us, our kids need shoes that fit comfortably and have enough durability and flexibility to withstand the wear and tear from outdoors.
Things to Consider When Choosing Running Shoes
When shopping for a pair of shoes, consider choosing a reputable brand with great reviews that will deliver quality for your child’s needs. Your selection should be based on style, comfort, terrain, speed, distance, and activity. These are our recommendations for the best running shoes for kids.
Best Style and Overall Choice: Adidas Ultraboost 20
- Snug, sock-like fit
- Responsive Boost midsole
- adidas Primeknit+ textile upper
- Regular fit
Adidas is the second-largest sportswear manufacturer in the world, carrying many lines of activewear and footwear.
With Ultra Boost, you can expect the industry’s best in cushioning. Made with a flexible Stretchweb sole, this shoe works great for both roads and trails. The BOOST cushioning is made from TPU pellets, which provides 20% more shock absorption for faster and longer runs.
Not only are these shoes high performance, but they come in a variety of different colors as well. Pairing both function and style, kids will love to wear these for every occasion.
- BOOST cushioning
- Snug, sock-like fit
- Primeknit upper
- Continental and flexible outsole
- Breathable lightweight mesh
- Lacing doesn’t have much impact
Best Anti-Pronation for Sports: Asics GT-1000
- Breathable engineered mesh upper
- Lace up closure for a secure fit with a padded collar and tongue
- Rearfoot Gel cushioning system uses a silicone-based gel for responsive shock absorption
- SpEVA top sole and Flytefoam Lyte in the heel provide lightweight and durable cushioning
- DuoMax Support System uses a dual-density material in the midfoot to reduce over pronation
ASICS is an acronym for the Latin expression “Anima Sana In Corpore Sano” (“You should pray for a healthy mind in a healthy body”). The proverb inspired the founder to create athletic shoes to nurture healthy youth through sports.
These shoes use rearfoot GEL technology reduces shock impact and lessens the pressure on joints. The DuoMax midsole enhances arch support, especially for kids who overpronate. As junior versions of the adult shoe, they offer milder support, which is more suitable for growing legs. The removable EVA sock liner also provides more comfort for better performance.
With unique styles and athletic support, this is an excellent shoe for kids who love sports.
- Support for overpronation
- Rear silicone-based gel cushioning
- Mesh overlay
- Removable sock liner
- Lightweight top sole and heel
- Runs small
Best for Long Distances: Saucony Ride ISO 2
- ISOFIT technology with a unique finger floating cage for the perfect fit
- compression molded eva
- powergrid heel insert
- non-marking rubber outsole for durability
- tri-flex rubberized lugs for grip
The Saucony Ride ISO 2 is specifically built for road and track running. This shoe is highly adaptable as a neutral running shoe that can be especially helpful for under pronation. The mesh toe box allows for better breathability as you’re moving.
For long distances, your feet will thank you if you choose shoes with durability and comfort. Outsoles made of solid rubber make for higher durability and are better for long-distance running. For shock absorption on the heel, the POWERGRID heel inserts offer moderate cushion.
As a fun fact, this shoe has a non-marking rubber sole and can be worn both outdoors and indoors. So no need to worry anymore about skid marks on your floors!
- Support for underpronation
- Neutral with moderate cushion
- Non-marking rubber sole for indoor use
- Mesh toe box
- Powergrid heel insert
- Runs a little larger
Best Spikes for Sprints: Under Armour Kick Sprint 2
- Soft, synthetic leather upper is lightweight & locks your foot in for explosive takeoffs
- Smooth, ultrasonic welded seaming with Bemis tape for next to skin support & comfort
- Seamless heel cup with silicone grip for a locked in, anatomical fit
- Laser etched perforations in the tongue & upper provide maximum ventilation & breathability
- External TPU heel counter for locked in support
Under Armour might be less known than Nike or Adidas, but they still deliver high-quality footwear. They focus on firmer soled shoes, which is what makes them an excellent pick for track spikes.
Spikes are best for sprinting, designed to keep your kids on your toes with maximum traction and power. These shoes are perfect for sprints on the track. The Kick Sprint 2 will also prevent sliding in the grass as the spikes dig into the dirt.
The heel cup also grips the foot for that locked-in feeling. Welded seaming with Bemis tape makes this shoe comfortable when next to your skin.
With perforations, moisture can easily escape. Better air permeability also means less stinky sneakers in the house! The synthetic leather holds up well against all terrains for long-lasting durability.
- Soft, synthetic leather upper
- Lightweight for explosive takeoffs
- Next to skin support and comfort
- Locked-in anatomical grip heel cup
- Maximum ventilation with perforations
- Can’t be worn indoors
- Limited color selection
Best for Trail Runs: Saucony Peregrine 10 Shield
- Leather and water-resistant mesh upper for protection traditional lace closure water-resistant run-shield technology to keep feet dry
- Lightweight EVA midsole for cushioning anti-stink lining that fights bacteria non-marking rubber outsole for durability
- Toe cap for extra durability weight 145.7G
Another great one from Saucony, we have the Peregrine 10 Shield. This one is completely waterproof, perfect for when your kids want to run through puddles. Water won’t be able to get through the leather and waterproof mesh upper.
Kids will often face uneven terrains or wet environments when running on trails. The EVA midsole cushion absorbs shock when the ground is harder and is lined with an anti-stink lining that fights bacteria. With a grippy sole, there’s less slipping while on rocks or slopes. The weighted toe cap also allows for extra durability.
While meant for running off road, the non-marking outsole makes this trainer available to wear indoors. They’ll probably end up too dirty to be worn in the house, though!
- Leather and water-resistant mesh upper
- EVA midsole cushioning for shock absorption
- Weighted toe cap for extra durability
- Non-marking outsole for indoor use
- Powergrid heel insert
- Runs large
For the best general wear and style, go for popular, versatile brands like Nike or Adidas. Cushioning will allow for running longer distances, and flexibility will perform on both roads and trails.
Saucony and Asics are designed with sports and health in mind. While playing sports, correcting pronation will ensure your kids can play without pain or discomfort to the knees, hips, and back.
For sprints, choose lightweight shoes with track spikes for extra traction. Under Armour is a good brand for this since they specialize in firmer sole shoes.
Water-resistant shoes, like Saucony Peregrine Shields, with shock absorption for uneven terrain and extra durability make great trainers for offroading, running trails, or hiking.
Rest assured, your kids are in good hands when it comes to finding the best running shoe for any terrain, speed, and distance.