10 Best Boys Running Shoes Tested in-depth
Like adults, it’s important that kids run in shoes that are comfortable, and supportive. Take a look at this list of the 10 best running shoes for boys, to ensure that you’re providing a well constructed, protective shoe for your active child.
10 Best Boys Running Shoes
1. New Balance KJ990
New Balance’s signature Ndurance rubber sole contributes to this shoe’s durability, and the suede on this shoe can be easily cleaned. This allows your child to be free to partake in any activity that he wishes throughout the day, including running track or climbing trees.
The KJ990 features New Balance’s Abzorb technology in its heel. This foam polymer material disperse the force of impact especially in the heel and provides good shock absorption. The laces on this shoe are wide, which helps keep the laces tied.
For a boy’s shoe, this one is more expensive, but you’re definitely getting a high quality product.
- Many reviewers state that these shoes work with a boy’s growing feet so that you don’t have to purchase another shoe after a short period of time.
- Soles are non-marking, meaning no scuff marks on your floors.
- Your child will love the way this shoe looks.
- It’s advised that you look at the size chart carefully before purchasing.
- Tread can wear away quickly.
- Some reviewers wished the toe box was wider.
2. New Balance KJ890
The upper of this shoe is made with both synthetic and mesh material, and is also seamless. These features combined make this shoe breathable and comfortable to wear.
This shoe is also made with a padded collar that wraps around the ankle and a tongue that is padded. These features will allow the shoe to feel more secure and provide a better fit on your child’s foot.
Similar to the first shoe on this list, the price is a big higher than you might be used to paying for a boy’s shoe, but the quality will not disappoint.
- Your kid will like the “cool” design options.
- Versatile; can be used for multiple activities
- Flexible; allows for natural foot movement
- Reviewers wished the shoe was more durable, especially for very active kids.
- Some reviews suggest checking the size chart before purchasing, because these shoes tend to run small
- The color of this shoe may bleed if hand-washed.
3. New Balance KJ750
The midsole of the KJ750 is made with C-Cap technology. This keeps the sole of the shoe flexible yet cushioned at the same time, which helps with not only comfort but also provides good shock absorption.
This shoe features durable synthetic overlays as well as a durable sole. Besides providing durability, both of these features allow the color and design of the shoe to last longer, even when the shoe is used often. Durability is an important feature for any kid's shoe.
These shoes are are slightly more than a standard kid's sneaker, but less expensive than some of the other shoes that are on this list.
- Reviewers state that this shoe is comfortable, even for "pickier" kids.
- Provides adequate breathability
- The C-Cap midsole provides excellent cushioning.
- Stitching on the toe box could be sturdier.
- Toe box could be wider.
- A small number of reviews think that the cushioning for this shoe is inadequate.
4. Adidas Performance Hyperfast 2.0
This shoe is unique and stylish as it features a breathable knit mesh upper located on the midfoot and heel of the shoe.
This shoe is designed with a textile lining that not only wraps around your child’s foot, but will also provide additional comfort not offered in similar shoes.
As with most Adidas products, you’re paying for the brand and the quality. That being the case, this shoe is more expensive than many of the others that are featured on this list.
- The knit and textile materials are soft and comfortable.
- More durable than other boys' shoes
- Some reviewers noted that the loops that hold the laces of this shoe split after only a short period of time.
- Sole could be more durable.
- The laces that come with this shoe could be longer so that the shoe would stay tied.
5. Skechers Nitrate
The insole of the Skechers Nitrate is made with Gel-Infused Memory Foam. This means that not only is gel foam distributed evenly into the insole to provide comfort, but that this type of foam will actually mold to the shape of your boy’s foot over time.
The entirety of this shoe is made with a synthetic mesh overlay. This provides great breathability, and also sets this shoe apart in terms of style and durability.
For the comfort and durability of this shoe, you’re getting a great deal.
- A very comfortable shoe due to the gel memory foam
- Reviewers were happy with the price of the shoe.
- Tend to run a little big, allowing for some "growing" space
- Some reviews wish the outsole had better grip.
- Some reviewers felt the insole, especially the heel, wore out prematurely.
- Synthetic mesh is prone to accumulating stains over time.
6. ASICS Gel Contend 3 GS
This shoe is built with a gel cushioning system in the heel. This provides shock absorbancy towards the rear of the shoe. This will protect your child’s foot from the force of impact.
The removable sockliner that comes with this shoe gives you the of washing it whenever it becomes wet, stained, or otherwise dirty. For a boys running shoe, it doesn’t get much better than that.
These shoes are moderately priced, and are good quality while still keeping a budget in mind.
- Good arch support, especially for kids whose arches need additional support
- Kids like these shoes so much, parents have bought them multiple times in a row for them.
- The gel in the heel of this shoe prevents heel pain.
- The mesh on the upper of this shoe could be a bit more durable.
- Tread of this shoe has been known to wear away rather quickly.
- This pair of shoes tends to run small. Consider ordering at least a half size up.
7. Skechers Ipox Rayz Light-Up
The outsole of this shoe is made of a lightweight synthetic material and also lights up every time your child’s foot strikes the ground. With this aesthetic feature, it’s less likely that your child will become bored with the look of this shoe.
This shoe is made with both laces and an adjustable velcro closure. This allows for this shoe to adjustably wrap to fit your child’s foot, regardless of its shape.
This shoe is definitely a moderately priced one. You will find both more expensive and less expensive shoes on this list.
- Provide good arch support
- Fun light-up feature
- Lightweight, yet durable
- Some reviewers had issues with the durability of material in the upper toe area.
- Some reviews state that the lights on the sole stopped working after only a short period of time.
- The size of these shoes tend to run smaller than advertised. Be sure to refer to Skecher’s sizing chart prior to purchasing
8. Hawkwell Casual Breathable Running Shoe
The design of this shoe is versatile, making it perfect to wear to school because it can be used in gym class and at recess.
This shoe also features Phylon EVA foam in its midsole, which causes this shoe to feel firmer against the ground than other shoes that have been featured on this list.
This shoe is extremely affordable when compared to other shoes that are on this list.
- Offers a simple and lightweight ride for kids
- The simple design of the shoe makes them perfect for daily use.
- Fit of shoe is very good.
- The sizes for this shoe tend to run larger than advertised.
- Some consumers wish that there was more rubber on this shoe’s outsole.
- The color on these shoes may fade, depending on how often they’re used.
9. Nike Revolution 2 PSV
The midsole of this shoe is designed with Nike’s Phylon material. It is made with lightweight foam pellets that are compressed into a mold and provide responsiveness. This allows for extra cushioning that is integral to the Nike Revolution 2 PSV.
Flex grooves etched into the outsole allow for a flexible range of motion.
This shoe is lower priced than other ones on the market. These provide a great sense of comfort without sacrificing your budget.
- Price of this shoe is good, especially for the Nike brand.
- Easy for child to put on by himself.
- Bottom of this shoe has great traction.
- Quality of the stitching on this shoe could be more durable.
- These shoes tend to run at least a half size too small.
- In some cases, the height of the toe can cause child to trip.
10. New Balance KJ888V1
The midsole of this shoe is designed with an IMEVA foam. IMEVA stands for Injection Molded EVA foam. This type of foam is more expensive to produce than a compression midsole, and promises to provide the shoe with enhanced bounce and responsiveness. Additionally, IMEVA midsoles are typically lighter in weight than ones of the compression molded variety.
In addition to the IMEVA midsole, this shoe is also built with the same ABZORB technology that we saw in the KJ990 model of the same brand. This provides even more cushioning than the IMEVA foam on its own.
This shoe is moderately priced compared to the other shoes on this list.
- Comfortable and cushioned yet lightweight
- Breathable, yet are able to retain heat on cooler days
- Perfect for kids who have wider feet
- Some consumers wish that the laces stayed tied better.
- The colors that you see in the photos are a bit more vibrant in person.
- Grip could be better, especially for when used indoors, such as at a gym.
The Criteria We Used When Choosing The Best Boys Running Shoes
Walking and running are some of the most common forms of physical exercises that are easy, natural and require very little knowledge of working out techniques especially for the boy child. That is why maximum comfort not only to a kid’s shoe when they are trying the shoe in the store, but also when running and walking for couples of miles is a priority consideration to many if not all shoe manufactures. It is much recommended that sometimes when purchasing shoes for kids we don’t give too much priority to style, brand or the size and overlook the main aspect of every sporting shoe which is comfortability at all times. It’s also important to understand that different people have different needs when it comes to picking out their running shoes, that’s why a person must clearly understand their needs and make sure they pick the shoes that have the ability to satisfy their needs. Other factors to look at when buying your running or walking shoes are: your individual biomechanics, your weight, the surfaces you run on, and obviously, the shape of your feet mean that one person’s ideal shoe could be another person’s nightmare.
The following are considered when picking a boy’s running and walking pair of shoe;
The Feet’s anatomical basis
Foot shape is a factor that is considered when looking for an ideal running sneakers. This is even more important when shopping with your son for the perfect shoes for running. You need to know his foot shape & type. Some of the parts that constitute of the anatomy of your sons feet are: his hind foot, his fore foot and the mid court section of his foot. You can consult with the sales person at your local retail store or even your medical doctor to determine the perfect shoes for your son’s sporting activities.
Everyone wants to go out running while not only wearing comfortable shoes but also shoes that are very stylish. Boy children are not exceptions. Other young runners would find the boys shoes a plus in their running wardrobe. Shoes that easily blend with other colors in a boy running attire. This is a bonus feature as there won’t be a risk a boy looking like a scarecrow wearing shoes. Shoes can be fashion statement on their own
Comfort is one of the main features considered when buying shoes and is never overlooked unless there is a very good reason to do so. A boys’ running and walking shoes should be very neutral and don’t offer any excessive amount of control features or cushioning to the feet of the runner. Comfort comes in very handy when you want to achieve your workout goals. Different running shoes serve different types of runners that is why light weight trainers are able to provide ample support to many runners and some have even added a modest amount of posting/ a firmer cushioning in the mid foot section. This helps to control any excessive pronation when running. Before buying any shoes makes sure it’s the most comfortable running shoes for your boy child.
Different shoes cost differently in the market depending on the manufacture or brand, style, purpose or the area of purchase. Boys shoes are relatively costly but then they are a very good investment as a pair of shoes for kids’ sporting activities. Once your child gets a pair that suits your personal needs as a runner you will not be disappointed that you had to spend an extra dollar for the shoes.
It sounds basic but one of the key features in finding a good running shoe is the fit the boy. The last fitting or upper fit needs to be relatively snug – a running shoe that is too big will allow the foot to shear/slide in the trainer, which will increase the risk of blistering on the foot. Similarly, a trainer that is too small will add compression (squeezing) force on the foot and increase risky incidents of bone injury. If you get a poor fit what follows are those dreaded toenail problems that result in bleeding or bruising underneath the nail plate. Though it’s a little challenging to get a 100% fit, the above shoes have been with materials that influences the flexibility of the runner’s foot, hence being able to achieve the maximum fit of your feet. A wider fit of the shoes, simply means more movement and a comfortability feeling and a more tight fit of the shoes equals to more control when running. For instance: downhill running needs good grip that comes with more control and additional security, but if you are running uphill you will look for high stability hence a more effective impression. Another bonus feature from these running shoes is that they have a variety of lacing technologies for the different specific feet types and sizes hence being able to achieve the maximum fit. Another tip is to always make sure your running shoes fit properly.
A good running boy shoe should have ample cushioning to absorb the sprint shock. However, there are also advocates who argue in favour of minimalist running shoes that have almost no cushioning. No data exists to say which type of shoe is better, but if you choose a cushioned shoe, look for overall shock absorption for the foot.Cushions in shoes function like a spring, converting the energy impact into heat hence reducing the force that will act on the body. This is usually 2 to 3 times the weight of the body. Factors that determine the cushioning effect are route length, terrain, speed of runner and the weight of the runner. With good cushioning protection to the knee joints is attained at the same time comfortability of the feet. Good sole material guarantees more resilience and hence improved spring effect. Running styles also need different cushioning: lightweight cushioning is for fast runners, moderate cushioning is for those athletes who run to the limit effectively, extensive cushioning is for steady but long runs and maximum cushioning is for those who want an extra soft feeling to their feet. The terrain of the running track will affect how the cushioning will be effective. That is why different shoes are set for different types of surfaces for running.
Outsole of Shoe.
It’s important to consider the type of terrain or trail your child runs on and the compatibility of the out sole. You might not have been aware but there are key differences in the outsole type that is used for road trainers and other terrain suited types. Those of you that have ever run on a surface with the wrong out sole may recall sliding around, which over a prolonged period of time can increase the risk of soft tissue injury. The shoes have the best out sole that is able to handle any type of terrain that you might experience when running, while still maintaining the natural movement of the feet while running. The outsole is also made with lightweight materials hence more fun running.
Footwear for boys can often be overly engineered but there are some design features that contribute to reducing the mechanical forces on the foot and lower limb – therefore enhancing your running ability. The concept of bad pronation (the inward roll of the foot when walking or running) highlights how foot position can be a factor in the spectrum of mechanical forces that can eventually lead to lower limb symptoms. A good shoe should be able to allow motion control but to a limited level, it should not in any way hinder the natural movement of the feet while running. That is the shoe should not be too stiff nor too loose, as this affects the protective feature of the shoes.
Other Important Factors Considered
The different types of boys Running Shoes
The different varieties of shoes you will find are designed & made to suit different running styles and environments, also they address the various types of running feet types. Once you have discovered the kind of race or running your child is going for and how he will be using his running shoes, then the next step will be to determine the shoe band with the ability to meet your son’s running needs and will work out best for him as a runner. We have different types of shoes which suit different types of runners depending on the level of running experience and intense of running workout.
Motion Control Shoes
These shoes are perfect for runners who experience over pronation. These type of shoes for running, are designed and manufactured to reduce and control pronation (excessive rolling inwards of the runner’s foot) that occurs while running. They are able to provide and give extra shock absorption features though this additional features make the shoe to be more rigid.
One of the most important factors considered in any sports shoes is the cushioning feature. Runners whop experience under pronation look for these type of running shoes, especially if their feet is not able to have enough rolling inwards capabilities or tend to have excessive outward roll outward. The cushioning shoes have a rolling motion effect that helps the feet to shock absorbent with every step taken during a running session, (the shock that would have been transmitted through the joint up towards the spine). Cushioned running shoes, are manufactured with features that enhance reduction on shock impact by mimicking the running process in a natural way.
These shoes are able to provide cushioning effect, with medial support. Apart from that they are also durable and are able to offer compromise between cushioning effect of the shoe and motion control. Stability running shoes, are designed to prevent additional motion of the foot when running. The motion effect on the ankle is also reduced without affecting the natural movement.
These shoes are quite unique, they have varieties when it comes to the cushioning degree and stability effect. The lightweight running shoes offer more responsive features than the normal standard running shoes. These shoes are made & designed to have more flexibility hence allowing the runner to add a natural spring to the push off which is very effective for a more fast paced running and training.
These type of running shoes normally have unique different features that help runners to comfortably run in the different types of terrain that are rugged. They are known to offer a high grip level to the feet. Depending on the brands, you will notice that the outsole have a deep tread for stability and excellent traction on very slippery trails that are uneven. They have a fast responses when there is a change in the terrain type.
Running trainers are not made the same, and different runners enjoy comfortable running in shoes that are made specifically for them. Make sure you pick the best shoes for your son, as he will not only enjoy comfortability when running but also protection from injuries when running.
The Shoes’ drop (heel-to-toe)
Its often over looked b when shopping for running shoes. The drop of heel to toe, refers to how thick or thin a sole is between the heel and the forefoot. Higher heel means more thickness. Shoes with low drops has increased motions at very high running speeds.
The needed support
There are different styes of running and this determines how the foot strikes the ground. That is why running shies of different athletes have a different pattern when looking at their wear and tear. Running sneakers have different degrees of support to suit the different running styles of athletes. This is attained by using the correct type of material, the right amount and use of up to date technology. Other factors that support o the running shoes are dependent on include:
- Running Length or Distance: More support is needed for those athletes who tend to go for very long runs, this is because the body muscles loose their power and strength after a given duration of working out.
- Body weight of the runner: In general an athlete who is heavier in weight will definitely need a shoe that offers much greater support. Less support is needed for runners who are more light weight in nature. .
- Pronation: Different degrees of pronation ( over pronation, under pronation and normal pronation) will need running shoes that have different support levels in order to deal with the condition.
Q. How often should i replace my child’s running shoes?
A. For a boy runner doing daily runs while in school, that comes out to a new pair every five to six months. Though according to some researchers, running shoes ought to be replaced anywhere from 300 to 500 miles after the first wear. With kids its good to have their running shoes replaced as often as you can.
Q. How big should my son’s running shoes be?
A. Here’s how to make sure that your boy’s running shoes will fit:
- Wiggle Room – You should have about a thumb’s width of room between the end-tip of your son’s longest foot toe & the front of his running sneakers or shoe.
- Hold It – Look for a secure, comfortable fit through the mid foot.
- The Heel Deal – There should be little or no slipping at the heel.
Q. What is under pronation of the foot?
A. Pronation is the way the foot rolls inward when you are walking and running. It is part of a foot’s natural movement that helps the lower leg deal with shock. Some people pronate more (over pronation) or less (under pronation) than others.
Q. How much space should be in a child’s shoe?
A. If your finger cannot fit, the shoes are too tight. If your finger has too much room, the shoes are too large. At the other end, your toes should be able to wiggle comfortably. You ought to comfortably able to fit the width of your thumb in between the tips of your son’s toes and the end of your son’s shoe.
Q. How do i determine the fit of my son’s running shoes?
A. Your son should walk or run around the store a bit to make sure they feel good in action. Use the rule of thumb.
Q. How big should my child’s running shoes be?
A. Feet swell and lengthen over a run, so make sure there’s a thumb’s width of space between your longest toe (which isn’t always the big toe) and the end of a shoe. A friend or shoe fitter can measure this while you stand with your shoes laced up.
Q. What is the difference between half a shoe size?
A. Half sizes are commonly made, resulting in an increment of 1⁄6 inch (4.23 mm). This measure is the basis for current U.K. and U.S. shoe sizes, with the largest shoe size taken as twelve inches (a size 12) and then counting backwards in barley corn units.
Q. How is a child foot size is measured?
A. Foot length: To find your child foot length, measure the distance between the two longest points on his tracing. Reduce this number by 5 mm, or 1/5-inch. The result is his foot length and the number you will use to determine his shoe size.
This list has looked at the ten best running shoes for boys. It is worth noting that when considering the best boys shoes, we kept in mind the unique size of a younger foot including the fact that kids tend to have wider feet than adults.
Here are some sources we used while conducting our research:
- 5 factors to consider when buying running trainers, Lifestyle Website, ,
- Six factors which influence the choice of your next running shoe, Sporting Website, ,
- Choosing the right running shoes, Running Website, Sporting Website, ,
- How to Choose the Right Running Shoes, Lifestyle Website, ,
- Shoes For Small Fry, Online Running Publication, Aug 22, 2012 ,
- Flat Feet and Fallen Arches, Pediatric informational website, Nov 21, 2015 ,
- Proper Shoes for Kids: Thoughts From a Family Doctor, Running Blog, ,
- How to buy running shoes for your kids, Consumer Website, ,
- Over-Pronation: When Is It Abnormal?, Pediatric Website, ,