The Best Running Shoes For Kids Reviewed

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Searching for Kids Running Shoes? Take a look at the top rated shoes of 2017, Pros & Cons and what to be aware of before buying them in a store!

One of the toughest choices to make out there that often seems to be so easy is choosing the right running shoe, and the same applies for picking out what’s best for your kids, no matter if you are looking for boys running shoes or girls running shoes. An individual should first consider what activity their kid will be partaking in.

If you desire your kid to be an excellent runner, then select the right kind of shoe. The right shoe is just as important as your legs. So, make sure to never neglect proper research and info.

ASICS Pre Contend 3 PS
  • ASICS Pre Contend 3 PS
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Reinforced Stitched Toe Cap
  • Price: See Here
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New Balance KVRUSV2
  • New Balance KVRUSV2
  • 4.7 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Rapid Rebound Midsole
  • Price: See Here
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New Balance KV888V1
  • New Balance KV888V1
  • 4.5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Synthetic Sole + Imeva Midsole
  • Price: See Here
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Top 6 Best Kids Running Shoes

There are a vast amount of running shoes on the market, nevertheless; it is an important job of a parent to get the best for their kid(s). In this buying guide, we review and examine the best youth running shoes. These junior running shoes have been tested and proven to be the leading lights among their peers in the market place.

1. ASICS Pre Contend 3 PS

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ASICS is Latinized acronym that connotes “A Sound Mind in a Sound Body. It was on this premise that the company rolled out products designed to promote sound health and fitness. In other words, their products focus on creating harmony between body and soul. Let's get into why the Asics Pre Contend lives up to their name and quality, and why they took the number one spot for childrens running shoes
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The biggest selling point of the Pre Contend 3 PS was the sole. It is the rubber that distinguishes them from the many companies that focus on the use of foam soles. Foam soles are known to wear out within weeks and are also slippery. Asics’s Pre Contend 3 sole is real rubber, nice and sticky so you wont have to worry about the kids injuring themselves by falling.

Comfort/Stability
The color and style are well made. The ability of ASICS kids’ running shoes to hold up to the daily abuse of Elementary School and related activity made it a winner any day any time. There is no fraying, no tears, and noticeable sign of wear. They are easy to put on and take off -no tying of laces

Durability/ Quality
ASICS has a removable and durable insole for easy cleaning. It is durable with decent price and above all great quality.

Cost & Value
It is an awesome shoe at a great value!

Conclusion
They are exceptionally comfortable and wear incredibly well. They last a very long time for the price and they are the very best around!
Pros
  • Lightweight and breathable fabric
  • Excellently constructed
  • Correct Fit and support
  • Removable and durable insole for easier cleaning
  • Stylish and fashionable
  • More convenience because of Velcro
Cons
  • Some had issues with threading after heavy use


2. New Balance KVRUSV2 Pre Running Shoe

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New Balance KVRUSV2 Pre Running is an excellent shoe produced with high quality materials to give comfort and ease for the youth & even toddlers. It is designed having the kids as the fulcrum of concern. And no wonder this running shoe has been awesome!
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Importance
New Balance is dedicated to helping athletes achieve their goals. It's been their mission for more than a century. It's why they don't spend money on celebrity endorsements. They spend it on research and development. It's why they don't design products to fit an image. They design them to fit. New Balance is driven to make the finest shoes for the same reason athletes lace them up: to achieve the very best.

Comfort/Stability
These super light weight shoes are so simple to wear and take off because of the one piece Velcro closure. The manufacture is superb, typical of most NB shoes. This is a truly handy and comfortable pair of shoes.

Durability and Quality
The Closure has a large surface area, thus the shoes are very secure when worn. The uppers are very breathable and provide exceptional air circulation during wear.

Cost and Value
It is a great bargain and wonderful shoe!

Conclusion
So far so good, NB running shoes kids strike a balance between a good price and excellent products.
Pros
  • The color is so adoring and fit!
  • They are comfortable all day long
Cons
  • The shoe is not widely available at many retailers.


3. Asics Gel-Noosa Tri 9 GS

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Here's another great one from Asics, this time a model that many of the parents who are runners will know well. The Gel-Noosa Tri is also produced in sizes that fit infants, toddlers, small and big kids. The company covered the spectrum with this one. If you've spent any time on our site, you have most likely seen this model at the top of other lists for adult runners. Now let's check out what lands them on this one as well.
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Importance
These have most of the factors that we are typically looking for, but the breathability and flexibility stand out the most.

Comfort/Stability
Like the larger versions, the fit is also pretty good with the kid's sizes as well. They are packed with the same features that you'll find in the adult sizes such as exceptional breathability from the lightweight mesh upper with overlaid synthetic reinforcements, moisture wicking properties, removeable sockliner, and of course Asics' Gel cushioning system.

Durability and Quality
The high abrasion rubber compound that the adult models have are also present here. This help, not only with traction, but also increases the durability of the outsole. There is qite a bit of customer feedback on these, and the majority of it is positive. With that being said, The small number of concerns regarding durability suggest that these are better

Cost and Value
They are definitely a lot less than the adult version. Plus they have the benefits of premium Asics running shoes.

Conclusion
This is a pair of runners that offers unbeatable style t the little ones, and provides a functional, triathlon inspired running shoe to the bigger kids.
Pros
  • Lightweight, breathable upper construction
  • Flexible sole
  • Triathlon-inspired design with Asics' Gel cushioning system
Cons
  • Not as expensive at the adult version, but still a bit pricey

4. New Balance KJ888V1 Pre Running Shoe

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Kids running shoes may appear as being created with the same process that adults shoes are made, but the truth is, their running shoes are produced with different features. Kids deserve high quality running shoes because at their relative young age they need to develop and keep appropriate posture.
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We all know good quality running shoes do not come so cheap, and that's the same for kids running shoes too! The New Balance KJ888V1 Pre running shoe has several excellent distinguishing features that set it apart from ‘others’. The first feature is that it has a very thick rubber sole which gives improved traction and a lasting durability. Generally most kids are prone to wearing down their soles; and so the New Balance KJ888V1 offers has put time into making them better in this regard.This shoe has a non marking outsole which the kids find so exciting because it frees them from about leaving marks indoors.

Comfort / Stability
New Balance is a company that focuses on producing great running shoes for kids and that is fundamental reason they are focus on research and development so as to produce running shoes that excellently fit and look great!

Durability / Quality
These New Balance kids’ running shoes are good fit and of great color. The quality is that New Balance is well-stitched made of solid materials, and the soles hold up solidly to every day stress. They are awesome shoes! They are cute and stylish without being too wild.

Cost and Value
This running shoe for kids is specifically designed with good fit and great color. And this enhances its visual appeal. The shoes are very well made and very comfortable once the laces were appropriately adjusted.. After a month of use, they are not only broken in well, but they stand up and show no observable signs of wear. With all these valuable qualities this New Balance running shoe for kids offers the best price ever. It is certain that you will get an enormous value for your dollar!

Conclusion
All across the board, this shoe is a wonderful shoe that fit today’s fashion. The customers who bought this kid running shoe are of the opinions that this shoes are very well made with great attention to detail all through. The stitching is outstanding and the materials are very well cut and fashioned to render a pair of super comfortable shoes. The soles are well cushioned and light weight. The tops are very breathable, so very perfect for warm weather, too. These shoes are comparable in build quality to the higher end NB shoes
Pros
  • It does not produce any noise when kids are running around with.
  • It is roomy and a high-quality brand that excellently fits the modern times.
  • The soles are well cushioned and light weight.
  • The upper is very breathable, so very good for warm weather, too.
Cons
  • Water has been known to find it's way in easily

5. Adidas Performance Hyperfast

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Adidas has been producing footwear that fit all ages for quite a while, so it shouldn't be surprising that they are just as popular with the kids as they are with adults. The Hyperfast is an runner that also serves as a great everyday athletic shoe. With plenty of features, this one had enough of the necessary attributes to land itself on our list of top kids & toddler running shoes.
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The shoe's flexibility, support and protective features were strong points for us, when looking at this one.

Comfort /Stability
The breathable engineered mesh upper provides plenty of airflow, keeping the feet cooler and dry. The upper is also reinforced with stitched overlays, including the classic 3 stripes that we expect to see on a pair of Adidas shoes. in addition to providing stability through a more supportive fit, the overlays also aid in the overall durability. There is also a decent amount of flexibility in the lightweight midsole with flex grooves.

Durability/Quality
There are plenty of protective features, which also help out in the durability. The higher toe cap and heel wrapping overlay both help to maintain the upper's structure, as well as protect the toe area from excessive war and tear.

Cost & Value
These can be found at a fairly comfortable price range. Although they may run a bit higher than some of the other Adidas models for children, we think they're with it.
Pros
  • Lightweight construction
  • Engineered mesh upper provides a decent amount of breathability
  • Midsole design with flex grooves allows the right amount of flexibility
  • Non-marking outsole
Cons
  • Some felt they could get longer sole wear from a higher priced model

6. Stride Rite Christopher

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Exactly 97 years ago Stride Rite began manufacturing time tested and quality running shoes for kids. The Stride Rite running shoes are specifically designed for kids and toddlers to improve their love for running. They have no equal in the marketplace having mastered their craft since 1919.
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They are produced using leather and textile. They also have a rubber sole that enhances the durability .Stride Ride consist of Low-top sneaker with mesh upper featuring double hook-and-loop straps.

Comfort /Stability
They are no-tying and very comfy. Not only comfortable, they are also very lightweight.

Durability/Quality
The width is just wide enough and they are very durable making them great in quality. The shoes are not only good for their visual appeal to kids. They also provide all day protection. It is easy for kids to put them on due to the velcro replacement for the laces.

Cost and Value
They are fairly cheap and their material is excellent. The price is worth it when compared to the value one gets from the shoes.
Pros
  • They can withstand a large amount of stress
  • They have been machine washed without issue
  • Great arch support and padding around the heel
  • Very durable and well made
Cons
  • They are far from being water resistant
  • A bit on the heavier side for a kids shoe

The Criteria We Used For Our Evaluation Of The Best Children’s Running Shoes

We don’t just blindly grab a few pairs of youth running shoes, and say here you go. There are some metrics which we pick apart to decide whether a product is worthy or not of a mention on the list. Whether you are searching for boys running shoes or running shoes for girls, pretty much the same factors apply.

Below we have broken down and explained each of the points we keep our eyes on when sifting through the many options that are out there.

Are they breathable enough?

Kid’s feet sweat just like adult’s, and the uncomfortable affects will be the same. The best options should have uppers with breathable construction. Look for lightweight materials such as mesh, breathable synthetics and other fabrics which allow adequate airflow to help keep the feet cool and dry.

breathability

Children are susceptible to many of the same issues caused by footwear that retains heat and moisture that we are. We tend to often forget this, because we don’t see them sweating as much as adults do.

Do the shoes provide enough Protection?

They get into everything. Their footwear should be able to protect their feet from rocks, uneven terrain and hard surfaces. Chances are that whatever shoes you put on your kid’s feet will be used for just about everything that they do outside, including climbing, running, jumping, and even trekking through mud, dirt and rocks.

protection-front

It’s best to send them out prepared. Keeping that in mind when shopping for toddler & kid running shoes could save you some worries later on.

protection-bottom

This doesn’t mean that you need to put some kind of armored, mine resistant footwear on their feet. It really means that you may want to look for things like reinforced toes, durable and protective outsole, and also a supportive upper fit that keeps the their feet secure to prevent injuries from issues like unnecessary sprains.

Do they provide enough flexibility?

Their shoes should allow as much natural motion as possible, while providing adequate support. Although you don’t want to put a loose, floppy pair of runners on them, their footwear should have enough flexibility to allow as much natural motion as possible.

Unless there is specific reason why the foot must restricted or even immobilized, let them move the way they are supposed to.  Lacking the ability of natural movement, balance and possibly even development may be affected in some way.

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Maybe you won’t want to put something like a barefoot runner on there feet, but they definitely need a pair that is flexible enough for the activities they’re into.

Are the shoes too high, or too low of a profile?

You’ll want to find something lower profile, with a “closer to the ground” design. This will allow better and more natural balance when running and climbing, which kids do a ton of. Super thick and high profile soles are something that you will probably want to stay away from. Aside from making it more difficult to find their balance, those attributes could present a situation where they may be more apt to injuries like sprained, twisted or rolled ankles, especially if there is already an issue present such as pronation.

Is the sole too thick, too thin, or just right?

You don’t want a sole that is too thick to have positive ground contact. Think thin, but supportive. This kind of adds onto what we mentioned above with looking for a sole thickness that does not produce a high profile design.

sole-thickness

With that being said, you’ll also want them to have plenty of cushioning and support to comfortably and safely see them through any activities in which your kids are involved. This part really doesn’t differ too much from what you would think about when purchasing a pair of running shoes for yourself.

Children’s shoes, these days, have many of the same features and technologies used in creating their soles as adult models do. The key is to think about what your child will be involved in when wearing the shoes.

Room for the toes to move…

For the foot to naturally arch, the toes need to spread enough to provide adequate support. The toe box needs to allow enough room for that to happen. Just like footwear that is too tight in the toes is uncomfortable for you, it’s the same for kids as well.

In fact, depending on their age, they may need the wiggle room for their toes a bit more, as their balance is still developing.

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When your child is running around the house barefoot, watch their feet as they run, jump and play. You will see how they spread their toes when in different positions to adjust their balance appropriately.

Like adults, when their toes are constricted, not only is it uncomfortable, but they also lose some of that balance. So, they’ll definitely need to have the necessary amount of toe space to comfortably run and play.

How durable are they?

Let’s face it, kids are rough on things. Their footwear is no exception. The materials used in their shoes need to hold up to everything that they will throw at them. This is probably a no brainer for most parents, but it is still worth mentioning, as it is an important aspect that we looked at.

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Sometimes, at first thought, it might seem practical to buy a lower priced pair of shoes, since kids do tend to be pretty rough on their stuff. But, if you give a second thought, it may make more sense to buy higher quality footwear, which will stand up to everyday use, but also provide good support that will last.


Other Important Factors To Consider When Selecting The Best Running Shoes For Kids

Sometimes the little things can get overlooked when we are not actually trying on, or buying the shoes for ourself. But, it really doesn’t need to be said that we want to make sure that any footwear we put on our kids should be the best possible fit and function for them.

For that reason, we want to take a little extra time to offer a few things to keep in mind when shopping around.  Although their feet, just like the rest of their body is still developing, they may already foot types or conditions which require specific footwear.

And depending on the age, you may find yourself in a battle with you kid over function vs style, especially with the older ones. There are plenty of good compromises out there, but in the end, function should get more consideration. Some things to consider should include age of the child, activities the kid is involved in and any type of existing foot condition.

When it comes to age, you’ll want to think about whether your child is entering a growth spurt. That will mean that you may need to buy more than one size, or simply wait a bit longer.

Your kids, at the younger ages, will most likely be more attracted to the choices with blinking lights, characters and super heroes on them. But, in most cases, you’ll have to sell them on a pair which is the most suitable. While sometimes the universe aligns and the best option has those things, but we all know as parents that it doesn’t always work like that.

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  • Sizing

One of the first things that you’ll want to think about is the sizing. Children’s feet grow pretty fast in most cases, so you will definitely want to keep that in mind while shopping around.

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Also, similar to adult footwear, different brands tend to vary in there sizes a bit. Although this seems to be more apparent with children’s shoes. Don’t take anyone’s word for it, It is best to actually try the shoes on to be sure of the fit.

Children don’t always tell you if there shoes don’t fit perfectly, and a pair too big can be just as bad as a pair that is too small.

 

  • Everyone’s feet are different

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Since they probably aren’t going to do this themselves, it is important to match he footwear with the child’s particular foot type. You should be sure to know if they have higher arches or flat feet. Consider issues such as overpronation and underpronation. You can read a great article which better explains pronation in children here.

best-running-shoes-for-overpronation

Although a child’s feet are still developing, they could fall into one of these categories which required a bit more attention when it comes to finding the proper footwear.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that a kid’s shoe has to be full of thick cushioning. It really means that the individual’s foot type needs to be considered. Since their feet are still developing, you won’t want to put them in something which will remove the feeling of ground contact.

The goal should be to find a pair which appropriately fits and supports their feet.

 

  •  How old is your child?

This actually matters when trying to figure out how often you’ll be buying new shoes. After some research, we found what we already had an idea of, that children’s feet typically grow in spurts, similar to their physical height.

Although each boy and girl is different, on average, most kids will start outgrowing a pair of shoes in several months. Their feet will grow much faster when they are younger, then slowing down just slightly around ages 3 or 4.

This obviously isn’t where the growing stops. However it seems that after age 5 or 6, the average rate of the need for new shoes stretches out to about every six months or so. That is another reason why it is so tempting to just go for the cheapest option. However, it’s really important to get them the best fit and support possible, even for the short amount of time they will be spending in those shoes.

 

  • Style is great, but…

We all want to make our kids happy, so when they get excited about a pair of shoes because their friends have the same ones, or they are made by the currently most popular brand, it is tempting to oblige them and give them what they want.

The priority should be function over fashion. While you might get lucky and find that the pair your kid really wants is an ideal fit for their feet, sometimes style has to come second to what is really best.

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Do your research. Many popular brands and models for adults also have versions made for kids.

FAQ

Here are some frequently asked questions that may get you thinking about a few of your own. this is some of what other parents are asking when looking for the best pair for their kids.

Q:  If children’s feet grow fast, should I just buy a slightly larger size?

A:  Just like with adults, the proper fit of a shoe is important to comfort, support and also the prevention of things like blisters from unnecessary movement inside the shoe. It is really best to get the appropriate size which fits the feet at that particular time. Although it seems that their feet grow really fast, it isn’t like you’ll have to replace the shoe in a few weeks.

Q:  I don’t want to make the wrong choice and buy shoes for my kid which may not be the absolute best, causing foot problems in the future. Is the safest option to just go with the more expensive brands?

A:  While price can often reflect the quality of particular footwear, it doesn’t necessarily meant that a more expensive brand or model is a general “best bet” for everyone, especially the growing feet of children. I probably isn’t the best idea to base a decision on only one or two aspects of a particular running shoe. Take all of the important points into consideration.

Q:  How do I know if my child pronates, and whether it is underproantion or overpronation?

A:  The signs and symptoms are pretty much the same as what adults experience. Basically put, the foot will either roll inward or outward. An excess of either one can cause issues, just as it would with an adult. Here is a great article that better describes pronation, and another which relates it to children.

Q:  If my kid overpronates, has high arches or flat feet, are there orthotics available for children which can help with these things?

A:  The simple answer is yes. There are insoles that you can purchase to help with these issues, but of course it is important to precisely know what your child needs, in order to find the right one. There are some really good brands that make child Prolab Orthotics, Footminders, Arch Angels and Powerkids by Powerstep. There are really quite a few options out there, so finding the right one should be fairly easy if you know what you need.

 

There is our method of finding the best possible footwear for children. It is important to keep all of these different points in mind, especially for kids who have feet which may need a little extra attention.

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We really hope you find the information in this guide useful to your search, and remember that all feet are different. So, finding the right pair of runners for your kids is just as important of a process as it is when shopping for adult feet.

 

Here are some sources we used while conducting our research:

We utilize many different resources while trying to provide the best information to our readers. Some are clinical sources, some are brand specs provided by manufacturers, and some sources are even other sites which may specialize in particular information which is relative to our subject.

Sources

  1. Runners World, Shoes For Small Fry, Online Running Publication, Aug 22, 2012
  2. Foot & Ankle Center of Washington, Best Children’s OTC Orthotics, Online Clinical Information,
  3. Andorra Pediatrics, Over-Pronation: When Is It Abnormal?, Pediatrician,
  4. Powerstep Insoles, Powerkids Insoles Insole For Children, Manufacturer of Orthotic Insoles,
  5. Arch Angels, Children's Comfort Insoles, Manufacturer of Orthotic Insoles,
  6. Footminders, Footminders KIDS Orthotics, Manufacturer of Orthotic Insoles,
  7. Prolab Orthotics, Kiddythotics Insoles, Manufacturer of Orthotic Insoles,
  8. Healthy Children.org, Flat Feet and Fallen Arches, Pediatric informational website, Nov 21, 2015
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