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.
We were all kids once and I bet we all remember our favorite pair of shoes. We ran in them, we climbed in them, we came home and cleaned them.
Nowadays young children have a much broader choice of footwear and the shoes are even made from more up to date materials and fabrics and include features for comfort, durability, protection all of which need to be combined with a style for young fashion preferences.
If your child shows interesting in running then, of course, it makes sense to get a good pair of boys running shoes for him and encourage him to further develop his interest. The same rules apply to your boy when choosing a good pair of running shoes which can also double up as daily casual wear.
We expect a shoe which will perform, give the right level of appropriate cushion comfort, or the right level of a natural feel, protection is important as children will use shoes very challengingly, durability is a must have because the shoe will be subjected to a lot of wear, stability and good FIT are paramount and the shoe should offer breathability for young sweaty feet. The shoe should look nice and appeal to a young fashion sense.
Read our reviews, we have looked far and wide to come up with a nice range of shoes for boys, see what shoe you feel will be best for your child.
- New Balance KJ990 Lace-Up
- Good shock absorption
- New Balance KJ890 Lace-Up
- Lightweight and flexible
- New Balance KJ750
- C-Cap midsole
12 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 trainer 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 sneaker 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.
- These pairs of trainers 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 shoes' durability especially of the material in the upper toe area.
- Some reviews state that the lights on the sole stopped working after only a short time span.
- The size of these shoes tend to run smaller than advertised. Be sure to refer to Skecher’s sizing chart prior to purchasing
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 trainer 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.
11. Saucony Boys Sneaker
For stability in the construction of the shoe, we see robust leather overlays which work in conjunction with designed in rubber bands set in a criss-cross pattern.
The shoes are offered in a nice range of sizes and colors, you can get black, red, citron, orange or gray. Give this shoe to your boy and let him develop his running skills or just wear the shoe casually as a comfortable, high performing shoe.
Long-term durability comes via the robust hard wearing rubber sole and the use of leather in the construction of the shoe. Breathability is designed into the uppers along with a good amount of protection. The velcro fastening system is quick and easy to use while also ensuring secure fastening for good FIT.
Giving good surface traction for protection against slipping and sliding, the shoe upper gives protective stability through being constructed with mesh inbuilt with leather bands and elasticated strips to ensure foothold for protective and stable FIT. She shoe has a nice layer of cushion for protection against shock. A solid rubber sole which serves against protection if stepping on sharp stones.
Nice price, affordable and a good investment in boys footwear for running and casual use.
Robust rubber sole with very good traction
The Velcro fasteners hold well, easy to adjust and maintain good FIT
The shoe is light, protective and comfortable.
Be attentive to the velcro fasteners, they work well, so don't secure them too tightly.
12. Champion Gusto Runner
The upper is constructed of a breathable mesh woven fabric with solid durability. a lightweight and nicely flexible outsole, a comfortable padded collar, soft shoe lining and a secure lace-up system.
The shoe is great for daily casual wear, playing and good for developing an interest in running.
The shoe gives durability when used in context, though it is robust it has reasonable limitations. The outsole gives flexibility and the upper construction of the shoe has a durable mesh system with fair breathability while being made from a hard wearing material.
The shoe has a soft comfortable protective lining, a padded protective collar, and memory foam for more comfort. The outsole offers a nice level of protection against sharp objects and the lace up system will tie up securely to ensure protective stabilizing FIT.
The price is average and represents a fair and affordable investment for children running shoes.
Gusto running shoes for boys are non-marking
A comfortable light shoe with a nice level of protection
Durability is there while the shoe is used in the context for which it is designed
Teach your child the method for doing up the secure lace system, perhaps a double knot
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 usage.
- 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.
The Criteria We Used When Choosing The Best Boys Running Shoes
Walking and running are among the physical exercises that are natural, easy to do and need little knowledge. Running is super easy especially for the boy child. That is why maximum comfort not only to a kid’s shoe when your child is trying the shoe at the sports store or shop, but when running and walking for a few miles is a priority consideration to many if not all shoe manufactures. It is much recommended sometimes when purchasing shoes for kids we not lay too much focus on style and brand and forget some of the more important features that trainers ought to have. Even to the young runners, its crucial parents know that their kids will have different running requirements and needs, you can not get your daughter the same pair if trainers you would get your son, not only do they engage in different physical activities but they definitely have different types of feet. Make sure the trainers you get your son will be able to meet their running needs. The other metrics to look out for are the weight of your son, the running surface and lastly the foot’s shape.
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 or sneakers for running. You need to know his foot shape & type. Some of these 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.
What is the Style and Design of the Trainer?
Every runner looks for comfort when running but also many want to be stylish. Well just because its a boy shoes does not mean it should not be stylish. Boy children are not exceptions. Other young runners will find the boys’ trainers or shoes a plus as part of their running apparels wardrobe. Shoes that can blend easily with the other clothes and sporting clothes your son wears. Do not make your son be a mockery in school cause they have color screaming trainers, go for the bold manly color. Kids tend to be very self conscious that’s why its very important you get something that will make them physically and emotionally comfortable.
Will the shoe offer the needed Comfortability when running?
When thinking of comfort , then it can be easily be determined. Just check and ask your son if the shoes is comfortable, do they feel any pinch can they run around in the trainers. Kids might not have the needed knowledge to gauge how comfortable trainers ought to be, that’s why it will be the parent’s personal responsibility to always check with the child on how the trainers are. You can also read consumer reviews written by other parents who have bought boy trainers. With the correct fit and comfort, your son will be able to enjoy his sporting activity and also excel in it. The other place to get more information with regards to cushioning and comfort of the shoe, would be from the sales person.
What is the Value of the running Sneaker? Is it a good Investment?
Different shoes cost differently in the market depending on the manufacture or brand, style, purpose or the area of purchase. Boys shoes tend to be a little costly, however these kids’ trainers are a worthwhile investment for kids’ sporting activities. Once your child gets a pair which functions and offers an effective companion to your child then you wont regret paying a few more dollars. Having a budget when looking for trainers guides you in what you are looking for, don’t over spend on a brand and also don’t go for a trainer just to save a few dollars.
What are the basic factors with these running sneakers that guarantee a good Fit for my sons’ feet?
To many it might look, but fit is a feature that has been out on a pedestal when thinking about a good trainer. The last fitting or upper fit needs to be relatively snug – a running shoe, which 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 or foot injury. Poor fit will cause intense toenail issues which can lead to bleed or bruises. Though it can be very challenging for a trainer to offer 100 % fit, trainers have been built with components that enhance the flexibility. A wider fit of the shoes, simply means more movement, added comfortability feeling and a more tight fit of the shoes equals to added control when running. For instance: downhill running needs good grip that comes with more control not to mention additional security, but if you are running uphill you will look for high stability hence a more effective impression be achieved. The lacing system also determine the fit of any trainer, when fitting the shoe make sure the lacing system gives you a snug fitting on the upper part of the leg. Since its a boy shoes, go for simple lacing systems and shorts ones, so that they don’t entangle or interfere with your sons sporting activities.
What is the level and degree of Cushioning offered by the Trainers’ Soles?
An ideal running or training boy shoe should offer ample cushioning that can effectively absorb shock. However, there are also advocates who argue in favor of minimalist running shoes that have almost no cushioning. The current data shows that a show will only suit a runner depending on the personal needs of the runner. But one thing about all cushioned trainers is that they offer shock absorption features.The cushions inside the shoes work the same way springs normally work. They convert the impact from running into heat, this reduces the force which might have been acted on the joints and traveled up the spine. Most of the times the force impacted on the feet is twice or thrice the total weight of ones body. The effect of cushioning of the trainer is determined by the runner’s weight, speed, terrain, the route length taken by the runner. Good cushioning offers maximum protection to ones’ knee joints hence achieving comfortability during the running session. The running styles of athletes are not the same, and each running style requires a different amount of cushioning: fast runners normally go for lightweight type of cushioning, while moderate cushioning will be ideal for limit runners, then we have extensive cushioning meant for long runs that are steady and lastly the high level or maximum cushioning effect is meant for athletes looking for extra soft feel on their feet. The terrain of the running track will affect how the cushioning will be effective. That is why different shoes are set for the varied types of surfaces for running.
Outsole of Shoe.
It’s important to consider the variety 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 trainers posses the best out sole. They can be sued for that crazy sporting event that your son is involved in, and also just have them on while going to school. Not only are the trainers lightweight but they also enhance the natural movement of the foot when working out. When checking the outsole, make sure its made of durable material.
Is the Motion control Enough?
Having a good motion control is very effective and important in having a good run. Trainers ought to provide ample motion control which means the running ability. A good sneaker ought to provide sufficient motion control while at the same time encouraging the feet’s natural movement. The shoe ought not to be be extra stiff nor too loose. The protection ability of a trainer is also affected by the fit of the shoe.
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 their level of running experience and intense of running workout.
Motion Control Shoes
These shoes are perfect for runners and athletes who deal with 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 better designed to provide and give additional shock absorption capabilities 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 runner’s spinal cord). 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 runners’ 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. Be certain that 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 by many athletes when window shopping for new trainers or 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 runner’s foot strikes the ground. That is why running shoes of different athletes have a different pattern, (this can be confirmed when looking at the wear and the tear). Running sneakers have different degrees/ levels 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 has a much heavier 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, which have different support levels so that they can deal with the condition.
Q. How soon should i replace my child’s running sneakers with new ones?
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 must 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. When shopping for running sneakers for your child make sure you try the shoes on during the afternoon or in the evening. When you look at your feet during the late afternoons, you will notice that your feet are very large in terms of size and length. This is the best time to get the right size. When running the feet tend to swell and also increase in length so while fitting the sneaker check for spacing approximately a thumb width size space. Make sure that you consult with the sales person so that you can get the correct size measurements for your child’s trainers.
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. Is there a specific formula to measure the foot size of my son?
A. To measure the foot length of your sons foot is not a hard task. Its a simple DUI procedure that only needs a tape measure. Take the measurements of the length or distance( from the far ends of the foot), then reduce by 1/5 inches or 5 mm. The measurement will be useful in getting the correct sneaker size for your son Do this process each time you want to go get your son a new pair of trainers. Never make reference to old measurements.
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, ,