10 Best Boys Running Shoes Tested in-depth

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I remember when I was young, the best pair of shoes often did the trick to get me out and running—so why should we expect it to be any different today? Today’s children have it better than we did though—they have a wider selection, more durable and advanced shoes, and shoes that will push their fitness to new levels. The best part is, young ones can have all of this and still have something that looks sleek and fashionable.

So, if your son is interested in running, it is highly important to invest in a solid pair of running shoes – this will allow them to enjoy their runs, ensure they achieve the proper technique, and motivate them to continue their pursuit of running.

Last Updated: August 4, 2018
By Richard Wisniewski:

Our most recent updates brings the ASICS Gel Contend 4, Nike Free 5.0, and the Adidas Hyperfast. All three of these are excellent options for your kiddos and they will continue to encourage their love of running as well as help them improve their overall performance.

ASICS Gel Contend 4
  • ASICS Gel Contend 4
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • well-cushioned
  • Price: See Here
Nike Free 5.0
  • Nike Free 5.0
  • 4.7 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Lightweight
  • Price: See Here
Adidas Hyperfast 2.0
  • Adidas Hyperfast 2.0
  • 4.4 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Versatile
  • Price: See Here

 

10 Best Boys Running Shoes

1. ASICS Gel Contend 4

1. ASICS Gel Contend 4
These shoes are well loved by many children and offer support, stability, and optimal comfort levels. They are highly durable and come in lots of color options for your kiddo to choose from.
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Comfort/support
These provide optimal cushioning and arch support and will keep you comfortable during your runs.

Durability/Care
These are highly durable and built to last. They have a removable ComfortDry Sock liner that moisture-wicking, dries quickly, and is easy to wash.

Cost
These are moderately priced and come in several color options for your child to choose from.
Pros

• Provide support and stability

• Comfortable

• Cushioned

• Durable

• Available in 8 different colors

Cons

• Sizes run a bit bigger


2. Nike Free 5.0

These are a favorite among many adult runners, so it comes to no surprise that they have landed a spot on this list as well. They are super comfortable, effective, and come in fun color options for your young ones to choose from.
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Comfort
These provide a secure fit and are highly breathable. They provide support and stability that will help your child on his runs.

Durability
These are made of high-quality materials that are built to last will help your child brave those runs.

Cost
These come at an average price and we know your son will love them.
Pros

• Breathable

• Comfortable

• Lightweight

• Several color options

• Durable

Cons

• Sizing runs small


4. Adidas Performance Hyperfast 2.0

4. Adidas Performance Hyperfast 2.0
The Adidas Performance Hyperfast 2.0 combines style with the latest running technology to bring any boy a shoe that is both fashionable and fast.
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Style
This shoe is unique and stylish as it features a breathable knit mesh upper located on the midfoot and heel of the shoe.

Comfortable
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.

Cost
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.
Pros
  • The knit and textile materials are soft and comfortable.
  • Lightweight
  • More durable than other boys' shoes

 

Cons
  • 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.

1. New Balance KJ990

The New Balance KJ990 combines the classic look of suede with a sturdy outsole to offer your child a shoe that will never go out of style for the duration of its wear.
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Durable
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.

Protective
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.

Cost
For a boy’s shoe, this one is more expensive, but you’re definitely getting a high quality product.
Pros
  • 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.
Cons
  • 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.

5. Skechers Nitrate

5. Skechers Nitrate
The Skechers Nitrate running sneaker is a comfortable, high-quality shoe, constructed with many technological features that will leave your boy ready to run.
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Insole
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.

Breathable
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.

Cost
For the comfort and durability of this shoe, you’re getting a great deal.
Pros
  • 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
Cons
  • 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.

2. New Balance KJ890

Not to be confused with the KJ990, the New Balance KJ890 is a lightweight and comfortable shoe that’s also has a flexible fit to allow for a greater range of motion.
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Breathable
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.

Secure
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.

Cost
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.
Pros
  • Your kid will like the “cool” design options.
  • Lightweight
  • Versatile; can be used for multiple activities
  • Flexible; allows for natural foot movement
Cons
  • Reviewers wished the shoe was more durable, especially for those who are active.
  • 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.

7. Skechers Ipox Rayz Light-Up

7. Skechers Ipox Rayz Light-Up
The Skechers Ipox Rayz Light-Up running sneaker is sure to make your child a point of envy in any elementary classroom. Stylish and adjustable, these shoes exude class and flexibility with every stride.
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Style
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.

Adjustable
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.

Cost
This shoe is definitely a moderately priced one. You will find both more expensive and less expensive shoes on this list.
Pros
  • Comfortable
  • Provide good arch support 
  • Fun light-up feature 
  • Lightweight, yet durable
Cons
  • 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

12. Champion Gusto Runner

12. Champion Gusto Runner
Champion offer the Gusto shoe model for young boys, the shoe has an impressive memory foam insole system which will ensure comfort for your child.

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.
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Durable 

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.

Protective

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.
 

Cost 

The price is average and represents a fair and affordable investment for children running shoes.

Pros

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

Cons

Teach your child the method for doing up the secure lace system, perhaps a double knot


10. New Balance KJ888V1

10. New Balance KJ888V1
The technology in the New Balance KJ888V1 has been designed with is sure to make your child’s foot feel light and comfortable during his run and throughout the duration of the day.
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Midsole
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.

Cushion
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.

Cost
This shoe is moderately priced compared to the other shoes on this list.
Pros
  • Comfortable and cushioned yet lightweight
  • Breathable, yet are able to retain heat on cooler days
  • Perfect for those who have wider feet
Cons
  • 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.

8. Hawkwell Casual Breathable Running Shoe

8. Hawkwell Casual Breathable Running Shoe
The Hawkwell Casual Breathable running shoe is going to appeal to a wide range of boys who are looking for a minimalist yet highly functional shoe.
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Casual
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.

Protective
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.

Cost
This shoe is extremely affordable when compared to other shoes that are on this list.
Pros
  • Offers a simple and lightweight ride.
  • The simple design of the shoe makes them perfect for daily usage.
  • Fit of shoe is very good.
Cons
  • 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.

 


Criteria Used in Choosing the Best Boys Running Shoes

Running is one of the best workouts out there and it is especially easy for little ones to pick up–after all, they already have a ton of energy to burn. Just like adults, kiddos need the right shoe for them. One that provides comfort, support, and stability–so they can perform to the best of their ability and nourish a love for running and physical activity. This is why we took our time when compiling our list of top 10 best running shoes for boys. Below you will find the factors we considered when making our decisions.

Anatomy

Foot shape is an important factor to consider because it allows you to find the ideal running shoes. It is specifically important to find the right pair of shoes for your son–and you need to remember they have their very own unique foot shape and type. Make sure to consult an expert at a sporting store to find the right shoe for your little man!.

Style

This is definitely not the most important factor to consider, but it might mean a lot to your son if you let him pick something he likes. Before choosing what style to get, make sure you find a shoe that fits their needs and that works for them when it comes to comfort and functionality.

Comfort

Comfort is important to everyone, and it will be especially difficult for your son to foster a love for running if he is not comfortable. Before making your purchase have your son try them on and run around a bit. As their parent, it’s your responsibility to check how well the shoe fits your child. Make sure you know if the overpronate, how they run, and take into account how much they will be running.

Value

Even boy running shoes come at different prices–and more expensive doesn’t always mean better. This factor takes into account the brand, style, features, durability, and effectivity and we weigh it against the overall cost of the shoe to determine its value. Make sure to consider your budget here as well, before making your purchase.

Fit

Fit is the most important thing to consider, along with comfort. Make sure the shoe provides your son with a secure fir without it being too tight. If it’s too small it causes blisters, compresses the foot too much, and lead to injury and discomfort. If they are too large it can lead to chafing and diminished performance. Take a look at the lacing system and make sure it allows for adjustments and make sure they have enough room in the toe box. Lastly, have your child try them on in the afternoon or after exercise because that is when their feet are at their largest–this is important because their feet will expand during their run.

Cushioning

This really depends on your child’s needs. Many will argue children need ample cushioning, while others insist their running shoes should be minimalistic and allow for natural movement. While cushioned shoes allow for shock absorption, increase support, and provide stability, this does not mean every child needs this. Some may need a minimalistic shoe that does not allows for their natural movement. Be sure to consider your child’s anatomy as well as their own personal preference. Talk to them and have them try on as many shoes as possible before making your purchase.

Outsole

When looking at the outsole of the shoe, make sure to consider the terrain your son will be running in. Road trainers have features designed for pavement and trail runners have features that will help you tackle technical terrain that you can’t wear your road shoes for. It’s important to make sure they are durable and effective enough to get through the environment they are in.

Motion Control

Good motion control is an important factor that will make your runs more effective and improves your performance. It encourages your foot’s natural movement and they can’t be to stiff to do this.  in having a good run.

Other Important Factors Considered

Types

There are different types of shoes to choose from, all of which are designed to fit different needs, running styles, and environments. Once you have figured out what type of racing your child wants to partake in you will be able to pick the right type of running shoes for them.

Weight

This is important, especially if your son is considering racing. Lightweight shoes are best for race days while heavier shoes, such as stability shoes, provide features you need but aren’t the best for speed.

Drop

This will depend on your son’s anatomy and the type of running they want to do. A zero drop shoes allowed for more natural movement and speed while a higher drop allows for more stability, cushioning and support.

Support

Different styles of running, foot anatomy, and personal preference all play a part in support. Take a look at some important factors to consider here.

  • Distance: More support is needed for athletes who run farther and for longer periods of time. This allows for more power, strength, and comfort during your run.
  • The weight of your child: The heavier you are the more support you need.
  • Pronation: Different degrees of pronation ( overpronation, under pronation and normal pronation) require specific features in their running shoes.

FAQ

Q. How often should I replace my son’s running shoes?

While running shoes can last from 300-500 miles, it’s important to replace your child’s more frequently since they may also wear them for daily activities.

Q. How should my son’s shoes fit?

Here’s how to make sure that your son’s running shoes fit properly

  1. 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.
  2. Hold It – Look for a secure, comfortable fit through the midfoot.
  3. The Heel Deal – There should be little or no slipping at the heel.

Q. What is the difference between half a shoe size and the whole shoe size?

Half sizes are commonly made, resulting in an increment of 16 inch (4.23 mm).

Q. How do I figure out my child’s size?

To measure your son’s foot measure the length of their foot and reduce the number by 1/5 of an inch or 5 mm.

Here are some sources we used while conducting our research:

Sources

  1. Get the gloss, 5 factors to consider when buying running trainers, Lifestyle Website,
  2. Keller Sports, Six factors which influence the choice of your next running shoe, Sporting Website,
  3. Running Technique Coach, Choosing the right running shoes, Running Website, Sporting Website,
  4. The active times, How to Choose the Right Running Shoes, Lifestyle Website,
  5. Runner's World, Shoes For Small Fry, Online Running Publication, Aug 22, 2012
  6. Healthy Children.org, Flat Feet and Fallen Arches, Pediatric informational website, Nov 21, 2015
  7. Run Bloger, Thoughts From a Family Doctor, Running Blog,
  8. Active For Life, How to buy running shoes, Consumer Website,
  9. Andorra Pediatrics, Over-Pronation: When Is It Abnormal?, Pediatric Website,
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