23 Best Running Shoes for kids [Updated 2018]

23 Best Running Shoes for kids [Updated 2018]
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Finding kids running shoes built to last and fit for purpose can be a tricky thing. The more miles they put in the more they will need something robust that remains strong over time. Whether they are in primary school, Junior high or high school, kids need to find versatile shoes that have the ability to crossover. Providing adaptable features for multiple surfaces may be desirable unless the individual is a regular runner.


Buying a trainer which is adaptable has many advantages as the trainer can be used in a variety of situations from training to competition. They can also be used for a mixture of sporting activities.

What to Look for when Buying Kids Running Shoes

When you begin searching for kid’s running shoes you’ll quickly discover that many fall into the minimal category.  This is because children’s running techniques suit a less structured design as they haven’t yet picked up bad practices which warrant a heavier trainer.

Kids tend to run lighter so a bigger trainer may restrict the flow of motion. Their lightweight stride also means they can cope nicely without so much control and cushioning which promotes good habits earlier in life without the risk of injury being high.


Top tip: Going to a running specialist store where children’s gait cycles can be analyzed will guide you to finding the right running shoe. Other elements can be discussed such as any history of injury, running frequency, brand experiences and more. This way a profile can be built of the perfect type of running trainer for that specific person.

Here are our recommendations of the top 23 kids running shoes in the market for 2018:

1. Brooks Defyance


Being more biomechanically proficient, the Brooks Defyance caters for a minimalist slant that provides solid stability. It also gives children freedom to move naturally as its neutral design caters nicely for growing feet. Coming in a range of sizing starting from 10.5, the Brooks Defyance has a brilliant rearfoot HydroFlow cushioning system. Therefore kids get a protective run plus forefoot MoGo padding which keeps foot strike strong.

2. Nike Zoom Air Zoom Pegasus 33


The Stable and fast Pegasus zoom is great for older kids who want a comfortable fit and responsive run. For runners who like sprints and speed, the Nike Zoom packs a punch with its intuitive outsole and waffle pistons for a multi-surface grip. Additionally, the unique outsole channel keeps stability on multiple surfaces for a smooth and powerful ride.

With a cushioned foam midsole for extra support, the flexible grooves enable a natural flow whilst running which makes the Pegasus an all-round winner.

3. Mizuno Wave Rider Junior


The Wave Rider comes with some unique Mizuno features that keeps smaller athletes well protected and geared up for a powerful run. This small yet potent shoe ensures every footsrike is effortless with engineered thanks to its SmoothRide technology. By minimizing acceleration and deceleration, the technology allows a smooth transition during the gait cycle. On top of this, the Parallel Wave design provides distinctive cushioning and stability for a fun yet supportive run.

4. New Balance Fresh Foam Zante


The New Balance’s innovative midsole made from a single piece of foam promotes a comfortable, natural stride. Kids love racing and fast-paced movement which the Zante v2 helps them experience with its streamlined boot-like fit and sleek edges. Coming in a variety of funky, bright shades they are bound to find the perfect match.

5. Saucony Kids ride


With some brilliant online reviews, the Saucony Kids Ride comes up as a top contender for a high quality neutral kid’s running shoe. The intuitive design allows your little one to get the most from each stride with increased stability and smoothness. Enhanced cushioning is in place as well as long-lasting leather and a mesh upper for breathability.

6. Adidas Hyperfast


The Hyperfast is a versatile unisex running shoe that’s light and fast with practical features such as reflective panels and super-flexibility. The lightweight fabrics promote a smooth movement whilst its rich material combination gives the trainer its durability. Coming with an soft EVA midsole for advanced cushioning, this unisex trainer is a brilliant running companion.

7. Adidas ZX Flux


Another fantastic unisex running trainer, the ZX Flux comes in a funky, cool design with its all-in-one open mesh upper. The TPU heel cage protects the foot and the adaptable Torsion technology gives feet the ultimate support for longer runs.

8.Boys Pre-School UA Speed Swift Running shoes


At the very core of the Speed Swift’s DNA is a light and airy mesh for great air-flow and enhanced stability which keeps the foot in place. The UA Swift features an overlay structure that adds no extra weight plus its long EVA midsole cushions heighten responsiveness. Finally, the rubber traction is cleverly located for optimal impact absorption whilst the non-marking outsole comprised of rubber maintains a strong grip and minimizes weight.

9. Girls UA Micro Assert 6 running trainers


The UA Micro Assert is fantastic for girls who run regularly with its supportive foam upper surrounded by ventilated mesh. The midfoot is locked in for a stable run thanks to leather overlays. No need to worry about odors as the material has been treated with antimicrobial elements to combat bacteria. Get the most from every take-off with the long Micro G foam for a cushioned and responsive stride.

10. Junior Brooks PureFlow 4


Let your kids experience pure freedom of movement with Brooks PureFlow 4. Weighing only 148g, this minimal running shoe is a great lightweight option with flexibility for growing feet. With its 4mm drop design for a natural stride, the PureFlow’s structured contour provides a snug fit. The reinforced toe helps protect young feet and the breathable mesh upper keeps feet well ventilated. Plus these kids running shoes come with Omega Flex groves on the outsole to grip onto surfaces for an explosive take-off.

11. Nike Children’s Free Run


This outdoor running shoe is brilliant for children who want a lightweight trainer with a design that’s on-trend. Coming with a structured mesh upper for a snug and comfy fit, the Free Run keeps small feet protected with enhanced cushioning. Fly-wire cables are built into the middle of the trainer for a flexible yet stable mid-foot support.

12. Nike Revolution 3 Junior


Another favorite and popular Nike running shoe is the Revolution 3. Available in a range of shades, kids can pick and choose as they wish and experience the soft comfort of its knitted upper. The knitting is mixed with mesh panels to provide breathability and the padded tongue and colors means no risk of rubbing mid-movement. With a reinforced toe box and a cushioned mid-sole, children can move freely and naturally whilst running.

13. Nike Downshifter 6


The Downshifter 6 is a lightweight shoe engineered for comfort and stability. It’s ventilated mesh upper with overlay keeps feet cool and its extra padding around the edges provides enhanced solidity. The Phylon midsole runs from heel to toe and adds to the light, responsive feel of the shoe. You can rest assured kids will enjoy every run with its deep flex grooves enabling a natural stride. Build up speed in an instant and own shoes which kids are excited to wear.

14. VivoBarefoot Trail Freak Toggle


Designed to enhance outdoor running with its protective structure, the Trail Freak provides kids with a flexible and natural movement. Being lightweight, the trainer boasts a comfortable environment for growing feet with its laminate mesh platform. Also brilliant for powerful foostrikes and impact absorption, the Toggle has Dri-lex lined lyrcra inside keeping feet dry and cool.

15. Asics Unisex Galaxy


Yet another great unisex running shoe for kids, the Asics Galaxy is a fashionable yet everyday trainer. Whether they are indoors or outdoors, the Galaxy caters for multi-sports as well as running. Coming with a breathable mesh upper to let feet breathe and gel cushioning for shock absorption, the Galaxy is a fantastic option no matter what the activity.

16. Mizuno Wave Rider


Kids will feel as though they are running on air with this lightweight trainer which features Parallel wave technology. The trainer promotes flexible movement throughout the gait cycle with enhanced cushioning. Mizunos unique wave pattern is also featured underneath the trainer to give feet unmatched support on every landing.

17. Nike Air Pegasus Zoom 3


This powerful running trainer is for older kids who want a speedy yet secure run. Thanks to its responsive features, the Zoom 3 caters nicely for sprints and powerful take-offs. With the ability to lock securely into multiple terrains, you’ll discover waffle pistons on the outsole for multi-surface grip. Another great thing about the channeled outsole is how it boosts stability whilst the soft foam midsole promotes natural movement.

18. Under Armour Micro Assert 6 (for bigger kids)


This small yet powerful shoe will have kids ready for a range of activities from running to gym! Let them assert their athletic side with a full-length Micro G midsole which promotes an extremely light-weight, responsive run. Kids also get the best feel on the inside as the textile lining plus synthetic overlay helps feet feel at home.  The padded collar and tongue create a cushioned feel and added security for young feet. Antimicrobial treatment is added to combat sweat making this durable trainer a treat for the feet.

19. Brooks Adrenaline GTS


This intelligent running shoe has plenty of special features for developing feet. Coming with a low density foam for increased padding and forefoot flex, the entire shoe encourages a natural stride whilst keeping feet in place for a healthy gait cycle. Ranging from sizes 1-7 and 10.5-13.5, kids can find the best fit for a unisex fit.

20. Nike Air Command Flex


The iconic Nike Air has been improved and updated – welcome the Air Command Flex. With its memorable heel, the Nike model is back with another reliable, lightweight and stable kid’s running shoe. Created with premium grade materials and using super soft cushioning for protection upon impact, the Command Flex has leather and textile upper for additional support. The rubber waffle sole grips onto roads, terrains and indoor surfaces commanding a smooth run.

21. Adidas Sport 2.0


For an extra-light and super comfortable run, choose the Adidas Sport 2.0. Built in you’ll discover a soft cushioned midsole and a flexible outsole to cater for quick strides and sprints. The non-marking rubber outside also makes this a great trainer for indoor running too. It’s well ventilated upper cools down hot, active feet whilst the synthetic overlay keeps them stable.

22. Asics Gel Contend Running shoe


This lace-up trainer is a brilliant choice for a protective and comfortable running shoe. Coming with extra padding so there’s no stiffness, the shoe has that extra bit of stability. With its rearfoot Gel cushioning system in place, kids get full shock absorbance for powerful landings.

23. Adidas Performance Kanadia 7


Last but not least, the Adidas Kanadia comes in a textile synthetic material with an air mesh upper to keep feet cool. Synthetic overlays keep young feet well supported whilst its mud guard makes it perfect for the trail and outdoors no matter what the weather. The Kanadia’s Traxion outsole gives feet maximum multi-directional grip so kids can run freely on any surface.

Now you’ve seen our top 23 kid’s running shoes, we hope you have a clearer view of the top trainers for young feet for 2016. Knowing the differentiating factors of each trainer gives kids a better chance of finding a true match that suits their running style, preferences and needs.


Melissa Hudson

Melissa Hudson