Best Boys & Girls Kids Athletic Shoes in 2019

Kids love to be active. In addition to play, schools often have physical requirements of children. But their tiny legs often struggle to lift heavy or bulky shoes. This leads to many tripping or otherwise struggling with their footwear. And if they struggle enough, kids will eventually just take the shoes off.

The shoes on this list all provide the highest levels of performance available. They are some of the most researched and advanced kids athletic shoesavailable. But not everything is synthetic fabrics and EVA foam. Many of the shoes on this list are made from real leather and rubber, adding a degree of class and classic style without breaking the bank.

We scoured the internet to find the best kids athletic shoes available today to bring them to you. The entries on this list offers options for both boys athletic shoe and girls athletic shoes. But the big focus was on finding shoes with especially high functionality. So, whether your little one is running track or tracking frogs, their shoes will be the last thing on their minds.

Our Top 3 Picks

ASICS GEL-Noosa Tri 9 GS
  • ASICS GEL-Noosa Tri 9 GS
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • 8-12 Years
  • Price: See Here
New Balance KJ990 Lace-Up
  • New Balance KJ990 Lace-Up
  • 4.5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Synthetic Sole
  • Price: See Here
Saucony Zealot Alternative Closure
  • Saucony Zealot Alternative Closure
  • 4.3 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Padded Midsole
  • Price: See Here

Criteria Used in Evaluation of the Best Kids Athletic Shoes on Our List

Kids unknowingly work out their muscles while they play. And kids love to play for as often as they can. Parents want to buy shoes for their kids that specifically help them to keep their feet from getting injured. Kids play in all sorts of locations with different types of environments. It is important that kids wear shoes that can be worn in several types of areas like the park.

The park can have at least 3 different grounds: cement, grass and wood chips. Sometimes there is a black rubber tarmac in the playground. Kids need to wear athletic shoes that they can use when they are outside and when they are indoors. They need to be able to walk around the stores when they shop with their parents. They need to be able to walk in the library without making squeaky sounds with their feet.

Kids also need to wear shoes that protect them when it’s hot. Sometimes, kids play on black pavement. On a hot summer day, pavement can get so hot that it starts to melt and stick to people shoes. There are people who have suffered the misfortune of walking barefoot on pavement before they realized it got too hot to be without shoes. The city grounds can get so hot they stick to people’s fit if they’re not careful.

People that live in the woods needs shoes that protect them from rocks and twigs. When kids start to attend P.E. classes, they learn run often. If they don’t wear shoes that allow them to run comfortably, they’re performance starts to suffer. Kids with shoes that don’t fit right or are worn out can also cause serious injury short term and long term.

The long-term damage from wearing bad shoes for too long are back injuries related to the muscles and bones. Organs can also suffer damage because people that don’t have good posture end up putting extra pressure on their organs. Back muscles start to hurt because they start to pull more unevenly to one side or another. Joints start to ache before too long because they are either being pulled incorrectly or they are experiencing extra pressure.
Bad shoes cause sickness because they need to be changed out every school year. Adults tend to keep a hold of their shoes for longer if they are not working out in the same shoes they hang out in every day. Most adults live sedentary lives and don’t sweat too much in their shoes. But children and kids run all day long 7 days a week.

Their little feet are going to eventually wear out the anti-bacterial lining and they are also going to wear out the stuffing inside. The padding on the soles will also start to warp in the wrong place from normal everyday wear. Kids grow up quickly and they tend to need new shoes before they start to break them.

It’s hard for many parents to continue purchasing good shoes for their kids every few months. Some companies seem to charge a lot for basic running shoes. It’s almost like they know parents need to buy several kids shoes because they grow so fast. Adults hang on to their shoes for much longer because they’re feet stop growing after a certain size. But buying good athletic shoes for kids is not an option parents can cut too cheaply.
Buying cheap shoes is not a good investment. Low quality shoes mean that the number of times parents must buy kids shoes increases. Parents feel like they’re saving money by purchasing low quality shoes because their kids will just grow out of them. But cheap shoes break faster than good shoes. And, having kids wear bad quality shoes all the time is condemning them to back aches and other medical issues down the road.


Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How to choose the right running shoes for kids?

A: Making sure that the shoes fit correctly is very important. Make sure that the arch sits right for your kid. Some kids have low arched feet, high arched feet or neutral feet. The heel should feel adequately cushioned for best shock absorption. There should be an index finger width between the longest toe and the end of the toe.

Q: What do Doctors say when it comes to running shoes?

A: Some kid’s shoes are over cushioned, and that doesn’t mean that those are the best option for kids. Some shoes are not well designed for children. They recommend that children should play in their bare feet or in activity shoes that fit their developing feet. The shoes that best allow kids feet to move naturally are the best type.

Q: Which is best, shoes that imitate being barefoot or shoes that provide support?

A: Whichever is best is debatable; there is plenty of evidence that support both sides to the argument. It is good for children to play barefoot but in environments where their feet won’t be harmed. And it is equally important for children to play in shoes that protect their feet when they walk, run and jump. Bones take 18 years to fully develop and harden, that is why it is a good idea to get them shoes early to allow their feet to develop properly. But also give their little toes time to wiggle freely and get some air.

Q: When is the right time to change out old running shoes?

A: Children should have several pairs of shoes that they wear alternatively every other day. A set or two for physical education classes and playground times. Kids will play rougher with workout shoes and they won’t last as long as their other shoes. Athletic shoes tend to wear out faster than children grow out of them. Getting kids more than one pair of shoes allows other shoes to not wear down as quickly.

Q: Can children play basketball in their running shoes?

A: Yes, children can play basketball in their running shoes. Running shoes allow kids to move off hard surfaces. However, there are shoes known as cross-trainers that are meant to be used as running shoes and basketball shoes.

Q: Do children’s athletic shoes eventually cause damage?

A: Doctors recommend that children play barefoot as much as healthily possible. But when being barefoot is not an option it is recommended that they play in running shoes that fit properly. Shoes that cause minor pressure can cause their feet to become deformed or develop other permanent problems. They also say to not fall for the idea of ‘corrective shoes’ because it is a misnomer.

Q: What are some important things to know about kid’s athletic shoes?

A: Not all athletic shoes are the same. Some have more traction in other parts of the shoes. It depends on the sport kids are playing that the shoe is best used for. When playing soccer, there are athletic shoes that are made to cushion their feet differently than a normal runners shoe. When it is time to buy kids running shoes, it is better to buy them athletic shoes that are meant for runners.

Q: Why are athletic shoes so important?

A: Athletic shoes protect the feet while providing aid in their sport performance. There are four components to athletic shoes: the outsole, midsole, upper and insert. The midsole is what provides cushion and the outsole provides traction and protection. The insert provides the support and stabilization to the arch. The upper hold the feet securely.