Best Running Shoes for Boys
When it comes to buying shoes for your son you probably put a lot of thought into your final decision. There are so many choices for the younger members of your family. From shoes that light up to shoes with characters, shoes with ties, shoes with Velcro, and everything in between. Then there are the thoughts of what your child will need them for; long walks, running, sports, or daily wear. Your final decision then comes down to cost. You know that your son’s feet are still growing, and you know that there is an extreme cost in the boy’s running shoes, so do you bite the bullet and buy the most expensive, or do you opt for the cheaper ones that might not be as good? Keep in mind that your son is still growing and developing, so expecting him to run in anything other than shoes designed for running is not a healthy choice for him.
We have created the following guide to help you in making your decision. We have done the research and narrowed it down to ten of the best choices for you to consider, ranging in style, quality, and value. We have weighed the pros with the cons and even added a frequently asked question section at the end of the guide to further lead you to the right choice.
- Salomon XA Pro
- Quick lacing system
- Excellent support
- Asics Gel-Noosa
- Great arch support
- New Balance
- Velcro closure
- Very comfortable
10 Best Boys Running Shoes
Salomon XA Pro 3D
These shoes feature a stylish grown-up look that every child desires. Made of a high-quality breathable material, these shoes offer all-day comfort and your son’s feet won’t sweat as much as they might in others. They provide a quick slip lacing system with elastic laces that don’t need to be tied, so he won’t have to deal with his laces coming undone. The only downside to this lacing system is that the ends will need to be tucked under the tongue to keep out of the way. The traction these shoes provide is phenomenal and will be perfect for everyday use or for hiking the trails on the next camping trip. A large selection of bright color choices is available for you to choose the shoes that best match your son’s personality.
These shoes offer sizes from toddler to big kid, but they are designed to fit best on children with a wider foot and they do run a bit larger in size. The strong lacing system will provide a secure fit between the top of the foot and the top of the shoe.
These shoes might be lightweight, but they provide a durable sole and the outstanding quality will outlast your child; he will outgrow the shoes before they wear out, no matter how hard he is on the shoes.
The outstanding cushion in these shoes provides a comfortable bottom that will serve as a barrier between the rocks and your son’s heels. They provide excellent arch and ankle support along with excellent stability and comfort.
From the top to bottom quality to the excellent lacing system, you can’t go wrong with this choice, and the affordable price adds to the value. You won’t be disappointed with this pair of running shoes.
- They provide a strong quick-slip lacing system
- They offer a variety of sizes and bright colors
- They provide excellent support
- The quick laces will get in the way if they are not tucked
- They won’t easily fit a child with a narrow foot
Asics Gel-Noosa Tri 11
Featuring bright, stylish color schemes, these attractive running shoes provide a removable liner that can be replaced with a medical orthotic. Unlike other Asics, these do not provide ventilation, which could be a problem for those who have stinky feet, but they do wash up nicely, so this shouldn’t be a deal breaker.
The sizes are available for little kids and big kids, but they do provide a narrower fit than some, so those with a wider foot might need a size up on the chart.
The thick sole provides strong durability between the ground and your child’s foot, so they won’t get injured from rocks and uneven terrain. They are durable enough to take a beating no matter where your son wants to explore.
They are lightweight running shoes that offer great arch support and excellent comfort. They are durable around the ankles and sturdy enough for your son to keep his footing when he runs or walks.
Asics are known for quality athletic footwear, and these shoes prove them right once again. They are affordable and long-lasting, you won’t be disappointed with this pick.
- They offer a removable liner that can be replaced with a medical orthotic
- They provide excellent arch support
- The sole is thick and sturdy
- They won’t fit as well on someone with a wide foot
- They offer no ventilation
New Balance Nitrel Hook
These shoes are easy to put on and take off, making them the perfect design for those with disabilities. The Velcro closure gives a child the feeling of independence while you don’t have to stop and tie their shoes every five minutes. These awesome shoes are available in five different colors that are sure to please everyone’s taste.
These shoes are offered in little kid and big kid sizes and are true to fit for those with wider feet. The adjustable Velcro straps assure an even better snug to the foot for the perfect fit.
Although they may not be as durable as others, they will still stand the test of an active child. They are lightweight with solid construction and a tread that compares to that of a hiking shoe. They are only somewhat slip-resistant, so approach wet surfaces with caution.
These New Balance running shoes are comfortable and offer a substantial amount of support in the ankles and arches.
This is a good quality running shoe for the money. When you think New Balance, you automatically think value.
- These are great shoes for kids with disabilities
- The Velcro closure offers convenience and added comfort
- The tread is much like a hiking shoe
- They won’t fit as well with those who have a narrow foot
Nike Roshe One SE
Featuring a breathable, mesh upper and rubber bottom, these shoes make great footwear for all day use. Not only are they popular with kids, but smaller adult women enjoy wearing them too. They provide a finger loop to easily pull them on and they feature no tie laces for convenience and added comfort. They are available in various styles and colors, so your son can match them up with his favorite clothes.
These shoes are offered in various sizes for all ages, they are true to their size, and can easily fit smaller adults.
The material is made of high-quality and the leather is thick and strong. The stitching seems to be dependable and will endure the challenge of an active child. The eyelets are seamed, so the laces will stay firm against them.
Nike always comes out on top when it comes to arch support, and the firm, yet soft sole offers plenty of support and comfort. The back of the ankle is just high enough for the appropriate amount of ankle support.
The price, quality, and brand of these shoes hold true value within the soles.
- These shoes offer a breathable mesh upper
- The sole is thick and soft
- They are available in various sizes and colors
- For some, the sole might seem bulky
- The ankles are stiffer than others
Asics Gel-Contend 4
These shoes feature a lightweight design made of high-quality mesh on the upper and tough, thick soles on the bottom. They offer a removable liner that can be aired out or you can substitute your own. The laces don’t tie, so you never have the worry of stopping to tie a shoelace and the colors are fun and pleasant. They don’t require time for breaking in and can be worn a whole day right from the box.
They are offered in various big kid sizes and they do tend to run a bit bigger, so plan accordingly when making your selection.
These Asics provide a more durable sole and lacing system than any of the others. Most children outgrow the shoes before they even begin to wear out.
These provide the best arch support you will find in a children’s running shoe. The gel cushion is an added bonus for comfort and the thick rubber soles provide protection and support from all that lingers between the shoe and the ground.
With the exceptional arch support and the durability of the soles at such a great price, you can’t beat the value and quality of these shoes.
- They provide the best arch support you will find for the price
- The soles and laces are more durable than most
- They are available in eight fun color choices
- They run about a half size bigger than normal
Nike Zoom Pegasus 33
These lightweight shoes provide a high-quality breathable mesh fabric on the top and a thick rubber sole on the bottom. The laces never need to be tied, so there will be no distractions or worry about tripping. They are available in an assortment of attractive bright colors that will satisfy anyone’s taste.
Nike is usually true to size, but in a few cases, these shoes might run a half size smaller or lager. They are available in various sizes across the chart, and the lacing system provides a snug fit at the top of the foot assuring added comfort and mobility. They don’t require time for breaking in, so they can be worn straight out of the box.
These shoes are made of durable, high-quality materials that will hold up no matter what your son puts them through. The thick sole is durable enough to conquer uneven terrain and will be sure to block the rocks from poking through to the heels of his feet.
Nike is always very generous with their arch support, and these shoes are no exception. The ankles provide enough support to assure your son won’t turn his ankle and the support on the back of the foot is phenomenal.
With Nike, there is always value and the price is marked right for anyone’s budget.
- They provide good arch support
- They are lightweight and comfortable
- They are available in a wide assortment of colors and sizes
- The sizes might not be true to fit
Adidas Performance Hyperfast
These attractive looking shoes combine a comfortable mesh upper with a thick rubber lower sole. The laces are of high-quality and some styles will require tying, while others will not. There is a wide variety of colors and styles available in tastefully bright colors. These shoes are equally comfortable for walking, running, or playing hard.
These Adidas running shoes are available in a large selection of sizes from little kid to big. They are the best for a wide foot and the sizes seem to be exact.
Tough enough to take all the abuse your son puts on these shoes, they will outlast him long after he has outgrown them. The rubber soles are tough, and the top is lined with high-quality laces that won’t break or snag.
These running shoes provide adequate support, and although the sides are lower than some, the back is higher than most.
These are good quality shoes for the money, and with a name like Adidas, you know they are worth every penny.
- These shoes are available in a large variety of sizes, colors, and styles
- They provide a high-quality, thick rubber sole
- A narrow foot will not fit as well in these shoes
- The sides don’t offer as much support as others
Under Armour Grade School
Featuring a durable mesh fabric on the top and a soft, thick rubber sole on the bottom, these shoes are ready to accept the abuse your son is preparing to put on them. With the mesh covering, your son’s feet will breathe freely avoiding sweat and stink. They are well-made with a soft cushiony sole and comfortable, high-quality laces. They offer a sporty style with many attractive colors to choose from.
There is a large selection of sizes available ranging from little kids to big kids and they seem to fit close to the actual sizes.
They are made with high-quality and durability, however, the front stitching tends to pull away and tear sooner than one would expect from this brand. The thick, rubber sole appears to be strong and it doesn’t appear to come apart at any time.
These shoes provide acceptable arch and ankle supports, and the bottom of the soles offer a good grip to keep your boy on his feet.
Under Armour holds value in all their products, and these shoes are not an exception.
- They provide a breathable mesh upper body
- They offer a thick rubber sole
- They provide acceptable arch and ankle supports
- The front stitching doesn’t hold up as long as you would expect
Nike Kids Free 5.0
These shoes offer a variety of cool designs and colors that are acceptable by kids of all ages. The mesh covering will allow the air to flow freely through the shoe giving your boy’s feet a chance to breathe. The rubber soles provide a soft, safe, and comfortable cushion between the feet and the ground. They are so comfortable that your boy will be wearing them right out of the box.
They are available in a wide selection of sizes from little kids to big kids and they usually fit perfect to size, but these tend to run a size smaller than normal. These shoes are not just a favorite of kids, but women enjoy wearing them too.
Nike never seems to disappoint when it comes to durability and the same holds true with these running shoes. They are made of high-quality materials that are built to last, and chances are, your boy will outgrow these shoes before they start to wear out.
The thick soles provide stability and comfort while the ankles offer extra support, so your child won’t turn his foot. Although Nike always offers good arch support, these provide slightly less support than usual.
These are high-quality and durable shoes for a great price. Don’t be surprised when your child outgrows these shoes before the shoes begin to show any stress.
- They are covered with a mesh top
- The soles are thick and comfortable
- They are offered in a large array of styles and sizes
- They tend to run a size small than usual
- The arch provides a little less arch support than most
Adidas Performance Fortarun K
These lightweight shoes provide a mesh upper and thick rubber soles. They will allow your child’s foot proper airflow, so they won’t sweat and stink, and the strong laces are cleverly designed, so you won’t have the worry of them coming loose. They are extremely flexible with excellent mobility and the stylish colors are pleasant and welcoming.
Designed for wider feet, these shoes are available in a variety of sizes across the chart. When choosing these shoes, take into consideration the fact that they run a size bigger than most, so you will want to plan the size accordingly.
These shoes will accept and beat the challenge of abuse they will encounter from your child. It’s likely that your boy will outgrow the shoes before they begin to wear down. The rubber soles are exceptionally durable and will stand up against the rough and rocky terrain.
Adidas provides a sufficient amount of support in the arches and soles. The back heel of these shoes is higher than the sides, offering extra support for stability and positive performance.
Knowing these are stamped with the famous Adidas brand name says a lot about the value, but if that isn’t enough proof, the price says the rest.
- They are lightweight with a fair amount of flexibility
- They provide proper support in the arches, soles, and ankles
- They are offered in a large variety of sizes and two colors
- They run bigger
- Kids with narrow feet will not get a good fit
Criteria Used For The Evaluation
Features are usually based on personal preference when it comes to shoes. Some people find the color and style to be a top priority while others find comfort to be more important. Of course, when it comes to young people, the style and color are important for the trends, they don’t always concern themselves with comfort. This is where you, the parent comes in. It’s your job to be sure the children have shoes with the best comfort and support possible.
A kid won’t think about that until the blisters pop up. You also need to be sure the shoes have the proper shoelaces; if your child can’t tie yet, Velcro might be a necessity. A removable liner is a plus for keeping the shoes clean and dry, but you might want to consider this feature if you have the need for an orthotic. While extra features like lights, sparkles, characters, and squeakers are fun for your children, they might not be practical or provide the support your child needs. When it comes to features, check for the comfort and support first, then all the other fun features can fall into place.
This is the most important factor to consider next to comfort and support. For the shoes to give their best performance, they must fit properly. While you might think it’s a good idea to buy bigger because the shoes will last longer, that isn’t the wisest decision. Shoes need to assure a proper fit; they shouldn’t flop around in the back or squeeze your child’s toes together. Believe it or not, shoes can cause blisters from being too big just the same as when they are too tight.
A proper fit should allow a thumbnail distance between your child’s big toe and the tip of the shoe. The laces play an important role in a proper fit too. If they tied extremely tight, they might put pressure on the top of your child’s foot, making the shoes feel as if they are too small. If the laces are too loose, your child might feel as though the shoes are too big. When choosing your child’s size, don’t forget to factor in the thickness of the socks he will be wearing. Shoes fit differently with thin socks compared to thick socks.
When it comes to durability, remember that your son is probably rough on his shoes. If he’s like most boys, he will be into the woods, mud, and he will be running hard, for these reasons, durability is important. Check the thickness and quality of the soles, make sure they will hold up in the rocks and they won’t take a puncture from a stick. The same is true for the material as well. If the shoes are leather, usually running shoes are not, but if they are, they can get scratched and scuffed badly in the uneven terrain. If they are nylon, they probably will be, make sure the seams are tight and the material is tough.
Inspect the quality of the laces and know how they are attached to the shoes. The better the quality, the better the durability, but you don’t want to pay more for something you think is high quality only to discover it wasn’t the best quality after all. The last thing you want is to find yourself picking up pieces from the shoes as they start to come apart.
Support is an important factor no matter who you are, but it is even more important for a growing child. Since a boy’s feet are not fully grown until they are 16-years old, it’s important to consider that when you look for support. Arch support is always important, especially while the feet are still developing. The arches in the feet take in the most stress from walking and running, and without the proper support, your child could suffer from various medical conditions in the future. The higher the arch, the better, thus making it even more important for someone with flat feet to gain the added support from a good pair of shoes. Ankle support is as equally important. Have you ever worn a pair of shoes that caused you to turn your foot and twist your ankle while walking? This can happen to your son while he’s running if the shoes you choose for him don’t offer the proper amount of ankle support.
The thought of spending a large amount of money on shoes for a growing child might seem ridiculous, but cheap isn’t always better. We’ve established that, typically, a boy’s foot isn’t fully grown until he is 16, and a girl’s foot isn’t fully grown until she is 14. With that in mind, you can see the importance of spending the money on high-quality shoes. It really doesn’t matter if you are buying shoes for a child or an adult, your feet are very valuable, and without the proper care, you could be in for a lot of medical problems in the future. These are all reasons why you should invest in high-quality shoes. The more features, along with the best fit, durability, and support, the more value you have tied up in the shoes. Just remember, you get what you pay for, and cheap isn’t always better.
Q: How often should I buy new running shoes for my boy?
The answer to this question depends on a couple factors; your child’s age and how rough he is on his shoes. If he is between the ages of 4 to 8, his feet will be growing faster than older children and he will probably need shoes two to three times a year. Preteens are not growing quite as fast at this point, so they will only need one to two new pair of shoes a year. Your teenager will slow down the growth spurt and can probably get away with one new pair a year. Keep in mind though that the harder your son is in his shoes, the more often you will need to replace them.
Q: How many pairs of running shoes should my son own?
It depends on the age of your son and the shoes. A child’s feet grow the most during their first three years of life, and most of the time a parent doesn’t even concern themselves with shoes on their child until they start to walk. Once your child reaches the age of 6-months old, you will probably start the hunt for a good pair of shoes. If your child isn’t walking yet, then obviously one pair of shoes will be enough, and ideally, even after they begin to walk they really only need one pair of high-quality running shoes. Now, if you are fortunate enough to provide two pairs of good running shoes for your son, then that wouldn’t be a bad idea. Keep in mind, the older your child gets, the more active he will become, thus putting more pressure on his shoes.
If you can afford to purchase two pairs of shoes, then encourage your child to alternate between the two every couple of days. That will give the shoes time to air out, so they don’t gain a collection of stink. Believe it or not, feet can get tired of wearing the same pair of shoes every day, so alternating between two pairs will also give your son’s feet the opportunity to relax. Be aware that the older he gets, the more shoes he will probably want, and when he’s a teen, you might not find his floor due to all the shoes he will have strewn all over his room.
Q: How long should I expect my son’s running shoes to last?
If you provide your son with a good, high-quality pair of running shoes, he should outgrow them before they wear out. The more active he becomes with age, the harder he will be on his shoes which is why it’s important that you get him a good pair with a lot of support and durability. If you can afford to provide two pairs of good runners for your son, allowing him to alternate between the two will allow for an even longer life of the shoes. If you can only get him one pair of good shoes, that’s okay, because the best running shoes should have a long-life expectancy.
Q: What are the most important features to look for in running shoes for boys?
When you are shopping for running shoes for your boy, you should first consider what the main purpose will be for the shoes. Will he be wearing them as everyday shoes, or will they be used strictly for running? Really, no matter what the purpose will be for the shoes, they should provide an excellent arch and ankle supports. The sole should be thick and a good, supportive, shock absorbing cushion is important too. You want to be sure the soles provide good traction, so they won’t slip on a wet surface or slide when contacting wet leaves.
Be sure the material and seams are solid, assuring they won’t rip or tear, and make sure the soles are securely attached and can tolerate your child’s abusive performance. If your boy can’t tie his own shoes yet, you might want to consider Velcro straps, and a quick-slip locking system would be a good feature to help keep the laces tied and out of the way. Breathable mesh on the upper part of the shoe is a great comfort feature; not only is it lightweight and cooler, but it will also keep your boy’s feet free of sweat. The weight of the shoes is extremely important too because you don’t want your boy’s shoes to be so heavy that they will cause fatigue and strain on his feet and legs. The last feature you will want to consider is the color and style choice. Just remember, for a child the support should be the number one priority.
Be sure the shoes fit properly and lace tight. If his shoes flop around when he walks or runs, the friction could cause blisters which in turn, could lead to an even bigger problem. It is best to wear socks with the shoes, and the socks must also fit properly so they won’t fall inside the shoe. This could also be a potential situation that leads to blistering.
Inspect the lacing system for your son’s ease of use. If he hasn’t learned how to tie his shoes yet you might choose the ones with Velcro closure, or the shoes with the elastic, quick slip tying system would be a good choice as well. The laces not only play an important part in the ease of use but remember, the tighter the laces the better the fit. Now, with all those thoughts in mind, it’s time to decide which shoes would be the best.