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How to choose the perfect sports shoes for kids: A Podiatrist's guide

How to choose the perfect sports shoes for kids: A Podiatrist's guide

When it comes to your little one’s sports shoes, there is definitely no ‘one type fits all.’ With a wide array of sports shoe brands and styles to choose from, finding the ideal fit for your child's specific needs can be challenging. Whether they wear them every day or exclusively for school sports and weekends, kids are constantly on the move, and their shoes play a significant role in their comfort and overall well-being.

To help you make an informed decision, we sat down with Sports Podiatrist, Emily Smith to delve into the key factors you should consider and which sports shoe brands tick all the boxes.

 A general guide to choosing kids' sports shoes:

A good sports shoe for kids should possess the following features:

  • A slight elevation at the heel
  • Lightweight and durable construction
  • A breathable and durable material such as mesh, leather, or a combination of both
  • Immediate comfort
  • A midsole that strikes the right balance between cushioning and stability
  • A supportive heel counter to prevent excessive bending
  • A secure fastening mechanism, be it laces or self-fastening
  • An anti-slip outsole for safety

On the other hand, poor sports shoes may lack elevation at the heel, have a midsole that is either too firm for shock absorption or too soft for stability, poorly structured heel counters, rounded toe boxes, and less durable materials.

How do I know which sport shoe type is right for me?

Whilst competitive sports may have specific shoes you need to purchase, it’s important that you consider a good quality general sport shoe for the playground as well. Our kids spend 15,500 school hours in these along with running, jumping and skipping their way through the day, so a quality and versatile black sports shoe is key. Consider options like the Asics black sports shoes and Nike school shoes for something that will suit both school and play!

The importance of getting the right fit

The right fit is absolutely crucial, especially for growing feet. Ill-fitting shoes can lead to problems ranging from blisters to injuries and toe deformities. Ensure that there is enough toe space at the end of the shoe without any areas of gaping or bulging around the foot. If you're uncertain about the fit, Shoes & Sox offer a free professional fit check.

Comfort really is key

A good sports shoe for kids boasts an EVA midsole that provides shock absorption, a mesh upper, and comfortable internal padding that envelops the foot. Brands like Asics, New Balance, and Nike excel in providing comfort. Well-engineered sports shoes rarely need to be "worn in," so immediate comfort is a sign of a good fit.

Structure and Support

Support in a sports shoe comes from the structure of the heel counter, the midsole density, and the integrity of the shank. This is crucial for high-impact activities like running and court sports. Brands such as Asics, New Balance, and Nike offer kids options that prioritise structure and support, although it's essential to note that no shoe offers arch support. Adding gentle gel footbeds can provide additional support and comfort without taking up valuable space.

Best material for sports shoes

The material of a good sports shoe should provide toe protection, scuff resistance, durability, grip, and breathability, which is especially vital for active kids.

With kids spending a significant portion of their time on their feet, sports shoes are a valuable investment in their overall comfort and well-being. There are substantial differences between well-designed sports shoes and poor ones, with the adage "you get what you pay for" certainly holding true for the durability, support, and comfort of running shoes. To ensure a perfect fit and functionality, consider visiting Shoes & Sox!

Written by Emily Smith, Sports Podiatrist & Founder of Emily Braidwood.