Best Running Shoes for Kids

If you read my previous post on running, you will know that I am a firm believer that "finger shoes" are the best running shoes out there.  Not only do I use these type of shoes, I believe that kids should be using minimalist shoes as well to preserve their natural running style.  I do not want my daughter to develop bad running (or walking habits for that matter) that may later affect her knees and her back.

Last year we got her finger shoes, but she was having a hard time putting them on so she would revert back to her old regular gym shoes.   My daughter has a wide foot and the shoe had a very narrow opening. And I think because of that, she is already started to develop those bad habits I was trying to avoid.

To prove a point I took a video of my daughter's running style.  Note in this first video how my daughters foot hits the is almost as if the ball of her foot hits simultaneously with the heel.  Last year, when I noticed her run, she would strike the ground first with the ball of her foot. It is still better than heel-toe running, but not ideal.

This next video demonstrates heel-toe running which I want my daughter to avoid.  This is how I used to run and how I see many people running nowadays.  The use of heavily padded shoes promotes this type of heel-toe running where the heel hits the ground first.  When I used to run like this, I had knee and back problems despite the hundreds of dollars I spent on finding the right running shoe.

This last video is how I run today, the primary impact is on the ball of the foot.  Even though this shoe has no padding, I can still run 6 miles in these with no issues.  This is very similar to the way my daughter was running last year, her natural running style.

Now that we updated my daughter's finger shoes to a pair that she can easily put on, I am confident she will revert back to the way she used to run.  She loves her shoes and especially since her classmates told her, "Oh wow, those are so cool!"

My daughter modeling her new Vibrams.

If you are looking for minimalist shoes for your kids, the brands I love are Merrell and Vibram.  Not all minamilst shoes look like "fingers."  Merrell has various styles that look like normal shoes such as the one below, without the padding the promotes the heel-toe strike.  Also note that Vibrams sizes do not correspond to normal US sizes so be sure to use the conversion chart on their website.  The amazon links I provided below will direct you to both the girls and boys variations of the shoes.

The shoes I got for my daughter which works well for a wide foot are the following:

The type that she used to have which were nice, but just didn't work for her type of foot are these:

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