With spring sports starting up, our friends at Fleet Feet have great advice on how to choose the best running shoes to keep your child active and healthy!

Kid’s running shoes are one of my favorite products to sell here at Fleet Feet Sports.  I get to interact with young energy that can be quite refreshing!  Before coming in to choose a shoe or get fitted, think a bit about the following factors: purpose, growth expectations, current issues or pain, length of use, price, etc.  We ask these questions to help suggest the best shoe options.  Although your child is currently wearing a particular shoe, the recommendation may be vastly different.  We ask that you keep an open mind!


The fitter will began by taking a measurement of the length of each foot.  They will suggest to go at least one half size over the bigger measurement, as kids tend to grow fast.  This will allow for foot expansion during exercise and room for growth.  In general, there should be about an adult’s thumbnail length between the end of the toes to the end of the shoe.  If the shoe is too big, the heel will feel as though it will slide out of the shoe when walking/running.  The fitter will also watch your child walk, looking at the gait cycle of each foot.  These factors and more will allow the fitter to suggest the best shoe that will support your child’s foot.

What’s the Deal with Inserts?

Depending upon the observations, the fitter may suggest an insert.  While you don’t want to over correct anything that could be grown out of, we see plenty of kids (and adults alike) that could benefit from an additional support.  They help to limit many nagging aches and pains, helping the foot move efficiently through the cushion of the shoe and offering a 3rd degree of support.  All shoes are flat inside, but the inserts have a molded shape that holds the arch and foot up.

Finding the Best Fit

After discussing all the possibilities, the fitter will bring out potential shoes.  As your child tries on the different pairs, we need your help to communicate with your child to know what they like or don’t like.  Most shoes differ in flexibility and support. Based on what kind of feel and experience your child is looking for will dictate which end of the spectrum you choose.  Ultimately, the shoe that tends to be the closest to a natural extension of your body tends to be the best option.  It’s my belief that you should not notice your shoe.  If you’re noticing it, something is probably wrong!

Sizing & Prices

We carry a wide range of sizes from preschool size 10 all the way to grade school size 7 (which is where the crossover of adult shoes happens).  The kid’s shoes prices range from $52 to $90 depending upon the model that would work best.  For kids participating in the Tri 4 Schools triathlons, we also suggest adding a set of elastic laces to help the shoe easier to get on and off in transitions, as well as help those that struggle with tying nice and tight!


We look forward to seeing you at either our Madison or Sun Prairie stores soon!

-Matthew Reller

Footwear Buyer/Inventory Manager

Fleet Feet Sports Madison & Sun Prairie

Proud father of a 3 year old daughter!