Which Running Shoes to Buy for Your Teens?

running shoes for teen

Whether the teenager in your life is getting ready for spring track or running as a hobby, if you’re looking for the best running shoes for teens you have quite a job. There are many high-quality shoes that offer enough support teenagers as they grow into their running career. However, they’re still learning what they need and figuring out the unique characteristics of their feet. It might sound strange, but getting to know your feet is a huge part of successful running, and teens are a bit of a blank slate. However, they also haven’t developed the bad habits, so you can try a minimalist approach with your shoe choices. Here are five of the best running shoes for teens that combine quality, a natural ride, and support.

ShoeWeightArch SupportTerrainPrice
Adidas Performance Galaxy Runner, Urban TrailM 258g
W 258g
NeutralTrail Check Price
New Balance M1400V4
M 206g
W 17g
NeutralRoad Check Price
New Balance Men's M990V4M 385g
W 316g
StabilityRoad Check Price
Saucony Men's Type A M 147g
W 147g
NeutralRoad Check Price
Womens Under Armour Charge RC 2 M 227g
W 178g
StabilityRoad Check Price

Running Shoes For Teens #1: New Balance 990 v 4

The New Balance 990 v 4 is one of the best running shoes for teens because of its durable upper, breathable mesh, and lace keepers. The lace keepers are a great feature because they secure your laces in place, meaning they’re unlikely to come untied or get too tangled during a run. Having a breathable upper means your feet stay ventilated, and you’re less likely to get athlete’s foot and other foot problems common among runners. It comes with excellent mid-sole technology for stable arch support, and you can order it in a variety of widths, which is great for teens who have other-than-standard sized feet. The downside is that these shoes are a bit expensive, and some teens might find them too stiff. They can also feel heavier than many other running shoes.

Pros Cons

  • breathable upper

  • durability

  • lace keepers

  • mid-sole arch support

  • comes in a variety of widths


  • may feel too stiff for some

  • expensive

Running Shoes For Teens #2: Saucony Type A

The open mesh on this Saucony shoe is lightweight and breathable, which is great for providing ventilation with no added drag. While this shoe provides a natural run, there’s still enough coverage for it to be comfortable and secure. Flex Film secures your foot in place without feeling too constricting, and the XT-900 carbon rubber included throughout the outsole is great because it provides excellent traction across a variety of terrains. Finally, the forefront cushioning rebounds nicely for an efficient toe-off. And if all that wasn’t enough, it’s a fairly affordable shoe. The only downside is that it might not hold up to extended wear or ultra-level miles, but that shouldn’t be too much of a problem for teens. Some may find it too narrow, but the majority of runners will enjoy the fit.

Pros Cons

  • lightweight

  • breathable

  • great support

  • outsole traction

  • efficient toe-off thanks to cushioned forefoot area

  • affordable

  • secure without being constricting



  • might be narrow for some

  • unclear whether durability will hold up across ultra-level mile counts

Running Shoes For Teens #3: Under Armour Charge RC 2

This shoe is another great choice thanks to its lightweight construction, breathability, and stable arch support. The traction of the Under Armour Charge RC 2 is impressive, and HeatGear technology in the upper construction hugs your foot and provides security without being constricting. The padded tongue and toe cap provide protection without adding bulk, and the roomy toe box of this model is generally preferred by those with wider feet. However, this shoe isn’t as affordable as some of the others on the list, and it might feel stiff to some. Finally, for those with high arches, this shoe might feel a bit uncomfortable.

Pros Cons

  • impressive traction

  • lightweight

  • breathable

  • secure and flexible

  • padded tongue and toe cap

  • roomy toe box


  • might feel stiff to some

  • not great for people with high arches

  • not as affordable as some options

Running Shoes For Teens #4: Adidas Galaxy Trail

Adidas makes some great running shoes, especially for teens who are looking for an entry-level shoe that will provide support without being too constricting. The Adidas Galaxy Trail is no exception to that rule, offering an affordable model that’s comfortable, breathable, and secure. It provides great traction, even on wet surfaces, which is perfect for cross-country runners. It also has fairly aggressive lugs, which translates to great leverage and grip on rugged terrain. In fact, the traction is so good you can use it as a hiking shoes, as well. To top it all off, this shoe offers extreme durability. The downside is that it takes quite awhile to dry out if you get it wet. However, that’s a small price to pay for an otherwise outstanding shoe. This is definitely one of the best running shoes for teens and one that I would personally recommend as I know runners whose teens have loved this shoe.

Pros Cons

  • excellent support

  • incredible traction

  • can pass as a hiking shoe

  • extremely durable

  • cushioned without being constricting

  • high comfort level


  • takes a long time to dry out if it gets wet

Running Shoes For Teens #5: New Balance 1400 v 4

Last, but not least, there’s the New Balance 1400 v 4. This versatile shoe can be used for a wide range of activities without showing wear or breaking down. It comes in a wide variety of pleasing color schemes, and it’s lightweight but responsive and cushioned, as well. You’ll love the smooth ride and simple design as well as the ability to run fast and far without worrying about tearing the shoe up. The downside is that it has a rather tight toe box, and some find the upper structure to be uncomfortable. Finally, know that when you order this shoe you should order a half size up as they tend to run a half size smaller than expected.

Pros Cons

  • versatile - can handle many activities

  • lightweight

  • responsive and cushioned

  • smooth ride

  • can handle speed and high mileage

  • excellent durability


  • tight toe box

  • some find upper to be uncomfortable

  • 1/2 size smaller than expected

Our Best Pick For Your Teens

While all of these shoes offer a great experience and they’re all some of the best running shoes for teens, my personal pick for the winner here is the Saucony type A.

Saucony is an excellent brand, and the durability of this shoe is largely agreed to be top notch. It provides breathability, coverage, support, and flexibility all in a lightweight package that isn’t constricting and allows teens to experience a natural ride. It has just enough cushioning without creating bad running habits, and it’s affordable, as well. I don’t think you can go wrong by choosing this shoe for the teen runner in your life.