It’s important for kids to be active, and running is a great way to accomplish that. However, running requires some specific gear, and shoes are the most important piece of gear a runner can own.
If you’re looking for the best running shoes for boys you might find the number of options overwhelming. But shopping for running shoes doesn’t have to be stressful if you know what to look for.
Most boys are going to need shoes that offer enough support for growing feet without hampering the running experience too much. If the shoe is too constricting or offers too much support you can start to develop bad running habits, but if the shoe is too loose or free it might be harmful to a child’s foot health. These five shoes strike that delicate balance between support and freedom and offer many additional benefits, as well.
List of Best Running Shoes for Boys
This comparison chart is a quick way to view the shoes we’ll be talking about and how they rank in three of the major areas of importance for kids’ shoes.
Padding is important because it helps support the foot, a non-marking outer is important because kids tend to be hard on shoes, especially boys, and mesh helps the shoe’s ventilation so there’s less room for fungal infections and smelly odors. Finally, I’ve given each one a star rating. We’ll go into detail below.
|New Balance KJ514 Youth Lace-up Running Shoe||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Asics GEL-Noosa Tri 11 PS Running Shoe||Yes||No||Yes|
|Saucony Cohesion 9 Lace Sneaker||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Asics Gel-Contend 2 GS Running Shoe||Yes||No||Yes|
|Asics GEL-Kayano 20 GS Running Shoe||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Running Shoes for Boys #1:New Balance KJ514 Youth Lace-up
This running shoe is comprised of 75 percent leather and 25 percent mesh, a combination of high-quality materials that lend themselves to durability and breathability.
The rubber sole is non-marking on the outer, and the padded tongue and collar help offer a comfortable ride. I also love the lace-up vamp because it provides support without being too constricting. Also, the IMEVA foam midsole cushioning system is a New Balance feature that I’m always excited to see in a shoe because it means there’s support without weighing the shoe down. Finally, this is a great option for wide feet, and it provides incredible arch support, as well. Some people find the toe box to be a bit wide, but most people like the room.
Running Shoes for Boys #2:Asics Gel-Noose Tri 11 PS
This shoe is made from synthetic fabrics and has a rubber sole. The reinforced stitching along the toe cap is nice because it doesn’t fray as easily as some other shoes, and since many boys tend to be pretty hard on the toes of their shoes, that’s a plus.
It also provides rearfoot gel cushioning which helps alleviate shock, but it also provides a smooth transition into midstance. That basically means that your foot is protected from repeatedly pounding the pavement, and you don’t get that annoying stab in the middle of your foot that regular sneakers often give you when you try to run in proper formation.
Asics has also done some nice engineering on this shoe with their Trusstic system. The system works so well because it reduces the weight of the sole without messing with the integrity of the shoe. It also has a removable sockliner, so if you need a custom orthotic you can just slip the liner out and slip the orthotic in with no problems. People with wide feet might find this shoe a bit narrow, and it does run small, but it’s still one of the best running shoes for boys on the market.
Running Shoes for Boys #3:Saucony Cohesion 9 Lace Sneaker
As a general running shoe rule, anything Saucony makes is good. However, this shoe levels up on their usual quality and is especially great for kids. It’s made from leather and mesh, which is a high-quality combination that holds up to a lot of wear and tear without compromising ventilation. It has a non-marking outsole, provides excellent traction across multiple types of terrain, and it comes in wide sizes with is great for kids. To be completely honest, this shoe covers all the basics and doesn’t really have any observable downside.
Best Running Shoes for Boys #4:Asics GEL-Content 2 GS
Another high-quality Asics addition to the GEL-Contend line, this shoe is made of quality synthetic fabrics, a durable rubber sole, and breathable mesh. It has the addition of a reflective strip for nighttime safety, which is a feature many parents love. The lace-up secure closure means that your laces won’t come undone in the middle of a run, and the ventilation is so good in this shoe that if it’s windy you can actually feel the breeze, which is great on hot days. This is a great entry-level, low-mileage show for boys, but it’s not as durable as some of the others on the list. I wouldn’t use it for high mileages, but it’s great for getting started. Also, keep in mind that most people who wear the shoe say it runs a bit small.
Best Running Shoes for Boys #5:Asics GEL-Kayano 20 GS
Another GEL addition, this Asics shoe is as good as they come. For kids, particularly boys, the durability is almost unmatched. It can handle a high range of terrain, is comfortable, and has a high-abrasion outsole (AHAR) so the shoes don’t get scratched up too quickly. The Solyte technology makes for a lightweight midsole that’s adequately cushioned without being overdone, and the rearfoot GEL cushioning system absorbs shock like a champ. It runs a bit big, but for most boys that just means room to grow into. It’s affordable, covers all the basics, and doesn’t have any obvious downside.
Our Best Pick
It’s really hard to pick a winner out of these shoes because they’re some of the best running shoes for boys you can find. However, my choice for the winner would be the Asics GEL-Kayano 20 GS Running Shoe. It does everything a child’s shoe should do, but it goes above and beyond to provide the technology seen in adult Asics GEL-Kayano shoes even though it’s a children’s size. That’s something you don’t see very often, and I think it’s great that boys have a serious shoe to start out with so they can start experiencing the quality of a great running shoe right out of the gate. I have to say, though, that this shoe narrowly beat out the Saucony on the list, and I think either of them would make an outstanding choice for a boy starting out in running.