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How to select running shoes for your kids

Support, neutral, or cushioned? How in the world do you select the right shoe for your little runner? Here are a few tips to help you navigate through the world of athletic footwear.

Get fitted by a professional! Instead of going to a general sporting goods store or buying shoes online, go to a specialty store and allow their staff to ask you questions, check your child’s gait, and assess what the best shoe is for their needs.  Specialty stores may seem initially intimidating, but these are the pros.  Let them do their job.

Know your kid’s athletic profile. Be realistic here.  If your child is a beginner, know that they do not necessarily need the most top of the line shoe.  Your child also might be wearing their running shoes for additional athletic endeavors like soccer or gym class, so take this into account. 

Don’t base your initial choice on looks, look for function over fashion. There are hundreds of colors and styles of shoe.  There’s no reason to settle on the first shoe that you see.

Understand that running shoes have a very limited lifetime of use.  Typically, most runners can get away with 300-500 miles to a pair, but children often wear their shoes for more than just distance runs so take into account the fact that they do wear out quickly.  Look to replace your child’s shoe every 4-6 months, depending on their activity level.  Don’t think that a pair of shoes will last an entire school year. Spend the extra cash now on a good pair of kicks and avoid extensive orthopedic bills in the future.