Best Shoes for Boys Reviewed & Rated
The right shoes will keep a boy’s feet supported and protected, while a poorly designed shoe can cause discomfort for the feet, legs and joints. A badly constructed one may fall apart or begin to fray quickly. It’s important to choose a sturdy pair that will hold up through everyday wear, intensive use and many washes.
The qualities that make a pair of shoes a good choice for a person depends on the age of the wearer and the intended use for the shoe.
- Stride Rite Soft Motion Kellen
- Anti-Microbial Treatment
- Memory Foam Insole
- Heelys Kids' Launch
- Wheeled Skate Shoe
- COODO Lightweight Sneakers
- Breathable Material
- Flexible Outsole
For boys in elementary or middle school, a supportive shoe like the ASICS Gel Contend 3 GS Running Shoe is good for joint health and is ideal for gym class or sports practice. If style points are what the boy is seeking, the Heelys Kids’ Launch Sneaker or the Vans Kids’ Authentic are excellent choices.
Baby or toddler boys need shoes for much different purposes than an older kid. Babies or toddlers who are just learning how to walk or still getting the hang of roaming around would benefit from lightweight shoes that offer good traction – Stride Rite Soft Motion Kellen Sneaker and COODO Toddler Kid’s Lightweight Sneakers are both top choices among parents outfitting their little walker. These won’t weigh down their feet when they’re on the go, and can reduce stumbles.
Finding the perfect shoe for a growing boy isn’t simple. Boys like to run and jump and have a tendency to find mud puddles where you’d least expect it – all of which can wreak havoc on the wrong shoe. Luckily, we’ve found the top 15 shoes for boys that’ll last as long as your boy’s feet will fit into them.
15 Best Shoes for Boys
1. Stride Rite Soft Motion Kellen
These sneakers close with a sturdy velcro flap, which makes putting them on fast and simple, but ensures the shoes will stay secured. This also makes them easy to adjust.
Sturdy soles made for new walkers
Learning to walk is hard work, but the rounded edges of these shoes make the whole experience much easier on tots. The shape decreases stumbles, and the sturdy sole helps them stay balanced.
Cost and Value
For first-time walkers, durability and ease of use are essential. In addition to these features, these also match nearly any outfit, making them well worth the price for many parents.
- Memory foam insole.
- An antimicrobial lining
- They’re highly versatile
- Excellent for first-time walkers
- Easily fit children with wide feet
- Thick velcro strap makes the top of the show feel stiff
- The sides of the shoe aren’t very sturdy
2. Heelys Kids' Launch
The canvas material these shoes are made with is highly durable. Combined with expert stitch work that won't begin to unravel with extended use, this shoe is made to last.
Wheel is easy to take out
Kids won't have any trouble removing the wheel using the tool Heelys supplies with the shoes. The shoes come with a cover to close the opening where the wheel is housed.
Cost and Value
These shoes have high-quality construction that lasts, and the skate function is easy to master. Parents find these are excellent buys, making good gifts and appropriate for school and weekends alike.
- Wheel secures safely in the heel
- Classic design
- Can be quickly converted to regular sneakers
- Wheel rolls smoothly
- The wheel can cause instability
- They run about one size smaller
3. adidas Samba Classic Leather
The leather construction is very durable, which means these shoes are built to last. Parents may find their children outgrow the shoes before they wear out.
Non-marking gum rubber outsole
The gum rubber outsole doesn't leave scuff marks on indoor surfaces and offers good grip when walking. This makes the shoes perfect for day-to-day use at school or at home.
Cost and Value
Parents turn to these shoes for active boys who will be rough on their sneakers. They're long lasting as well as comfortable, making them a perfect choice for an everyday shoe.
- A lightweight EVA insole
- Leather construction with suede detailing
- Classic black and white stripes
- Gum rubber outsole
- The sole can get slippery
- Somewhat narrow
4. Heelys Motion Plus Skate Shoe
Extra padding in the tongue and heel make these shoes ultra-comfortable and supportive. There's also a removable foam sockliner for the option of even more comfort and support.
Abrasion-resistant brake pad
The brake pad is an important safety feature of any skate. These shoes have an abrasion-resistant brake pad, making stopping easy and safe. The pad will hold up with extended use.
Cost and Value
These shoes are very long-lasting, which is perfect for such a fun pair. Additionally, they can be converted from a skate shoe to a regular shoe easily by removing the wheel.
- Added padding in the tongue, heel and collar
- Wheel is easily taken out
- Bright color and unique pattern options
- Breathable lining
- Abrasion-resistant brake pad
- These shoes tend to run small
- They are somewhat heavy
5. Vans Kids' Authentic
Parents can find a design any child will love. Choose from recognizable characters like Winnie the Pooh, Princess Peach or 101 Dalmatians, or opt for floral patterns or solid colors.
Non-marking rubber outsole
The rubber outsole is non-marking and won't leave scuff marks on hardwood or tile floors, making these shoes ideal for indoor use. They also work well for gym class.
Cost and Value
Vans Authentics are iconic shoes that won't go out of style. The canvas upper doesn't add excess weight. A variety of colors and patterns means it's easy to find a pair you love.
- Ample options for patterns and colors
- Rubber sole offers good traction
- Canvas upper is long-lasting
- Recognizable, stylish design
- Canvas and rubber are easy to clean
- These shoes run narrow
- Not much padding in the insole
6. ASICS Gel Contend 3 GS
The Rearfoot GEL Cushioning System not only makes these shoes very comfortable for all-day use, but also reduces shock when running or jumping, making these easy on joints and feet.
Careful stitching on the outsole adds durability
High-quality materials and stitching make these shoes very long-lasting. The reinforcing stitching on the toe cap as well as the outsole sewn directly to the leather upper construction both add durability for frequent intensive use.
Cost and Value
These shoes aren't just a long-lasting shoe; they're also high-quality and very comfortable, providing excellent arch support, gel cushioning to absorb shock and breathable mesh lining to prevent overheating.
- Breathable mesh
- Gel cushioning reduces shock
- Excellent arch support
- Quality construction
- Removable sock liner
- Size tends to run small
- The mesh can tear somewhat easily
7. Converse CT All Star Core Ox
The iconic design is instantly recognizable: The canvas upper, medial eyeholes, lace closure and rubber outsole. This shoe is a classic for a reason, and the kids' version remains true to the original design.
Non-skid rubber outsole
This shoe was originally designed as a non-skid basketball shoe, and the rubber outsole continues to deliver on its promise of improved traction. This is ideal for busy boys who love to run.
Cost and Value
The value of this shoe isn't solely rooted in its iconic design. It's also a long-lasting, durable canvas shoe that provides comfort and versatility. There are few outfits these shoes don't match.
- Lightweight but durable
- Vulcanized outsole
- Bold color options
- Medial eyelets to improve airflow
- Rubber traction
- Lack of arch support
- They don’t come in half sizes
8. adidas Originals Superstar
The soft textile liner offers additional padding that won't crowd feet. As a result, this shoe is highly comfortable for all-day use and appropriate for kids who are always on their feet.
Rubber toe cap and outsole
The classic rubber toe cap inspired sneaker design well after the Superstars debuted, so these are a fashionable option. The rubber outsole also improves grip on smooth, slick surfaces like the gym floor.
Cost and Value
Made of high-quality leather and a durable rubber outsole, these shoes are meant to last. Parents love these shoes because they'll stay comfortable and looking nice all school year.
- Classic three-stripe design
- Comfortable textile liner
- Gum rubber outsole
- Leather upper construction
- Wide toe
- The insoles tend to become loose
- These shoes tend to run large in size
9. Saucony Jazz Hook & Loop
The hook-and-loop closure is simple to operate and allows the shoe to open wide to make slipping feet in easier. The closure can be adjusted to fit feet of varying widths.
Triangular pattern on the outsole
The rubber outsole is styled with a triangular lug pattern that improves traction and offers cushioning - two necessary qualities for little boys learning to walk! The pattern also increases the shoe’s flexibility.
Cost and Value
Finding a shoe that's flexible, comfortable and breathable can be a tall order, but these important qualities come as a package deal with the Saucony Jazz Hook & Loop Sneaker.
- Textile footbed
- Lightweight midsole
- Rubber outsole and stitched detailing
- Suede and nylon construction
- Hook-and-loop closure
- Somewhat narrow
- Outsoles don’t offer much traction
10. COODO Lightweight
The breathable fabric allows for airflow and wicks moisture at the same time. This keeps feet cool and dry and is very comfortable to move around in. The woven material also makes this a very lightweight shoe.
Flexible and soft sole
The soft sole is highly flexible, allowing for a full range of motion. The EVA material is supportive and durable yet allows for natural movement and doesn't weigh down the shoe.
Cost and Value
These shoes are comfortable, flexible and lightweight yet offer support. They'll hold up in a washing machine, though dirt isn't easily seen on them. They're easy for kids to put on and take off.
- Very lightweight
- Breathable, moisture-wicking material
- Dirt doesn’t easily show
- Flexible closure
- Soft sole is supportive
- Stitching around the velcro can come undone
- The sole doesn’t offer much traction.
11. New Balance KL574
An important part of children's shoes is breathability, and having material such as mesh or suede creates a breathable and flexible shoe.
Lightweight EVA Midsole
The EVA material also enhances the feel of this comfortable and breathable shoe. This is added on with double upper and superior cushioning so these shoes not only look good but will feel good for your kids.
Cost and Value
The New Balance Kids' is an affordable shoe that is perfect for growing boys who require new shoes every few months. The price makes them a great purchase in all sizes.
Flexible and ventilated
External Heel Counter
Superior cushioning and fit
Does not use velcro
Soles can be stiff
12. Sketchers Nitrate
The gel-infused memory sole offers strong padding to absorb any unnecessary shock while your child is running or playing. It also adds a cushion of comfort to help them thrive.
Lightweight and Flexible
Not only comfortable, these shoes are guaranteed to feel lightweight so kids won't be restrained by the weight of their shoes. The design is also flexible to adapt to any foot shape.
Cost and Value
The Sketchers Nitrate can run on the expensive end of children's shoes, but the iconic brand is still worth the price. The Nitrate is a reliable, consistent, and lightweight line of kids shoes.
Fabric and Synthetic
Lightweight and Flexible
Gel-infused Memory Foam insole
Shoes often run big
13. Under Armour Assert 6
Some of the best materials for shoes proven over the years are EVA and Leather, and this simple shoe is made with both of them.
With how much kids sweat, it's impressive that Under Armour's Assert 6 includes an anti-odor design to prevent you from throwing out shoes due to stink
Cost and Value
With how much this shoe offers, it isn't surprising that the price is rather expensive for a kids shoe. However, given the anti-odor technology and durable leather material, this is definitely a shoe that's worth its high price. Those looking for more affordable shoes might not want the Assert 6.
Mesh and Leather
Full-length cushioned EVA
May be too narrow
14. Hawkwell Casual Lace-up
The super lightweight design provides comfortable and more natural running.
Once again, another vital feature of boys' shoes is breathability and the Hawkwell Casual provides excellent ventilation with its breathable sandwich mesh design.
Cost and Value
Unlike other shoes of similar quality, the Hawkwell Casual is extremely affordable without giving up too much of its features. The shoe is breathable, flexible, and comfortable, while also being affordable enough to buy more than a couple pairs.
Lightweight and soft
Simple yet fashionable design
15. Merrell Trail Chaser
One of the best features in hiking shoes is an EVA removable footbed simply because they are soft, breathable, and provide comfort and protection. Having this type of footbed included in kids shoes makes
Non-marking outsole with Grip
Different than other trail shoes for kids, the Trail Chaser's outsole is non-marking, meaning that these can also be worn indoors without worry from parents.
Cost and Value
For all that this shoe provides, the price can be a bit shocking but still reasonable. The Trail Chaser is a hiking shoe for children that provides all the necessities of a trail shoe but can also be worn virtually anywhere. The price might be expensive but it is certainly worth it.
EVA Removable Footbed
Non-marking but gripped Outsole
Hook closure for precise fit
Boys need quality shoes to keep them protected while they play. Finding high-quality yet comfortable shoes can be a challenge, but these 15 choices are top rated for a reason. They not only offer support and will likely last longer than they’ll fit a growing child’s feet, but are also fashionable in their own ways. Classic styles like adidas Sambas and Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars are timelessly relevant, while more modern styles like Heelys Launch or Motion Plus offer fun takes on the casual sneaker.
Whether you’re seeking out the perfect trainer for a school-aged boy’s gym class or a first shoe for a your little guy just learning how to walk, it’s important to find a shoe that’s comfortable, supportive and that doesn’t weigh your child down. Whatever it is you’re looking for in a boy’s shoe, you’ll find it on this list.
Criteria for Selecting the Best Shoes for Boys
Breathability, Weight, and Water Resistance
Although there are many factors to take into consideration when buying running shoes for boys, one of the most important is breathability. Kids are active, they sweat a ton, and the effects of sweaty feet without ventilation is the same as adults: unpleasant. A great rule of thumb is to choose shoes that are made of breathable and lightweight material. Canvas, cloth, and leather are always better than rubber or plastic, and they last longer too.
Like adult running shoes, children shoes should have decent water resistance. Since kids have weaker immune systems, they are more vulnerable to catching colds or the flu. Having shoes that aren’t water resistance can increase the risk of kids having soaked socks, and cold feet increases the odds of flu in those exposed to virus. Bottom line, wet shoes are never great, especially for kids. Getting a proper water resistant or even waterproof shoes can go a long way in keeping your child healthy.
Some kids sweat more than others, and this trait is hereditary. There are ways, however, to keep your child’s shoes from being thrown out every so often due to foul smell. Having sweaty feet is no joke either, as kids can also develop common symptoms as adults, such as foot odor, itchy feet, and toenail fungus. The results are not pleasant, so it is imperative that a child’s shoe be breathable. This can be done by providing the right type of shoes and socks!
Not only does buying a breathable shoe help, there are other methods to treat sweaty feet. One is to always have an alternate pair of shoes. Although not all of us can afford two pairs of nice shoes, having two pairs of shoes and alternating between them can keep your child’s feet stay dry and breathe better. It’s also important that your child dries their feet completely after showering. Having moisture retaining to the foot can cause odor and keeping your feet dry and clean is always good feet hygiene.
It is always great if a shoe company incorporates mesh material for footbeds or soles to enhance breathability. There are also certain shoe styles that are better than others if breathability is a priority, like sandals or open-toed shoes. These shoes, however, may not have the same reliable structure as closed-toed shoes, and might make certain outdoor activities off limits. A child’s feet should always be protected, which is why open-toed shoes can be dangerous.
Washing your boys’ shoes often can also help kill bacteria such as fungus and viruses. This makes machine washable shoes a great choice, as they can be washed often and easily. Clean shoes for children prevents many dangers of infection, so you should always make sure your boys’ shoes are clean and washed, ready for their outdoor activities.
Fit and Construction
Many parents fail to realize the importance of fit for their child’s shoes. It is important for parents to pay extra attention to the shoe’s length, width, and depth when fitting their child’s shoe. This is imperative because often children will not know whether or not their shoes are ill-fitted, and this can result in their feet molding into an unhealthy shape.
It’s also valuable to know that a child’s foot can grow in spurts, especially in the age where boys are developing, meaning they must have new shoes nearly every three to four months. Toddlers can grow almost one-foot size every two months, and young children between the ages 2-3 can increase half a foot size every four to six months.
You should always examine and test the width and depth of shoes before purchasing. It is imperative that the top of the shoe doesn’t press on the toes or the toenail, as this part of the foot is developing most in kids. Try to find shoes that have a large, rounded toe box, giving room for development.
A shoe’s construction can be broken down into several key factors. There’s the upper part, the insole, the outsole, and the heel. The upper part of a child’s shoe should be made of quality material such as leather or canvas, or even mesh for more comfort. Since children’s feet sweat heavily, the upper part should always be made of breathable, comfortable material. The insole of the shoe should be made of absorbent material, and it is advised for parents to get padded insoles for their children. Most children aren’t in need of arch support, since toddlers generally have flat feet and only fully develop from the ages of 6 to 10.
The outsole of the shoe is the part that provides traction, cushion, and flexibility. Although children fall often, it shouldn’t be because of their shoes and it’s important that parents pay attention to the durability and stickiness of the outsole. Some thick or very sticky outsoles can make walking tough for children, causing many accidents. Finally, the heel is not a necessity in children’s shoes as their feet are fairly flat, which makes having flat soles easier for them. Older boys can wear shoes with light heels, but they should never be too high as they can cramp the toes against the inside of the shoe.
Some children can develop foot problems in their early years of growth, and, although these problems are never too severe, wearing shoes with flat or high arches may worsen it. If a child has specific foot problems, it is always best to contact a physician for an examination or diagnosis. These issues, if not fixed early, can last a lifetime.
To conclude, it’s best to look for ventilated shoes that allow plenty of room for proper growth. It’s also important to know when your child has a growth spurt and how often you must consider buying new shoes, as cramp shoes can lead to many underlying problems. A leather or canvas upper is recommended for its breathability but modern mesh uppers can also be a choice.
Some tips for fitting include: measuring their feet every three to four months, ensuring there is a half inch between their toe and the end of their shoe, fit the widest part of the foot to the widest part of the shoe, and to always fit to the larger foot if one is larger than the other.
To recap, there are seven steps in ensuring a good fit: first, the shoe should be comfortable and loose without falling off, especially in backless shoes like sandals or slippers. The shoes shouldn’t fall off while the child is walking. Second, try to plan shoe fitting in the afternoon when feet are often most swollen. The size of someone’s foot varies throughout the day and the last thing you want to do is buy your child’s shoes in the morning only to find him cramped in the afternoon. Third, when standing up, their weight should be evenly distributed on both feet with a natural spread. Fourth, there should always around an inch of space between the toe and the end of the shoe. Fifth, squeeze the material on the sides of the shoe to indicate the shoe’s exact width. Sixth, the back of the shoe should fit snug when inserting a finger between the heel and back of the shoe. And, lastly, when taking off the shoe, there should never be any markings left on the child’s foot.
Unlike adult shoes, children’s shoes rarely need “breaking in”, so make sure the shoes are comfortable on the first try.
Types of Shoes
Just like how there are countless different types of adult shoes, children shoes can also be separated into many different subgroups. For one example, there is the lace-up, buckle, and velcro type shoes. Each one has their own attributes. The lace-up helps keep the foot back in the heel of the shoe, but can be a hassle for kids to constantly tie and endanger them of tripping over laces. The buckle can be easier to use but is often heavier than the lace-up and velcro, making them often uncomfortable for children. The velcro is an easier answer to both worlds, as it is light yet easy for kids to use, which is why it is so popular in children shoes. The velcro lace also has no hot spots or uneven pressure points, making shoes versatile and comfortable.
Other than laces, there is also the question of what shoe style you should get. The two most popular trends in shoes for boys are sneakers and boots. Both of these choices are protective and offer grip on surfaces. Sneakers are better because they have breathability and flexibility to ensure comfortable walking, but boots can protect your child’s feet from wet conditions and are often better for younger children since they are more durable.
The best type of kids’ shoes are ones that are durable, supportive, and affordable, while providing maximum stability and comfort. Children’s feet are known to withstand three times more stress than adult feet, which makes it important to find shoes that are supportive and sturdy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the best material for kids’ shoes?
A: Since kids sweat more, the best material for their shoes is breathable and flexible material that allows ventilation.
Q: Should my son’s shoes be water resistant?
A: Although it isn’t required, it’s always a good idea to have decent water resistance in your child’s shoes, especially if they are walking or running in wet conditions very often. This is because children have weaker immune systems and wet feet can greatly increase the risk of flu or virus.
Q: What are some ways to deal with overly sweaty feet in children?
A: No one likes the idea of throwing away shoes because of stink. That’s why treating your child’s feet and preventing excessive sweating is important. You can buy your child ventilated and breathable shoes, and try to keep their feet dry at all times to prevent moisture.
Q: Why should I wash my child’s shoes often?
A: It’s important to keep your child’s shoes free of bacteria so they don’t get any unneeded germs or infections. Machine washable shoes are always a good choice.
Q: How often should I buy new shoes for my child?
A: Since children can grow in spurts, it’s always important to resize and perhaps buy new pairs every 3 to 4 months. Never go longer than 6 months without checking if your child’s seemingly new pair of shoes are too tight. Because of how often their shoe size changes, it’s often better to buy quality short-term shoes over long-lasting ones.
Q: What are the different parts of kids shoes?
A: There is the upper, the insole, the outsole, and the heel. Each part has its own function and should be breathable and some, like the insole, can offer padding.
Q: Should my children’s shoes have heels?
A: No. Since children and toddler feet are fairly flat, they shouldn’t wear anything with severe heel or arches. It’s important to let your child’s feet develop on its own without interference from their shoes.
Q: How can I make sure my child’s shoes fit?
A: Here are the several steps in ensuring that you child’s shoes fit properly.
- The shoe should be comfortable and loose without falling off.
- Try to plan shoe fitting in the afternoon when feet are often most swollen. The size of someone’s foot varies throughout the day.
- When standing up, their weight should be evenly distributed on both feet with a natural spread.
- There should always around an inch of space between the toe and the end of the shoe.
- Squeeze the material on the sides of the shoe to indicate the shoe’s exact width.
- The back of the shoe should fit snug when inserting a finger between the heel and back of the shoe.
- Lastly, when taking off the shoe, there should never be any markings left on the child’s foot. Unlike adult shoes, children’s shoes rarely need “breaking in”, so make sure the shoes are comfortable on the first try.
Q: What are the different types of children shoes?
A: There are two main types that should be considered for children: sneakers and boots. Sandals and slippers are also okay but they lack protection which is a priority for children’s shoes.
- Chilly feet CAN increase the risk of catching colds and flu, leading expert warns Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2918661/Chilly-feet-increase-risk-catching-colds-flu-leading-expert-warns.html#ixzz58Ff7xQHZ, ,
- The Best Shoes for Sweaty Feet, Dec 05, 2016 ,
- How to find the perfect shoe fit for your child, ,