Buying running shoes for your kids

Filed under: Health & Safety: Babies, Development/Milestones: Babies

My oldest son (13 in November) began running a few weeks ago. He is on our local swimteam, but there has been a hiatus while we search for new coaches. So, he started running. I watched at first: Would this continue? He went out every day for two weeks, and then began complaining of back pain.

I have written before about my son's struggles with his weight (which mirror my own). In fact, just this morning, my youngest child, who has no weight struggles, put on a pair of my flats and marched around the dining room saying, "My name is Jennifer Creer, and I run all day and never get any skinnier!" It is true that I am liable to say that on any given day. But I think my oldest son may have more success than I have had.

When Sam started having back pain, we deduced that it was because he didn't have proper running shoes. I needed to replace my own shoes, so it was a good time to buy us both a pair. I have bought him a pair of running shoes before-- but he didn't initiate the interest in running then. I did. And I got him Nikes that were half the price of my own shoes-- even though I don't like Nikes. They aren't a good quality running shoe. So, this time, I decided to get him what I got.I went to the sports store with the intention of buying Mizunos to replace my old Mizunos. I love them-- they are extremely lightweight. But the sales guy asked me what my needs were. I said, "I'm logging 5 miles a day, 5 days a week." He said, "You'd be better off with Asics." He explained that although he loves the Mizunos too, they wear out faster than the Asics. I try to replace my shoes every six months, but I had done nine months this time, and paid for it with excruciating blisters. So, I got Asics for me and for Sam. I have had Asics before and loved them, and they are a great shoe: I feel like Tigger, springing around in my new shoes.

Other good running shoes are Brooks (my first running shoe love) and New Balance.

My other two boys go tearing around, but haven't established a solid running habit, so I haven't yet gotten them real running shoes. I don't even know how old kids are when they start making running shoes that small-- right now, they wear bargain-priced skechers. But Sam can wear men's sizes, so it wasn't an issue. I started running when I was twelve, so as far as I'm concerned, he is embarking on a lifetime habit-- he can both run and swim.

Have your kids started showing an interest in running? What did you do about the shoes?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.