The 6 Best Kids Trail Running Shoes In 2024

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There’s nothing children love more than running around. However, we know that when it comes to taking running more seriously, it can be a little more challenging to maintain their enthusiasm. 

So, if you haven’t already introduced your child to trail running then it’s about time you did.

If you’re trying to encourage them into running, trails and forests are a great way to mix-up what may feel to them like a monotonous routine of track, roads or treadmills. Afterall, there’s nothing kids find more exciting than an adventure! 

For your child to start trail running, there’s (thankfully!) no equipment involved other than some running shoes for kids – but getting the right pair is more important than you might have guessed. 

This article will review some of the best kids’ trail running shoes you can shop for your child, whilst exploring the following:

  • The Importance Of Good Trail Running Shoes For Kids
  • The Best Kids’ Trail Running ShoesWhat To Look For
  • The 6 Best Trail Running Shoes For Kids

Let’s get into it!

Kids Trail Running Shoes
Kids trail running shoes

The importance of good trail running shoes

It might feel tempting to assume that your child’s regular running shoes are built well enough to take on trail running, but normally this isn’t the case. 

Unlike regular outdoor running, you’ll likely find the paths are more uneven and dangerous when trail running.

So, you want to ensure your child is comfortable at all times and has no encounters with avoidable injuries. A happy child makes for happy parents!

Whether you’re looking to invest in a durable pair of kids running shoes that will last a long time or something a little cheaper that will still provide you with enough support for the occasional run, there are plenty of great running shoes for kids to choose from.

The 6 Best Kids Trail Running Shoes In 2024 1

What to Look for in the Best Kids’ Trail Running Shoes

Studies researching running-related injuries in school aged children point to the importance of protecting your child from the feet up when on tracks, trails or even just in the playground. To achieve this, we recommend the four following features in your kids running shoes:

#1: Comfort 

An important priority for the best kids trail running shoes is a well-cushioned sole. It’s likely the impact of each stride will be harder off-road, so this will help break the impact and keep your child comfortable. 

Four children running around in the forest.

#2: Durability

Speaking of tough ground, you’ll also want to ensure the shoe is durable, especially if they’re running in them regularly.

Choosing shoes with a reinforced toe tip and strong outsoles will make sure they last a long time. This is especially important as they begin to get a little older and keep their shoes for longer.

The 6 Best Kids Trail Running Shoes In 2024 2

#3: Traction

With trail running and uneven rocky conditions going hand-in-hand, traction is a really important aspect of kids running shoes. This will ensure they can run with confidence knowing they have good grip on any route.

#4: Support 

With your kids’ running shoes being the only thing between their little feet and the ground it’s crucial to invest in the best pair of running shoes possible to provide them with the necessary support they need. 

Three children running through a trail.

the 6 best trail running shoes for kids

Now you know just what to look out for, take a look at our suggestions of the best trail running shoes for your child.

#1: Best For Rough Terrains- Salomon Kids Speedcross CLIMASALOMON™ Waterproof Trail Shoes

Weight: 208 g Drop: 8 mm

Salomon Kids Speedcross CLIMASALOMON™ Waterproof Trail Shoes
Contragrip technology works great in tough terrainsCould be expensive for some
Sensifit system ensures a perfect fit

Salomon are known to design some of the best kids’ trail running shoes, and these ones are a great choice for those that love tackling rough terrain thanks to their contagrip technology. 

Built with a precise sensifit system that hugs the feet, the Speedcross Climasalomon trail running shoes will guarantee your child optimum comfort and practicality. 

These waterproof trainers will set your child up for long-distance runs on uneven surfaces in rain or shine.

With the help of these, they’ll be able to run fast and enjoy themselves to the fullest without the fear of slipping. 

#2: Best Value For Money – Salomon Unisex-Child Alphacross Blast J Trail Running, for Kids

Weight: 215 g Drop: 10 mm

The 6 Best Kids Trail Running Shoes In 2024 3
More affordable than other SalomonsSlugs may hold on to mud and become slippery
Extra grip for safety
Soft lining ensures comfort

If you were interested in the Salomon Speedcross trainers but were hoping for a slightly lower price tag, then the Alphacross Blast J Trail trainers make a great alternative!

Similarly to the Climasalamon’s this lightweight pair is built with extra grip for safety and protection, alongside a soft lining for comfort.

They too will offer the ability to run long distances at ease on more rugged paths.

#3: Best Durable Option – ALTRA AL0A4PE3 Youth Lone Peak Trail Running Shoe

Weight: 122 g Drop: 0 mm

ALTRA AL0A4PE3 Youth Lone Peak Trail Running Shoe
Very lightweightBarefoot style may not work for everyone
Removable sole for growing feet
Rip stop mesh for durability

Worried about investing in shoes that your child could potentially soon grow out of? Then the Altra AL0A4PE3 trainers will put your mind at ease.

These feature a removable sole to provide extra room for growing feet, buying you plenty more time for wear.

Not only will they fit for longer, but the durable rip-stop mesh makes them sturdy enough to withstand wear and tear making them extremely durable too.

The Youth Lone Peak’s Foot shape toe box will allow your child to run outside in comfort by encouraging natural form.

Shop On altra

#4: Best Versatile Option – New Balance Kid’s Dynasoft Nitrel V4 Trail Running Shoe

Weight: 157 g Drop: 5-8 mm

The 6 Best Kids Trail Running Shoes In 2024 4
Work both for on and off-road runsLaces can come undone
Reinforced toe tip for protection
Midsole cushioning for comfort

If you’re looking for a reliable allrounder, then look no further than the New Balance Dynasoft Nitrile V4 Trail trail running shoes.

Designed with durable AT tread outsoles for both on and off-road runs, they’re incredibly sturdy and versatile.

Thanks to the fresh foam midsole cushioning with stitch-down reinforcement, they’ll offer a plush ride with every step whether it’s on rocky tracks, roots or debris.

The reinforced toe tip also helps provide some extra needed protection on more unpredictable routes, so your child can adventure with confidence.

#5: Most Stylish – Adidas Unisex-Child Terrex Trailmaker Hiking Trail Running Shoe

Weight: 187 g Drop: 5-8 mm

Adidas Unisex-Child Terrex Trailmaker Hiking Trail Running Shoe
Stylish and functionalSome may not like the lacing system
Precision-engineered foam cushioning
Hook-and-loop straps

These trail-ready kids running shoes are where style meets function. They’re lightweight yet durable and have a great grip to their outsole.

The traditional laces will provide a snug and comfortable fit for exploring, whilst the hook-and-loop straps are easy for kids to manage themselves.

With precision-engineered fresh foam cushioning, they too will give a soft landing with every step.

#6: Best Support – ASICS Kid’s PRE Venture 8 Pre-School Running Shoes

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Accommodating forefootRuns small for wide feet
Traction pattern with lugs under heel

With accommodating forefoot fit and a traction pattern that’s been engineered with placed lugs under the heel, the Asics Pre Venture 8 Running Shoes for kids are built to be super supportive.

These trainers can offer your child the support they need for off-road, whilst being versatile enough to use as a stable trainer for ordinary runs too.

Photo of author
Thomas Watson is an ultra-runner, UESCA-certified running coach, and the founder of MarathonHandbook.com. His work has been featured in Runner's World, Livestrong.com, MapMyRun, and many other running publications. He likes running interesting races and playing with his two tiny kids. More at his bio.

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