Top 10 Athletic Shoes for Girls

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Shopping for athletic shoes for girls sounds like an easy enough task; find a shoe the child likes, make sure it fits well, and that is all, or is it? For most kids shoes the shopping is that easy, however, when it comes to selecting athletic shoes for a child, more information is necessary to avoid injuries. Many shoe manufacturers make mini versions of their women's adult athletic shoes, but being a mini version scaled down to fit a child's foot does not mean it offers the same support, and functionality as it does for the adult. Learning about the different foot types, parts of the shoe, and which athletic shoe offers the best overall fit, can help consumers make a wise purchasing decision.
1 Asics Gel Extreme33 GS

The kids Ascis Gel Extreme33 GS is a cushioned athletic shoe that is lightweight, has a moderate heel-toe drop, and natural fit. The shoe does not have a large heel, but it still has a comfortable feel, and reduced proprioception that makes bending harder. According to, this shoe is one of the best athletic shoes for girls; however, they say it is better for walking than it is for running.

2 Merrell Overdrive Z-Rap rates the Merrell Overdrive Z-Rap shoe, as one of the best athletic shoes for girls. Ventilation of the shoe makes it useful for winter or summer months. A center air cushion protects the arches, and keeps them placed properly in the shoe. The Merrell Overdrive Z-Rap has strong ankle support, and the shoes have Velcro closures which the child uses with minimal adult help.

3 Keen Roatan Slip-ons

The Keen Roatan slip-on shoes have a rubber outsole that grips the surface securely. According to, this secure grip makes this shoe a good choice when in wetter areas, such as the beach. As a slip-on, the shoes need minimal adult assistance. There is a top strap to help keep the shoe secure on the child's feet. The Keen Roatan's have a stretchy, neoprene material, that keeps the wearers feet warm, even when worn in or around cool water.

4 New Balance Minimus Trail

Testing done by, put the New Balance Minimus at the top of their picks for best running shoe. This shoe offers a thin layer of cushioning, a thin but durable rubber outsole, and a lightweight design. The New Balance Minimus shoes are pliable, and flex the way the foot would when barefoot. The New Balance Minimus also has a 790 model for girls that have a normal arch. The 790 has more material between the foot, and the ground. The floppy tongue of the shoe gets out of place easily, according to testers, and this was their only complaint about the shoe.

5 Merrell Pure Glove

The Merrell Pure Glove athletic shoes for girls are flexible, lightweight, and low profile. They have a snug fit in the heel, and mid-foot. A thin layer of durable outsole rubber, and the cushioned foot-bed, adds to the feeling of being barefoot, according to They rate this shoe, as the best overall girls' athletic shoe. The Pure Glove straps on to the child's feet with Velcro straps. The shoe is semi-firm in stability.


6 Puma Faas 300 Jr.

The Puma Faas 300 Jr., is the kids version of the adult Faas 300. The shoe is lightweight, fits snugly, has a very low-to-ground forefoot, and is highly flexible. Material added to the underfoot gives a natural foot feel, and reduces the proprioception. The Faas 300 Jr. has supportive upper mesh, and a soft, and cushioned heel.


7 Vivobarefoot Neo Kids

Neo Kids shoes are highly flexible, have puncture-resistant outsole rubber, a wide toe-box, and almost zero heel-toe-drop. This shoe fits snugly, and wraps the foot with a lightweight mesh upper. There is no support to this shoe, and the only cushioning comes from the foot bed which is thin. The lack of restriction contributes to the shoe's barely-there connection to the ground, something that the child testers at listed as something they enjoyed, and that added to their running stride.

8 Saucony Kids Kinvara 3

A neutral, cushioned, lightweight girls' athletic shoe, the Saucony Kinvara 3 is a mini version of the Kinvara shoe for adults. The shoe has a moderate heel-toe drop, and deep grooves underfoot make it flexible enough for running. The Kinvara 3 has a light, flexible material that allows for freedom of movement inside the shoe. The midsole material thickness reduces proprioception.

9 Brooks Kids PureFlow

The Brooks Pure Flow shoes have the same design as the PureFlow shoes for adults. This shoe has a wide outsole for added stability, extra cushioning, and moderate flexibility. The heel-toe-drop is lower than traditional kids' running shoes. The PureFlow is a neutral athletic training shoe.


10 Keen Newport H2

The Keen Newport H2 athletic shoes come in the form of sandals; however, they offer the same support as a running shoe. The interior of the shoe provides ankle, and arch support. An EVA foot-bed keeps the child's foot in place while running, and the outsole has the same rubber found on traditional athletic shoes. The Keen Newport H2's have a high back that stabilizes the child's foot. give these shoes a good review, and list extra benefits of the shoe as being that it has a design that helps stop accidents caused by slippery floors.

Considerations When Buying Girls Athletic Shoes

A shoes brand name does not necessarily matter when it comes to buying athletic shoes for a girl. Factors that do matter include heel-toe drop, stability, motion control, arch support, and cushioned support.

Type of Athletic Shoe

Types of Arches

Heel-Toe Drop

Cushioned, highly flexible


Zero or little heel-toe drop

Stability for rearfoot, and forefoot

Normal / Neutral

Moderate heel-toe drop

Motion Control

Flat / Low

Thick heel-toe drop

The type of arch a child's foot has dictates how much heel-toe drop there is, and what type of athletic shoe to buy. A heel-toe drop of a shoe is a measurement of how thick a running shoe's heel feels. A shoe that is flat has a zero heel-toe drop.

 How to Know What Type of Arch a Child's Foot Has

High arched feet are rigid, and need a shoe that absorbs the shock of running, and other athletic shock. Feet that have a normal arch, one that is not too high or too low, benefit most from shoes with rearfoot, and forefoot stability. A shoe with motion control is necessary for feet that have low, or no arch; also known as flat feet.

  1. High arches: When standing, a foot with a high arch has a large gap between the floor and the arch of the foot.
  2. Normal / Neutral arches: Feet that have an arch height that is between high, and low when standing.
  3. Flat / Low arches: When standing, the arch of the foot leaves little or no gap where it touches the floor.

How to Check Shoe Fitting

The shoe fit as important as what type of arch a child's foot has. If the shoe does not properly fit, it can lead to an injury. Injuries from improper fitting shoes can cause the child to fall, however, that is not the only injury that can occur. Stress injuries to the foot are common from shoes that are too large, or too small. These injuries are less recognizable until signs begin to appear. There are proper ways to check for a proper fitting shoe for a child, including:

  • An index finger width between the longest toe, and the end of the shoe.
  • Inside the shoe, the foot does not slide back and forth when stopping, or starting walking.
  • A proper fitting shoe bends at the ball of the foot where the toes bend. When the shoe bends behind where the toes bend, or farther forward, the shoe does not fit correctly, and stress, or injury could occur.

How to Buy Athletic Shoes for Girls on eBay

It is easy to find, and buy athletic shoes for girls on eBay. To find them, you can browse through them all in the  girl's shoes category, or you can type in " athletic girls shoes" into the search bar on any page. Whether you are shopping for the shoes in the shoe's category, or through search, you can filter the results to that match the size, brand, type, price, color, and shipping options you want. Once you have found the shoes you want, read the product description to find out if the shoes offer the necessary support for the child's feet, and that they have any other options that you want.


When buying athletic shoes for girls there is much more to consider than how they look, or fit. The type of arch the girl has in her feet helps to decided which type of athletic shoe she needs. Such as shoes with rear, and forefoot stability for normal arches, shoes that have motion control for feet with little, or no arch, and highly flexible, cushioned shoes, for girls with high arches. Shopping for shoes that have these features, helps prevent unnecessary stress, and injury to the child's feet. After finding the correct type of shoe the fit of the shoe is important to check. Once you know this information, the fun part of choosing the color, style, and material is all that remains. The wearer of the athletic shoes can then enjoy shoes that look good, and protect their feet.
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