Best Kids' Adidas Shoes

Updated January 2022
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Buying guide for Best kids’ Adidas shoes

Adidas shoes are a great investment in your kids’ comfort as well as their foot health. Although Adidas shoes are a little pricier than generic sneakers, high-tops, and sandals, they are crafted with high-quality materials and thoughtful technologies that support and protect the foot from toes to heel. Plus, Adidas shoes just look really cool..

In this guide, we explore Adidas’ footwear offerings for kids, from sneakers to high-tops to slides and sandals. We do not cover cleats in depth here, because that is a topic unto itself, but we do touch on the athletic offerings from Adidas as well.

Because Adidas shoes cost more than many generic and store-brand shoes, it’s understandable that you would want to get your purchase right the first time. Read on for an explanation of the various technologies and features offered, tips about size and price, and information about Adidas’ recycling and sustainability initiatives, and take a look at our favorites.

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Does your child’s favorite pair of Adidas shoes have mesh uppers? During rainy and snowy weather, send the kids to school in a pair of boots, and have them change into their mesh shoes after they get inside.

Key considerations

Shoe style

Which style of shoe is right for your child? If you’re looking for school shoes, the sneaker category is a great place to start. If you’re looking for athletic shoes, you can find them in the sneaker, high-top, and cleat categories. Slides and sandals are wonderful for the summer months and can even be worn in mild fall and spring weather.

Sneakers: Although kids’ Adidas sneakers are classified by the company as “athletic” shoes, they’re not just for gym class. These shoes are suitable for walking to and from school, playing outside, and hanging out with friends. Adidas labels them as athletic wear because they’re built to withstand the high energy and high impact that comes with kid life. These shoes come in a bevy of styles: neutral black lace-ups, sleek multicolored shoes with elastic closures, Disney-themed one-piece slide-ons, LEGO-inspired hook-and-loop shoes with ribbed textures, and more.

High-tops: Like Adidas sneakers, a great assortment of high-tops is available. Some are made for athletics; others are meant for casual wear. Some have lace closures and hook-and-loop straps for additional security on the basketball court. Some have the look of vintage NBA shoes with leather and suede uppers and classic Adidas stripes. Some are designed for hiking and other off-trail adventures with a Traxion outsole consisting of tapered, cleat-like studs for optimal grip. And some fall into the football cleat category, consisting of stable cleats and durable, breathable uppers in a wide range of colors. 

Sandals and slides: In summer, you could certainly buy your child a pair of thong sandals at the dollar store, but if you have ever worn a pair of Adidas slides or sandals yourself, you know the superior comfort and support these shoes offer. We think the investment is worth it for the kids. Adidas makes a series of affordable slides (under $35), including Adilette shower slides for around $20 per pair and, for just a bit more, Adilette comfort slides with a Cloudfoam footbed. Adidas sandals for kids have a similar look and cushiony comfort, though instead of sliding on they may have straps around the ankles or a closed, quick-drying mesh top with a hook-and-loop closure.

Sizing

Adidas makes shoes for every human at every age, but in the “kids” shoe category, the shoes are purportedly for people between the ages of 0 and 16. 

  • For babies and toddlers (approximately 0 through age 3), sizes run from 1K to 10.5K. 
  • For kids between 4 and 7, sizes run from 10K to 3. 
  • For kids between 8 and 16, sizes run from 3.5 to 7.5. However, you may find that your child is ready for an adult shoe size before they reach age 16. Many kids are ready to transition to adult-size shoes around age 12 or 13.
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Did You Know?
Primeblue and Primegreen are two newer materials made by Adidas that reflect the company’s interest in recyclable materials. Primeblue shoes consist of polyester made of recycled beach and marine refuse. Primegreen is a similar technology that contains no newly created plastic whatsoever.
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Features

Adiprene heel cushioning

Adiprene is a material exclusive to Adidas, and it’s found in the heels of some kids’ sneakers. The trademarked technology comprises an elastic impact-absorbing material that provides extra shock absorption and comfort.

OrthoLite sockliner

Some Adidas shoes advertise an OrthoLite sockliner, which is actually a foam insole designed by OrthoLite to create a “thermal barrier” that keeps the feet neither too hot nor too cold. 

Cloudfoam EVA midsole

The midsole is the part of the shoe responsible for cushioning and rebound; it is sandwiched between the outsole and the upper part of the sole. EVA is ethylene-vinyl acetate, a versatile synthetic foam found in many shoes, not just those from Adidas. Adidas’ use of the word “Cloudfoam” stems from the notion that when wearing a pair of shoes with EVA midsoles you feel like you’re walking on clouds. 

Boost midsole

Adidas shoes with a Boost midsole contain expanded thermoplastic polyurethane particles (eTPU) that according to the company make it feel like you’re running on “precision-engineered clouds.” The technology, used by Adidas since 2013, provides a greater “energy return” so the wearer really feels the power of their stride.

TPU heel counter

A heel counter is a small insert in the back of the shoe that reinforces and supports the heel cup. If you were to squeeze a quality heel counter, it would feel firm rather than flexible. Some Adidas heel counters are made of thermoplastic urethane (TPU), a sturdy nontoxic material that kicks the shoe’s heel support up an extra notch.

Logo, color, and design

The shoes you choose may have the characteristic three-stripe logo, the trefoil logo, or the word “adidas” visibly emblazoned on them. Indeed, the brand is popular and easily recognized. Some kids absolutely love the “cool” factor that comes with owning a pair of Adidas shoes.

In addition to the fun logo, Adidas shoes for kids come in a host of colors beyond the traditional black and white. Particularly in the sneaker and high-top categories, you will find a range of funky and wild colors. In the sandal and slide categories, colors are a little less varied, but there are still plenty of choices both bright and neutral.

Closure

Adidas shoes may have one or more closure types. For example, they might have a hook-and-loop mechanism (think Velcro) and eyelets for lacing. They might have a large elastic strap over the top of the foot that secures the shoe like a sock after it has been slipped on. 

If you have a child who prefers not to be bothered with laces or Velcro, a pair of Adidas’ shoes with elastic straps like the unisex Lite Racer Adapt offer a great compromise. 

If you happen to receive a defective pair of shoes, you will need to provide the company some specific information: a photo of the defect, a photo of the product tag with its identification number clearly visible, a photo of the production date on the footwear tag, and proof of your purchase.

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Pricing

Inexpensive: For under $50, you can get a quality pair of Adidas slides or sandals for kids. You can also find some great infant and toddler sizes for just shy of $50. Soccer cleats often sell around the $40 mark. If you’re hoping to find a pair of Adidas sneakers or high-tops in this range, however, stay vigilant on shopping holidays like Black Friday and Prime Day. 

Mid-range: Between $50 and $100, you will find more options in the sneaker category. Many of these shoes come from coveted lines like Duramo (aimed at kids who love to run), Superstar (designed for style as well as playing ball), and Stan Smith (originally a tennis shoe, but it’s also a popular everyday style).

Expensive: Adidas shoes from the ultra-popular Ultraboost and NMD lines cost over $100, usually between $120 and $160. What do you get for the money? UltraBoost lovers say these lightweight, collapsible knit shoes are highly durable and comfortable. Like UltraBoost, NMD sneakers (“NMD” stands for “Nomad”) have Boost insoles; they aren’t made for running, but they’re awesome for walking and light jogging. 

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Did You Know?
Unfortunately, some sellers try to pass off “fake” Adidas shoes for the real thing. Genuine Adidas shoes have tags with serial numbers on each shoe. You can enter these numbers on the Adidas website to look them up if you so desire.
Staff
BestReviews

Tips

  • Consider the pros of a mesh upper. If your child struggles to put their shoes on and take them off, consider Adidas slip-ons with a stretchy mesh upper. You won’t need a shoe horn because your child can manipulate these flexible shoes without frustration or tears. Plus, mesh uppers encourage breathability, an important feature in any youngster’s shoes.
  • Consider your child’s preferred fastening method. Adidas shoes for kids offer several options: hook-and-loop closures, slip-ons (sometimes with a wide elastic band for security), elastic laces that are more like cording and don’t have to be tied, and traditional laces.
  • Choose the right replacement laces for your shoe. Your choice should be based on the number of eyelets the shoe has as well as its style. For example, a shoe with five or six pairs of eyelets may require laces that are 45 inches long, whereas a shoe with seven or eight pairs of eyelets may require laces that are 63 inches long. Plenty of online resources exist to help buyers find the right replacement laces for their Adidas shoes.
kids adidas shoes
Shopping for Adidas basketball shoes for your child? Some buyers have noted that these shoes have a narrower fit than other brands. Consult the sizing chart before making a purchase to avoid the hassle of a product return.

FAQ

Q. Has Adidas established any sustainability initiatives?

A. Yes. As the company states, “Plastic waste is a problem. Innovation is our solution.” The company’s current goal is to use only recycled polyester in its products by the year 2024. Their lines of Primeblue and Primegreen fabric shoes are two examples of such innovations. See this page on the Adidas website for more information.

Q. Is the company conscientious about workplace standards?

A. Yes. In fact, Adidas has adopted a set of workplace standards that must be adhered to by all business partners. The standards are too lengthy to dissect here, but they address safe working conditions and fair pay and shun child labor and forced overtime. Curious to learn more? You can read about it here.

Q. Do these shoes run true to size?

A. For most kids, Adidas shoes run true to size. If your child has exceptionally wide feet, however, you might need to size up. Before ordering any pair of shoes online, it’s a good idea to consult the provided sizing chart to get an idea of the best fit. Although returning goods purchased online is now easier than ever, it’s still preferable to find the right fit the first time!
 

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