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Which kids’ light-up tennis shoes are best?

Every kid loves magical light-up sneakers, and there are plenty of great light-up tennis shoes out there in all kinds of shapes and sizes. Whether your child is into a specific character or just loves the flash and sparkle, light-up tennis shoes are a hit. However, if you choose shoes with a short battery life, your child may be in for a big disappointment. 

Battery life and overall quality are some of the most important things to consider when purchasing light-up shoes. Some shoes, like the Puma’s Speeder Illuminescent V Light-Up Sneakers, only light up when you apply pressure, which helps to conserve battery power. Of course, as with all children’s shoes, you’ll also want to think about comfort and materials.

What to know before you buy kids’ light-up tennis shoes

Lighting mechanism

While most light-up shoes feature LED lights, every brand has its own kind of lighting mechanism. Some shoes have their lights on constantly, while others only illuminate when you apply pressure. That can make a big difference in battery life. If you purchase a shoe with pressure-activated lights, there’s a good chance the pre-installed batteries will outlive the shoe. On the other hand, if you purchase shoes with lights always on, you’ll likely need to replace them sooner. And while some shoes come equipped with USB charging ports, rechargeable models have a short battery life, but most recharge relatively quickly.

Light placement

Manufacturers place lights on different parts of the shoe. Typically, LED lights fit around the entire sole, but some shoes only have lights in the heel or toe. Others feature light-up graphics on the side of the shoe, illuminating a cartoon character or brand logo.

Materials and size

When buying light-up shoes, it’s easy to focus on the LED and forget the basics of a good shoe for children. First, make sure the light-up tennis shoes are sturdy and the right size. Kids are notorious for wearing out their shoes quickly, so you’ll want to make sure any light-up model you buy is durable. Another aspect is the shoes’ size — they must fit properly. Shoes that are too big or too small can be uncomfortable, and children may not want to wear them. 

What to look for in quality kids’ light-up tennis shoes

Variable light settings  

Most rechargeable, good-quality light-up shoes offer adjustable light settings, including static, flashing and even color options. This feature allows kids to pick their favorite color or match their light-up shoes with their outfits.

Remote control

Believe it or not, some light-up shoes have up to 15 different settings. While this offers a lot of customization, it can be annoying if you have to bend over to press a switch on the shoe repeatedly. Light up tennis shoes with remote controls offer the greatest convenience and allow children to change colors or patterns easily.


All shoes need to be able to withstand puddles and mud, light-up or not, and most manufacturers work hard to ensure moisture won’t affect the LEDs. Nevertheless, the quality of waterproofing does vary from shoe to shoe, and in some cases, prolonged exposure to water can impact battery life. So, check the manufacturer’s guidelines before letting your kids wear their light-up shoes in a rainstorm.

How much you can expect to spend on kids’ light-up tennis shoes

Like most children’s shoes, there is a wide price range for light-up sneakers, depending on the size, brand and materials. Light-up tennis shoes typically cost between $10-$20, but some can go as high as $70 or more.

Kids’ light-up tennis shoes FAQ

Can you turn off the LED lights on light-up shoes?

A. Most pressure-activated shoes can’t be turned off. They will continue to illuminate with every step until the battery dies or the lights give out. If you want a pressure-activated model you can switch off, choose a rechargeable model with a basic design.

How long does it take for light-up shoes to fully recharge?

A. Recharging time varies depending on the brand. Some light-up tennis shoes take as long as 4 hours to charge, but the average shoe reaches a full charge within 2 to 3 hours.

Can you wash light-up shoes?

A. A handful of manufacturers claim you can wash their shoes, but it’s best to use a damp cloth to wipe down the exterior and brush out dirt from the soles with a toothbrush.

What’re the best kids’ light-up tennis shoes to buy?

Top kids’ light-up tennis shoes

Puma's Speeder Illuminescent V Light-Up Sneakers

Puma’s Speeder Illuminescent V Light-Up Sneakers

What you need to know: These are comfortable shoes with a sock liner and cushioned midsole. They also have big cat LED lights that young children will love.

What you’ll love: The shoe has a standout design, and the LED lights only turn on when you apply pressure. You can remove the sock liner and midsole as well.

What you should consider: The sizes on this model run small, so you might want to size up.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top kids’ light-up tennis shoes for the money

YUNICUS' Kids LED Light-Up Shoes with USB Charge

YUNICUS’ Kids LED Light-Up Shoes with USB Charge

What you need to know: Easy for young kids to put on by themselves, this shoe boasts multiple light modes and USB charging. 

What you’ll love: This shoe is good for youngsters due to its hook-and-loop closure. With a single charge, your shoes will last for hours, and you can even turn off the lights to conserve battery life. There are options for both girls and boys.

What you should consider: These shoes are not very durable, and a few users reported the lights stopped working after a short time.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Kids Litebeams-Gleam Ndream Sneaker

Kids Litebeams-Gleam Ndream Sneaker

What you need to know: This stunning, head-turning shoe opens wide, making it easy for little ones to slip it on and off.

What you’ll love: In addition to its looks, you’ll love the easy-to-use hook-and-loop closures and the overall comfort. The LED lights are pressure activated, so there’s little drain on the batteries.

What you should consider: Durability may be an issue for some. Also, there were some reports of one shoe in a pair not lighting up.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Brian Joseph writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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