I recently saved £30 on my new trainers without even trying. No, I didn’t have to wait for the sales – I just bought them from the kids’ section. And if you take a UK size 6.5 or below, you could be getting in on the act, too.
The shoes in question were the Adidas Continental 80 – everyone seems to have a pair at the moment – which typically retail at £74.95, unless you’re savvy enough to click over to the children’s section. There, you’ll find them available in kids sizing (up to UK 5.5), for just £44.95.
Why do they come so cheap? In part, because you don’t pay VAT on kids’ shoes and clothes – the tax means you add an extra 20% to the cost of adult clothing. And also, sometimes, because of brands’ pricing strategies.
It’s not a given, however, that you’ll find your favourite adult styles available for cheap, or that they will necessarily fit your feet if they’re at the larger end of the size range. Not all adult trainers are available in kids sizes and different brands offer different sizes in their kids ranges – Reebok goes up to a size 6.5 in some of its lines, while Vans caters to kids up to a 5, for instance.
Also be warned that sometimes trainers in kids sizes look slightly different to their adult counterparts, so you’ll need to decide whether the saving is worth it – or if you possibly even prefer the kid aesthetic.
I trawled the internet to find kids versions of your most popular adults trainers. You can thank me later.
Adidas juniors typically go up to a UK size 5.5, but you’ll find a few styles available up to size 6.5 – try exploring different colour options to find your size.
I’ve already banged on about the fab Continentals which are available for just £44.95. If classic white isn’t for you (or if you fancy a second pair), they come in whole range of colours – many of which are in the sale – including some which go up to size 6.5.
The renaissance of Stan Smiths, originally launched in the eighties, is still going strong and you can bag them up to size 5.5 in a range of colours for just £44.95 from the kids section, instead of £74.95 for women.
Next up, Gazelles, the suede tennis shoe. Nab a pair up to a size 5.5 for just £42.95, instead of £69.95 in the women’s section.
The brand’s Deerupt shoe hit the ground running in 2018, with a range of brights and promising a comfy AF experience. The kids’ trainers cost £42.95, while women’s start from £64.95. Admittedly they don’t come in all the many amazing colours, which Deerupts are known for – but we do love this turquoise and orange pair. (Now only £25 in the sale!)
Nike’s Older Kids’ section goes up to a size 6 in selected styles: good news for many women. The Cortez, which dates back to 1972, is back – we had a brief love affair with them in the noughties, but they’ve had a second (second) wind. The kids shoe, which goes up to a size 6, costs from £41.95 while a women’s pair is £61.95.
The cost of Air Force 1 varies significantly, depending on style. Generally speaking, kids’ ones cost between £49.95 and £54.95 – significantly cheaper than adult versions which range from £74.95 to £119. Check out the boys’ range and the girls’ range for a full list of colours, or type in “Air Force 1 Older Kids” into your search box. (Nike’s size chart is also helpful.)
Love it or hate it, the Huarache is a divisive style. But if you’re a fan, you can pick up an all-white or all-black version for £64.95. Adult pairs cost £109.
It would be remiss of me to not include a running shoe in this roundup. I fell in love with Nike’s Epic React last year, but was put off by the price tag. Adult versions cost nearly £130 which, for someone who doesn’t run all that much, that felt like quite the stretch. Fortunately, kids’ versions cost just £89.95 and go up to a size 6. Not a bargain, but significantly cheaper.
You can save around £30 by buying Vans shoes from the kids section, with many shoes dropping from £65 to around £35. The sizes on offer vary from colour to colour, so make sure you check to see what’s available in your size.
You can currently buy classic Old School suede shoes for £37, while an adults pair will set you back £65. Stock is currently quite low in some colours, but lots of more autumnal hues are available in all sizes).
These are the trainers to be seen in – but the downside, is they are pretty expensive at €125 (£112).
If you like these white knitted ones – which I reckon are pretty cute – they can be yours for €72 (£65) and also come in pink or blue. Or try these Esplar style with red laces and navy detail for €79 (£71) up to a size 39, which is a UK 6. They also come in a green and purple colourway up to a size 38.
With its kid’s trainers generously going up to a size 6.5 in lots of styles, Reebok is also a great brand if you’re an adult with smaller feet. The Reebok Classics come in all-white or all-black, and cost £44.95, rather than the standard £64.95 for women’s sizes. Classics also come in a variety of brighter colours for even less.
While the Workout Plus – which you may remember your dad wearing in the 90s – are also back, costing £42 in kids sizes.
The New Balance Junior section includes sizes 3-6, in a huge range of colours. The brand is perhaps best known for its 574 range, with kids shoes going for around £40, compared to £75 in women’s sizes. If you’re looking for a summer trainer, this grey and guava pair are really fun and also come in grey and neon yellow, while this pink, white and grey pair currently cost just £20.
The 373 range is pretty similar, but cheaper. Women’s cost £65, while kids are around £38. And if you want to get even cheaper trainers this pink with purple pair are down to £19 in the sale.
We all work hard to earn our money – so it shouldn’t feel like hard work to spend it well. At HuffPost Finds we’ll help you find the best stuff that deserves your cash, from the ultimate lipstick to a durable iron to replace the one that broke (RIP). All our choices are completely independent but we may earn a small commission if you click a link and make a purchase.