The researchers said that currently available trainers with thick heels make it difficult for children to run properly as they often strike the ground with the heel.
However purchasing flat soled plimsolls will make children run in a natural manner by using the front foot, which causes less impact.
"If I was to advise someone on what to give their child I would say don't go and buy them expensive Adidas or Nike big-cushioned jobs, just get them a pair of flexible, flat shoes. Give them basic foot-ware, nothing fancy, nothing structured, nothing particularly cushioned. There is a lot of evidence that the human foot is structured to cope with the forces of running by landing on the mid-foot", lead researcher Mick Wilkinson said.