5 Questions Parents Have About Their Kids’ Orthotics – Let’s Keep Your Kids’ Feet Healthy!

Has your child been diagnosed with a foot condition that requires him/her to wear orthotics? Some of the most common reasons why children need to wear orthotics is when they have flat feet, rolled ankles, overpronation, low muscle tone, or general foot and leg pain. Let me show you the answer to the most common 5 questions parents have about their kids’ orthotics.

I noticed throughout the years that parents seem to have the same common questions when their children are required to wear orthotics. That is the reason why I decided to put together the 5 most common questions to hopefully clear any doubts you might have. I also want to tell you that when orthotics are fitted in the correct pair of shoes they can be extremely effective in treating your child’s foot condition, and they can be a short-term solution to your child’s foot problems.

Don’t Take the “Wait and See Approach” – Be Proactive!

Parents need to understand that they only have a small window of opportunity to make a significant change in their child’s foot structure and gait mechanics. I have noticed how some pediatricians recommend waiting until the child reaches the age of 6 or 7 to intervene. If you notice something wrong with your child’s walking gait or if your child is complaining about foot or leg pain you need to intervene as soon as possible.

Your child’s foot condition won’t magically disappear when your child reaches the age of 6 or 7.

Your pediatrician is usually the one who recommends orthotics but some other times your local specialized shoe store will be able to tell whether your child is a candidate for orthotics. I know this because I work for a specialized children’s shoe store that focuses on children with foot and leg problems.


Before I show you the 5 most common questions that parents ask about their kids’ orthotics let’s answer an important question that has been a subject of a lot of controversies:

Should Kids Wear Orthotics?

My answer is that children with particular foot conditions can benefit greatly from wearing an orthotic. The goal of an orthotic is to gently reposition the foot in a more optimized biomechanical position.

I have experienced firsthand how orthotics can be life-changing and improve a child’s walking gait and overall posture. I helped several children who were experiencing foot and leg pain while playing sports. They were ready to drop out of them but were able to continue playing thanks to wearing an orthotic.

I have fitted hundreds of children for orthotics, and I can tell you that the correct type of orthotic fitted in the right pair of shoes can make a tremendous difference in improving a child’s walking, overall posture, and treating your child’s general foot pain.

It’s important to note that I recommend over the counter orthotics instead of custom ones. There are several options out there, and some are better than others. Your kids’ orthotics need to provide good arch and heel support but allow your child’s foot and leg muscles to develop on their own.

➡️ Question #1: Does my child need to wear the orthotics for the rest of his/her life?

The earlier you start treating your child’s foot condition, the higher the chances that your child won’t have to wear the orthotics for the rest of his/her life.

I have seen that most children who are caught at an early age (between the age of 3 and 5 years old) don’t have to wear the orthotics past their teenage years. This is why I always recommend parents to be proactive and don’t take the “wait and see approach” when it comes to treating their child’s foot conditions. Waiting for the condition to magically disappear or resolve on its own might lead to your child’s condition getting worse.

➡️ Question #2: Can I fit my child’s orthotics in any pair of shoes?

Orthotics don’t work in any type of shoes. Your child won’t get the full benefits that the orthotics have to offer if they are not fitted in the correct pair of shoes.

The orthotics need to be fitted in shoes that come with a substantial outsole, a firm heel counter, and extra depth. Shoes that come with shoelaces are also more effective than shoes that come with any other type of closure.

Some orthotics also tend to take extra room inside the shoes, so you might need to fit your child in wider shoes. Here you can find a list of the best kids’ shoes for orthotics.

➡️ Question #3: Do orthotics work?

The correct type of orthotics can help improve your child’s walking gait and overall posture by preventing your child’s feet from turning inwards or outward. However, don’t take my word for it, let me prove it to you!

Let’s take a look at an image of a flat-footed child standing barefoot. Do you notice how the child’s feet are collapsing and turning inwards?

Now let’s take a look at the same child standing in a pair of the orthotics I recommend. Do you notice how the child’s feet are a lot straighter?

Orthotics do work as long as you provide your child with the correct type of orthotics and you fit them inside the correct pair of shoes.

It’s hard to tell how effective orthotics will be for your child’s feet as it all depends on individual foot anatomy.

➡️ Question #4: Should my child wear orthotics all the time?

The longer your child wears the orthotics, the better. However, this doesn’t mean that you can give your child a break or allow them to run around without wearing the orthotics.

During the summer season is important that you fit your child in a pair of sandals that provide good support. I want to clarify that you can’t fit orthotics inside your kids’ sandals.

➡️ Question #5: Will the orthotics mold my child’s feet an arch?

The orthotics won’t mold your child an arch, but they will prevent your child’s feet from collapsing and allow your child to walk and run straighter. This will affect your child’s overall posture.

I know there are other questions I didn’t cover about children’s orthotics, but I wanted to provide you with the 5 most common ones to hopefully answer your most immediate concerns.

Below are some additional questions you might have about your kids’ orthotics:

  • How long do orthotics last?

If fitted correctly, orthotics can last anywhere between 5 1/2 to 6 months. In some cases, the orthotics might last a little longer.

If you are unsure whether it’s time to replace your kids’ orthotics I suggest that you place the orthotics on the floor and have your child stand on them to visualize if there is growing room or if your child’s toes are overlapping the orthotic.

  • Should I buy 3/4 length or full-length orthotics?

I always recommend full-length orthotics over 3/4 ones as they are easy to fit inside of the shoes and children find them more comfortable.

  • Is it normal for orthotics to hurt at first?

Your kids’ orthotics are designed to help your kids’ feet, not hurt them. Some children might have a hard time adjusting to the orthotics at first. This usually happens to children who have flat feet and they complain that they feel a “bump” below their feet. That bump is the arch support of the orthotics.

If your child is refusing to wear the orthotics because they hurt take a look at this resource.

  • Do orthotics go over insoles?

You should always remove the original insoles before placing the orthotics inside your kids’ shoes. If you place the orthotic on top of your child’s original insoles you will end up raising your kids’ feet, giving your child the impression that the feet are coming out of the shoes.

  • Can orthotics weaken my child’s feet?

No, orthotics won’t weaken your child’s feet. I like to use the analogy of how orthotics work like eyeglasses; they only work while you are wearing them, and they won’t weaken the child’s muscles in the feet and legs.

If you have any questions that I didn’t address please do not hesitate to ask your question in the comments section below or send me an email at:

[email protected] 

If your child has been diagnosed with a foot condition and is required to wear orthotics, don’t panic!  A lot of children have to wear orthotics and if caught at an early stage the orthotics will be a short-term solution to your child’s foot problems.