Ankle Support Shoes for Children – Best Shoes for Kids with Foot Problems

Has your child been diagnosed with a foot condition such as flat feet, rolled ankles, low muscle tone, hypermobility, or any other condition that requires him/her to wear supportive shoes? Shoes that provide good ankle support can make a tremendous difference in improving your child’s walking gait and overall posture. I am going to show you the best ankle support shoes for children based on my many years of shoe fitting experience.

I get contacted by several families daily who struggle to find the correct type of shoes for their children online. Most specialized children’s shoe stores have been closing down (even before the pandemic), and most families don’t know where to take their children to be properly fitted for shoes.

Parents across the country are increasingly ordering their children’s shoes online—unfortunately, without the benefit of proper shoe fittings—because most specialty children’s shoe stores nationally are closing their doors.

What Shoes Are Best for Ankle Support?

Shoes with firm heel counters and targeted heel support tend to be the most effective ones when it comes to providing ankle support. I will expand on these features shorty.

Finding a pair of shoes with ankle support can be a time-consuming experience, but it’s totally worth it as the shoes can make a world of difference when it comes to treating your child’s foot condition.

What a Difference the Correct Pair of Shoes Can Make!

Let me show you an image of a flat-footed child who also has rolled ankles standing barefoot. Do you notice how the child’s feet and ankles are collapsing inwards?


Now let’s take look at an image of the same child wearing a pair of supportive shoes I recommend. Do you notice how his feet are a lot straighter? What a difference the correct pair of shoes can make!


Let’s take a look at another example. In this case, the child is dealing with low muscle tone and on the left image, we can see his feet collapsing and turning inwards. Do you notice how straighter the child’s feet are once fitted in the correct pair of shoes?

These shoes provide good arch and ankle support, but keep in mind that getting the shoes in the correct size Is the only way your child will get the full benefits that the shoes have to offer.

How to Retrieve Your Child’s Exact Foot Length and Shape

Shoes fitted too long, too short, too narrow, or too wide, create an imbalance and faulty wear pattern for the shoe itself. Before we move any forward, let’s make sure that you know your child’s exact foot length and shape.

If you are unsure whether your child has narrow, medium, wide, or extra wide feet I created a free resource that will help you determine all this. I will also be able to tell you whether your child has a high instep.

Do High Tops Provide Better Ankle Support?

Not necessarily. I have fitted regular sneakers that provide better ankle support than high tops. However, there is one specific high top shoe I recommend that provides excellent ankle support but the rest of the shoes I recommend are sneakers with firm heel counters.

Best Ankle Support Shoes for Children

Some of the shoes I recommend below are available in medium (M), wide (W), and extra wide (XW) widths, so make sure that you choose your child’s correct foot width.

Take a look at the description below each shoe to check whether that specific style can fit the shape of your child’s feet. Disclosure: Some links in this post may be affiliate links and we may receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you) when you click our links and make purchases.

Make sure that your child’s shoes are properly tied at all times!

Are There Any Other Shoe Choices Available?

Yes, there are. If you don’t seem to find any shoe that you or your child likes do not hesitate to contact me and I will be able to provide you with different shoe recommendations: [email protected]

Whether you need different sneaker recommendations or you are wondering whether there are sandals or boots that provide good support I will be able to guide you in the right direction.

Are Shoes with Shoelaces Better than Velcro Closure?

If you pay close attention you will notice how some of the shoes I recommend come with shoelaces while some others come with velcro closure.

When it comes to treating a specific foot condition shoelaces can be a lot more effective than shoes with an alternative closure. This is simply because shoes with shoelaces will “hug” your child’s feet more effectively, providing your child with better support and stability.

In addition, shoelaces will help keep your child’s heels in place, preventing the shoes from slipping off your child’s feet.

What Makes the Shoes I Recommend Effective for Foot Problems?

1️⃣ Firm Heel Counters:  The heel counter is the back part of the shoe that provides ankle support. The firmer the heel counter is the better ankle and heel support it provides. Always make sure that the heel counter of your children’s shoes feels firm and sturdy. Let’s take a look at the difference between a shoe with a soft heel counter, and one with a firm heel counter:


2️⃣ Substantial Outsoles: Shoes with substantial and supportive outsoles help support the feet and improve the child’s walking gait and overall posture. Below you can see the difference between a shoe with a substantial outsole versus a shoe with an outsole that is too thin and doesn’t provide the correct amount of support:


Keep in mind that the shoes I recommend provide excellent support but they are lightweight and flexible at the same time.

Shoes that are too heavy or stiff can make your child’s feet and legs tire easily. Your children’s shoes should always bend at the ball of the foot but no further. If you can bend your children’s shoes like a spiral that means the shoe doesn’t provide the correct amount of support:


 All of the supportive shoes I recommend will allow your child’s feet to continue to grow and develop without unnatural hindrance.

Keep in mind that most children don’t realize that a foot condition is developing until the pain is unbearable and can no longer be ignored. This might lead to your children not receiving a diagnosis as early as they should, and when a foot condition is left untreated, it might lead to the condition getting worse.

Does My Child Need Orthotics?

Depending on the degree of your child’s foot condition you might need to fit an orthotic inside the shoes for extra support.

Several physical and occupational therapists refer children to the shoe store that I work for to be fitted for supportive shoes and orthotics as well. If you have any questions about whether your child might need an orthotic do not hesitate to contact me and I will be able to guide you in the right direction:

[email protected]