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Best Orthotics for Kids with Heel Pain – Deep Heel Cups with Extra Heel Support


Editor’s Note: This post has been updated and revised for accuracy on May 2022 and reflects an up-to-date selection of the best orthotics for kids with heel pain.

Do you have a child who has been complaining about heel pain? Is your child refusing to participate in sports or activities that he/she used to enjoy? Some medical professionals advise parents to take the “wait and see” approach when it comes to treating their children’s heel pain. However, waiting for your child’s heel pain to resolve on its own might only lead to the condition getting worse.

I have found two specific orthotics that have proven to be the most effective ones when it comes to treating heel pain, as long as they are fitted inside the correct types of shoes.

Children should never perform sports or their daily activities through pain in their feet. Left untreated, heel pain can lead to difficulty in walking that will require complicated therapy.

If your child has been complaining about heel pain, there is no need to panic, but you should be proactive and don’t waited out.

Why Are Your Child’s Heels Hurting?

  • Sever’s disease is the most common cause of children’s heel pain and is an overuse injury that occurs in athletic children ages 7 to 15, but may occur as young as 5.
  • Biomechanical imbalances can lead to your child putting extra pressure on the plantar fascia.
  • Heel pain can have causes that aren’t due to an underlying disease. I have seen several children who were experiencing heel pain from wearing poorly fitting shoes. In some cases, the shoes didn’t provide the correct amount of support, and in other cases, the child was wearing the shoes in the wrong shoe size.

My Experience Helping Children with Heel Pain

I have been working for a specialized children’s shoe store that helps children with foot and leg problems, but we provide regular shoe fittings as well. We specialize in fitting children for supportive shoes and depending on the degree of their foot condition, orthotics as well.


When children walk to the shoe store complaining about heel pain, I usually like to start by trying a pair of supportive shoes and then monitor whether the heel pain is significantly reduced or completely eliminated. If supportive shoes are not enough to treat the child’s heel pain, I proceed by trying an orthotic.

Several physical and occupational therapists refer families to the shoe store that I work for to be fitted for supportive shoes and orthotics. Over the years I became familiar with the best orthotics for kids with heel pain.

Are Orthotics Good for Heel Pain?

The correct type of orthotics can make a tremendous difference when it comes to reducing or completely eliminating your child’s heel pain.

The orthotics that I recommend provide a deep heel cup that helps control the alignment of the heel and provides a supportive layer design that helps absorb shock and returns impact energy.

Can Orthotics Make Your Child’s Feet Weaker?

This is a common question that I get asked by many parents. Orthotics don’t make the child’s muscles “lazy” or “weaker”. They simply provide the child with structural support which is not going to take away from the musculature. This means that orthotics allow the child’s foot and leg muscles to develop on their own while supporting them.

What Makes the Orthotics that I Recommend Effective for Heel Pain?

✅ Both of the orthotics that I recommend provide deep heel cups with targeted support right below the heels. This feature will help cushion and protect your child’s heels. Take a look at the images below for better visualization purposes:


The orthotics that I recommend can also help align your child’s feet and prevent foot imbalances that might be leading your child to put extra tension along the plantar fascia.


Mild and moderate heel pain can be treated successfully with supportive shoes and orthotics to soften the impact on your child’s heels.

Let’s now take a look at the best orthotics for kids with heel pain. Disclosure: Keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases.

There are two different types of orthotics that I recommend for children with heel pain, and the one that you should choose depends on the severity of your child’s heel pain.

Best Orthotics for Kids with Heel Pain: Works for Mild Cases of Heel Pain

If your child is wearing supportive shoes and complains about heel pain occasionally I suggest that you try an orthotic/insole made by Footlogics:

✅ Medically approved with targeted cushion and support.

✅ Made from lightweight yet supportive, cushioning material with shock-absorbing heel padding.

✅ Deep heel cup and strong arch support.

✅ Easily switch this insole from your child’s regular everyday sneakers to his/her sport shoes or dress shoes.

Best Orthotics for Kids with Heel Pain: Works for Moderate or Strong Cases of Heel Pain

When heel pain interferes with the ability to participate in recreational activities or exercise that’s considered moderate or strong cases of heel pain.

✅ Deep heel cup that helps control the alignment of the heel and lower leg.

✅ Medial and lateral flanges to help keep the foot aligned over the orthotic.

Take a look at the chart below to figure out what size to order based on your child’s shoe size:


Unsure About Which Orthotic Might Work Best for your Child’s Heel Pain?

Don’t hesitate to contact me directly if you are unsure about which orthotic will work best for your child’s heel pain:


What Are The Best Shoes for Children with Heel Pain?

I suggest fitting children in shoes that provide firm heel counters and targeted support right below their heels.

The heel counter is the back part of the shoe, and the firmer it is, the better heel support that it provides. Always press on the heel counter of your child’s shoes and make sure that it feels firm and sturdy. Do you notice how the heel counter of the right shoe is a lot firmer compared to the heel counter of the shoe on the left?


The image below shows a shoe that provides targeted support right below the heels. Do you notice how the shoe on the right has more padding and cushion right below the heel area?


Best Shoes for Kids with Heel Pain

Below you can find a selection of shoes that provide substantial outsoles, firm heel counters, and targeted support right below the heels. These shoes are available in medium (M), wide (W), and extra wide (XW) widths, so make sure that you choose your child’s shoe width accordingly.

What Shoe Size Should You Order?

In each of the descriptions of the shoes I indicate whether you need to order a half a size or a whole size bigger than your child’s foot size to provide the correct amount of growing room.

How to Tie Shoes for Kids with Heel Pain

I strongly suggest that you apply the shoe lacing technique described in the article below, as it will help secure your child’s feet against the back of the shoes, allowing your child to get the full support out of the shoes:

How to Tie Shoes for Heel Pain – The Most Effective Way!

That shoe lacing technique will also help keep the orthotic in the correct place.

Supportive shoes are a must, but keep in mind that you must provide your child with the correct shoe size to get the full benefits that the shoes have to offer.

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

I created a resource that helps parents determine their exact foot length (to order the correct shoe size online) and shape (narrow, medium, wide, extra wide, high instep):

How to Measure Your Kids’ Foot – 2 Simple Steps to Determine Foot Length and Foot Width

Should Your Child Play Sports with Heel Pain?

When children experience heel pain it is recommended that they rest the heel as much as possible. However, for some children, this is simply not an option.

Children can continue to play sports as long as they are wearing cleats/sport shoes that are protecting and supporting their heels. It is also recommended that they wear their orthotics inside their sport shoes. Take a look at the articles below:

Soccer Shoes for Kids with Heel Pain – Supportive Shoes with Heel Cups to Stop Your Kids’ Heel Pain!

How to Stop Heel Pain for Kids Who Play Basketball – These Shoes Can Help Eliminate the Pain!

Final Thoughts

Heel pain is a warning sign that your child might have a condition that deserves attention. Remember that active children who put too much stress on the growth plate are more prove to develop heel pain.

Heel pain can make your child become sedentary and have an inactive lifestyle, which might lead to weight gain. 

Children between the age of 8 and 15 are especially susceptible to heel pain. The source of the pain is usually the growth plate of the heel bone.

Allowing your child to rest and stretching exercises can be extremely effective in helping treat heel pain.

Something so simple such as providing your child with the correct types of shoes and orthotics can make a tremendous difference when it comes to treating your child’s heel pain.


I created this webpage to help parents understand the importance that shoes have in healthy foot development and how they can prevent foot problems in the future.Join the rest of the parents who are taking care of their kids feet and get my guide for free: 10 Mistakes Parents Must Avoid When Buying Shoes for their Kids.

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