Best Orthotics for Kids with Heel Pain – Deep Heel Cups with Extra Heel Support
Do you have a child who has been complaining about heel pain and your medical professional recommends supportive shoes and orthotics? Is your child refusing to participate in sports or activities that he/she used to enjoy? I strongly suggest that you don’t take the “wait and see” approach when it comes to treating your child’s heel pain, as waiting for your child’s heel pain to resolve on its own might only lead to the condition getting worse. Let’s take a look at the best orthotics for kids with heel pain.
Children should never perform sports or their daily activities through pain in their feet. Left untreated, heel pain can lead to difficulty in walking which 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.
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.
If you are in a rush, you can go directly to the selection of best orthotics for kids with heel pain.
My Assistance to Kids with Heel Pain
For over a decade, I have dedicated my time to fitting children’s shoes and learning from the different experiences. 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.
Can Orthotics Help Reduce or Fully Eliminate Your Child’s 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. Take a look at the image below for better visualization purposes:
Before and After Images of Children Wearing the Orthotics that I Recommend
The image below shows a child standing barefoot with a mild to a moderate degree of pronation:
The image below shows a child standing on a pair of the orthotics I recommend. Do you notice how the child’s feet are a lot straighter?
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.
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?
1️⃣ 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:
2️⃣ 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: 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. This allows us to create free content and resources for many families around the world.
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 the orthotics below:
Do You Need to Remove the Original Insoles of Your Kids’ Shoes?
Yes, you will have to remove the original insoles of your kids’ shoes to make the orthotics fit better inside the shoes and increase comfort.
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.
Do You Need to Remove the Original Insoles of Your Kids’ Shoes?
No, you won’t have to remove the original insoles of your child’s shoes before placing this orthotic inside the shoes.
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 via email if you are unsure about which orthotic will work best for your child’s heel pain. My email address is:
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. All of the shoes below are capable of accommodating orthotics.
What Shoe Size Should You Order?
In each of the descriptions of the shoes, I indicate whether you need to order a half 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 this shoe lacing technique, 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.
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).
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 like soccer or basketball as long as they are wearing soccer cleats or basketball shoes that are protecting and supporting their heels. It is also recommended that they wear their orthotics inside their sport shoes.
Final Thoughts – Orthotics for Kids with Heel Pain
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 prone 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.