Best Shoes for Kids with Rolled Ankles – Firm Heel Counters to Straighten Your Kids’ Ankles!

Have you noticed your child’s feet rolling inwards when walking or running around? Has your child been complaining about foot or leg pain or been falling more frequently lately? Children with rolled ankles tend to have stability issues and might experience foot and leg pain. I am going to show you the best shoes for kids with rolled ankles that can accommodate different foot shapes such as narrow, medium, and wide feet.

One common mistake that I see parents make is to assume that their child’s pronation is directly associated with having flat feet. Pronation can come from the ankles too, and treating the ankles is as important as treating the arch. When a child has flat feet you don’t only support the arch. You mechanically control the parts of the foot that causes the foot to be flat, including the heel bone.

Before and After Images

Let’s take a look at an image of a child with pronation standing barefoot. Do you notice how the child’s feet are collapsing and turning inwards? Do you notice how the heel bone is in an everted position?


The image below will help you better visualize what I mean:


Now let me show you what happens when we fit that same child in a pair of supportive shoes. Do you notice how the ankles are not collapsing inwards anymore? The substantial outsole of the shoe and the firm heel counter are preventing the child’s feet from collapsing.

What a difference the correct type of shoes can make! This is exactly the type of supportive shoes that we need for your child!

Can Supportive Shoes Make Your Child’s Feet Weaker?

There is a common misconception when it comes to providing children with supportive shoes.

Supportive shoes don’t make the muscles “lazy” or “weaker”. They simply provide children with structural support which is not going to take away from the musculature. This means that supportive shoes allow the child’s foot and leg muscles to develop on their own while supporting them.

What Makes the Shoes I Recommend Effective for Rolled Ankles?

The shoes I recommend provide three key features that make them ideal for children with rolled ankles:

1️⃣ Firm Heel Counters:  The heel counter is the back part of the shoe that provides ankle and heel support. The firmer the heel counter is the better ankle and heel support it will provide.

Always make sure that the heel counter of your kids’ 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.

Image of a Nike shoe with a soft heel counter and a New balance shoe with a firm heel counter.

2️⃣ Substantial Outsoles: Shoes with substantial and supportive outsoles help support the child’s feet and improve the child’s foot 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:

Image of a Saucony shoe with an unsupportive outsole and a New balance shoe with a substantial outsole.

3️⃣ Straight Lasts: You need to stay away from shoes that have an excessively curved last as they lack heel stability. Most children’s shoes come with a curved or semi-curved last. Take a look at the image below for better visualization purposes:

Image of a Nike shoe with a semi-curved last and a New Balance shoe with a straight last.

I am going to show you a list of the best shoes for kids with rolled ankles, but keep in mind that if the shoes are not fitted correctly (length and width wise), your child won’t get any of the benefits that the shoes have to offer.

I understand that most parents are skeptical of taking their children to be fitted for shoes at their local shoe store. Even before the pandemic started, most specialized children’s shoe stores were already closing down.

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

I developed the most effective way to determine your child’s exact foot size from your home and will personally assist you with a custom fitting tailored to your child’s individual needs. This easy-to-follow method allows parents to accurately determine their child’s correct foot length and width, as well as instep height.

All of the shoes that I recommend are available in medium (M), wide (W), and extra wide (XW) widths. 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. 

Best Shoes for Kids with Rolled Ankles

These are not orthopedic shoes; they are everyday sneakers that simply provide better support than others.

Shoelaces Vs Velcro Closure

You probably noticed how all of the shoes I recommend have shoelaces instead of velcro closure.

I understand how most parents are hesitant of providing children with shoelaces, especially if they are not ready to learn how to tie their shoes just yet. However, shoes that come with shoelaces are a lot more effective as they provide better support and stability.

The shoelaces help “hug” the child’s feet and heels, making the child feel more stable and allowing the child to get the full benefits that the shoes have to offer.

I suggest that you apply the following shoe lacing technique for your child to get the full benefits that the shoes have to offer.

Are Any Other Shoe Choices Available?

Don’t hesitate to contact me if you are looking for a different type of shoe to help treat your child’s rolled ankles or if you are unsure about what shoe size to order for your child: [email protected]

Keep in mind that depending on the degree of your child’s rolled ankles you might have to fit an orthotic inside the shoes for extra support.

Orthotics for Kids with Rolled Ankles

There is one specific orthotic that I recommend for children with weak ankles as it mechanically supports the pieces of the foot that causes the foot to be flat such as the heels.

1️⃣ 30mm Heel Cup Depth: The orthotic I recommend provides a deep heel cup that helps control the alignment of the heel and lower leg.

2️⃣ Medial and Lateral Flanges: The orthotic I recommend provides medial and lateral flanges to help keep the foot aligned over the orthotic.

Best Orthotics for Kids with Rolled Ankles

You won’t have to remove the original insoles of your child’s shoes before placing this orthotic inside the shoes.

Find Out What Orthotic Size You Should Order

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


Let us know in the comment section below if you have found a specific shoe or orthotic that has worked well in helping treat your child’s rolled ankles.