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Best Shoes for Kids with Strong Pronation – Improve Foot Posture and Prevent Foot Pain


Has your medical professional diagnosed your child with flat feet or rolled ankles? Has your child been complaining about foot or leg pain? Children with flat feet or other foot conditions can experience different levels of pronation, and depending on the degree of your child’s pronation, your child might need to wear supportive shoes and/or orthotics.

Do All Children with Flat Feet Have Strong Pronation?

Most children have a certain degree of pronation, and you have nothing to worry about unless that pronation becomes excessive.

Not all children with flat feet have strong pronation. For example, pronation can be categorized into 3 different categories:

  • Mild
  • Moderate
  • Strong

I have seen hundreds of children with flat feet at the shoe store that I work for, as we get a lot of families who are referred by their physical/occupational therapist to be fitted for supportive shoes and orthotics.


I have worked for the same children’s shoe store for over 10 years, and I have noticed throughout the years that all flat feet are different. If your child is under the age of two years old and has flat feet, you have nothing to worry about. It’s common for toddlers to have flat feet and most children don’t develop their arches until they reach the age of five.

How Early Should I Intervene If My Child Has Flat Feet?

This directly depends on the degree of your child’s flat feet and pronation. If your child has mild o moderate pronation and doesn’t complain about foot pain, you don’t have anything to worry about.

If your child has strong pronation, the earlier that you intervene, the better. Don’t take the “wait and see approach” as it can only lead to your child’s foot condition getting harder to manage.

How to Figure Out Your Child’s Degree of Pronation

Mild Pronation

Most children I have seen have mild pronation. In this specific case, you might notice your child’s feet collapsing and turning inwards slightly. Your child’s feet might not even be completely flat, your child might just have a low arch. Take a look at the image below for better visualization purposes:


Moderate Pronation

Children with moderate pronation usually have their feet completely flat. You will notice the child’s feet collapsing and turning inwards as shown in the image below:


Strong Pronation

Children with strong pronation have their feet completely flat and they might also have rolled ankles. You will notice how the child’s foot posture is turning inwards as shown in the image below:


What To Do When Children Have Strong Pronation?

The goal is to allow your child to be able to perform his/her daily activities without any discomfort or pain.

In most cases, a pair of supportive shoes can significantly improve the child’s foot posture by preventing the feet from collapsing and turning inwards. For example, remember the image that I showed you about the child with strong pronation? Let’s see what happens when we fit that same child in a pair of the supportive shoes that I recommend:

Before Image: Standing Barefoot


After Image: Wearing Unsupportive Shoes


After Image: Wearing Supportive Shoes

The substantial outsole of the shoe and the firm heel counter are preventing the child’s feet from collapsing and turning inwards:


Do you notice how the child’s feet are a lot straighter? Wow! What a difference the correct types of shoes can make!

What Are the Best Shoe Brands for Children with Strong Pronation?

My go-to shoe brands for children with strong pronation are:

  • New Balance
  • Asics
  • Saucony
  • Stride Rite

Keep in mind that not all shoes from those 4 shoe brands are appropriate for children with strong pronation. There are certain styles among each brand that will work a lot better than others. 

In addition, the shoes need to be able to fit your child’s individual foot shape, or your child won’t get any of the benefits that the shoes have to offer. For example, Asics manufacture really good and supportive shoes, but they can only fit children with narrow or medium feet. If your child has wide or extra wide feet then you will be better off with New Balance, Saucony, or Stride Rite.

I will show you a list of the best shoes for kids with strong pronation shortly. Keep in mind that the shoes I recommend are not orthopedic, they are regular everyday sneakers that simply provide better support than others.

What Makes the Shoes that I Recommend Ideal for Children with Strong Pronation?

The shoes that I recommend provide 3 key features that make them ideal for children with strong pronation:

1️⃣ Straight Lasts: Shoes with straight lasts help improve the child’s foot posture. If your child has strong pronation you need to stay away from shoes that have excessively curved lasts. Take a look at the image below for better visualization purposes:


2️⃣ Supportive Outsoles: Shoes with supportive outsoles provide shock absorption which helps attenuate the impact that your child’s feet take when they come in contact with the ground. This feature is ideal if your child is dealing with foot or leg pain. Take a look at the image below for better visualization purposes:


3️⃣ Firm Heel Counters: When children have flat feet you don’t only support the arch, you mechanically support all of the pieces that cause the foot to be flat, such as the heels. Make sure that you always press on the heel counter of your kids’ shoes to make sure that it feels firm as shown in the image below:


Where Can You Buy Shoes that Provide These 3 Important Features?

Most families have to shop online as many specialized children’s shoe stores have been closing down. Even before we got hit by COVID-19, most children’s shoe stores were already closing their doors.

Please note that big retailers such as Nordstrom’s, Footlocker, or Payless don’t have experienced shoe fitters who can evaluate your child’s feet. In addition, most of the shoes that they sell don’t provide the correct levels of support and they are only offered in standards widths (M).

It’s important that you take your child to your local shoe store to be properly fitted for shoes, so I created a resource that showcases the best specialized children’s shoe stores by state:

The Best Kids’ Shoe Stores in the United States

If after looking at that resource you can’t find a shoe store in your area, you will have to look for your kids’ shoes online.

Read This Before Buying Your Kids’ Shoes Online

If you don’t know your child’s exact foot length and shape you won’t be able to order the correct shoe size online. The only way that your child will get the full benefits that the shoes have to offer is if the shoes are fitted correctly.

Shoes that are too short can cause foot issues such as blisters, calluses, and corns, while shoes that are too long allow for too much foot movement inside of the shoes, which can lead to those issues as well.

I suggest that you take a look at a resource I created where I describe the most effective and accurate way to determine your child’s foot shape and length from home:

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

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

Best Shoes for Kids with Strong Pronation

All of the shoes that I recommend are the styles that I have fitted before, as that is the only way to tell the amount of support that the shoes provide and how they fit. I suggest that you take a look at the description below each image to check if that specific style can fit your child’s foot shape (narrow, medium, wide, extra wide).

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.

Make sure that your child’s shoes are properly tied at all times, as that is the only way that your child will get the full support and stability that the shoes have to offer. 

Are Any Other Shoe Choices Available?

If you are having trouble finding a different pair of shoes for your child’s strong pronation you can contact me directly at my e-mail:


Does My Child Need to Wear Orthotics As Well?

Children with strong pronation might also need to wear orthotics to help improve their foot posture and walking gait. However, I usually suggest that you start by trying a pair of supportive shoes and monitor your child’s progress.

If your child is experiencing severe foot or leg pain and you want to try an orthotic right away I suggest that you take a look at the article below:

Best Orthotics for Kids with Moderate or Strong Pronation – Let’s Treat Your Child’s Foot Condition!

How Often Should Your Child Wear Shoes?

As often as possible. This doesn’t mean that your child cannot walk around barefoot at home for a couple of hours, but the more that your child wears his/her shoes, the better.

Can Children with Strong Pronation Wear Seasonal Footwear?

Yes, but I suggest that you limit the wear of the sandals or the boots to a maximum of 4 hours a day. 

Children with strong pronation can strongly benefit from wearing their athletic shoes for most of the day, as that is the type of footwear that provides the most support.

If you are looking for a pair of summer shoes for your child I suggest staying away from Crocs or flip flops and trying a pair of supportive sandals instead. Keen and Teva make sturdy and supportive sandals. If you want to learn more information about the best seasonal footwear for children with strong pronation take a look at the articles below:

Sandals for Kids with Overpronation – Let’s Prevent Foot and Leg Pain During the Summer!

Kids Winter Boots with Arch Support – The Best Boots for Kids with Flat Feet!

Don’t “wait and see” whether your child’s pronation gets better with time. In most cases, parents wished they would have acted sooner. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to manage your child’s foot condition. If your medical professional told you to wait, I suggest that you ask for a second opinion. 


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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4 Comments on Best Shoes for Kids with Strong Pronation – Improve Foot Posture and Prevent Foot Pain

  1. What do you mean when you say order half a size larger than toddlers current size? Don’t we measure the feet and then use the size charts for the manufacturer based on that size or do you recommend we add a half to the measurement we took?

    • Hello Jasmine,

      For example, if your toddler’s foot size measures a size 10, you would order the size 10 1/2 and that will provide your child with the correct amount of growing room. To answer your question you do need to add a half size to the measurement that you take.

  2. Thank you for this article! My son (age 2.5) has moderate pronation. He won’t tolerate higher top shoes that would make Patti Bob orthotics supportive enough, so we are going to move him to Chipmunk orthotics and keep him in a lower profile shoe. He’s been in Ten Littles, which are too flexible it seems. Do either of the shoes below seem ok? He goes to daycare and needs to be able to get the shoes on and off by himself.



    • Hello Elle,

      Those shoes that you sent me are definitely more supportive than Ten Littles, but I am not 100% sure they will be capable of accommodating the Chipmunks orthotics. If you decide to try any of those models, I suggest that you order the wide widths and remove the original insoles before you place the Chipmunks orthotics.

      The options below might work better for your son’s orthotics:

      Option 1 Available in wide and extra wide widths

      Option 2 Available in extra wide widths

      Option 3 Not available in wide or extra wide widths but fits naturally wide

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