Best Shoes for Metatarsus Adductus – Be Proactive and Don’t Play the Waiting Game!
Have you noticed your child walking with the feet turned inwards instead of straight? Has your child been diagnosed with metatarsus adductus (MTA)? Metatarsus adductus is a common foot deformity that causes the front half of the child’s foot (forefoot) to turn inward. I am going to show you a list of the best shoes for metatarsus adductus based on my many years of shoe fitting experience.
Don’t Take the “Wait and See Approach” – Be Proactive!
Are you tired of being ignored by your medical professional even though you have pointed out several times that there seems to be something wrong with your child’s feet? Let me tell you that the earlier you take action, the better. I always suggest that parents take a proactive approach when it comes to treating MTA. Waiting for the condition to resolve on its own can only lead to the condition getting worse!
The main issue that children face when they walk with their feet pointing inwards is the compensation that occurs in the foot. When foot posture is not in alignment then your child’s body will have to recruit more muscles for each movement, which leads to an increase in muscle fatigue, tightness and strain.
To protect the foot and stop that compensation I recommend trying straight last and supportive shoes. Depending on the degree of your child’s foot condition we might have to try an orthotic as well, but it all starts with wearing the correct type of shoes.
My Experience Fitting Children’s Shoes
I have helped several children treat MTA by fitting them with the correct type of shoes. For the last 10 years, I have been working for a specialized children’s shoe store that focuses in helping children with foot and leg problems.
I am not a doctor, but I have seen several children with MTA and experienced firsthand the positive impact that the correct pair of shoes can make. Hopefully, all your child needs is a pair of well-fitted and supportive shoes to avoid a more stressful solution such as serial casting.
How to Figure Out if Your Child Has Metatarsus Adductus?
I have noticed that some of the most common signs of children with MTA are having a high arch and a wide gap between the big toe and the second toe. Tripping is also a common sign of MTA.
Let’s take a look at an image of a child with a high arch:
Let’s take a look at an image of a child with a wide gap between the big toe and the second toe:
How effective the shoes can be to help treat MTA depends on your child’s age and how severe the condition is. Keep in mind that most medical professionals suggest that children with MTA don’t need treatment because the foot might straighten out as the child grows. It is a fact that in some cases the foot does straighten out as the child grows, but in some other cases, it doesn’t.
Children with MTA may require help controlling lower extremity alignment and base of support. I have noticed that children who walk and run with their feet turned inwards tend to stumble and lose balance more often.
How to Treat Children with MTA? – Be Proactive!
MTA can be flexible or nonflexible. If your child’s forefoot can be aligned, your child has flexible MTA. If it is hard to align with your hand, your child has a nonflexible, stiff foot.
In simple words, if you can straighten your child’s feet with just a little pressure with your hands, it’s highly likely that your child’s forefoot will likely improve with the correct type of shoes or even without any treatment.
As children get older, it’s more likely that they develop a nonflexible foot, which is a lot harder to treat. This is why I am always emphasizing to parents to not play the waiting game, as it just makes it harder to correct.
What Makes the Shoes I Recommend Effective for Children with MTA?
I have fitted certain shoes that provide substantial outsoles for a stable base of support at the medial arch and forefoot, as well as a firm heel counter for optimal ankle and heel support.
1️⃣ Straight Lasts: This is one of the most important features that your kids’ shoes should provide. You need to stay away from shoes that have an excessively curved last as this can exaggerate the deformity. Take a look at the image below for better visualization purposes:
2️⃣ Substantial Outsoles: This feature is going to provide a stable base of support at the medial arch and forefoot. Can you tell how the shoe on the right has a more substantial outsole compared to the shoe on the left?
3️⃣ Firm Heel Counters: This part of the shoe provides ankle and heel support. Take a look at the difference between a shoe with a soft heel counter versus a shoe with a firmer one. Always press on the heel counter of your kids’ shoes and make sure it feels firm instead of soft:
4️⃣ Correct Amount of Flexibility: Your kids’ shoes should bend with your child’s toes. The shoes shouldn’t be too stiff or bend too much in the toe box area. If you can bend your child’s shoes like a spiral then it’s highly likely that your kids’ shoes don’t provide the correct amount of support:
Before I show you a selection of the best shoes for Metatarsus Adductus we need to figure out your child’s exact foot length and foot shape, that way you can order the shoes in the correct size.
How to Retrieve Your Child’s Exact Foot Length and Shape
It’s important to note that shoes that don’t fit properly can aggravate your child’s foot condition. If you don’t order your kids’ shoes in the correct size your child won’t get any of the benefits that the shoes have to offer.
For example, do you know whether your child has narrow, medium, wide, or extra wide feet? Do you know if your child has a high instep? If you are unsure of your child’s foot shape you should use a virtual shoe fitting service I created.
All of the shoes I recommend below are available in different widths such as medium (M), wide (W), and extra wide (XW), so make sure that you choose your child’s shoe width accordingly.
Best Shoes for Metatarsus Adductus
How effective the shoes below will be in helping straighten your child’s forefoot and improve your child’s walking gait and overall posture directly depends on how severe your child’s MTA is. 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.
Are Any Other Shoe Choices Available?
Do not hesitate to contact me directly at my e-mail if your child has narrow feet and needs different shoe recommendations. My e-mail address is:
Does Your Child Wear Orthotics?
Shoes with shoelaces always provide better support and stability compared to shoes with velcro closure. I understand that it can be a challenge for parents to provide their children who don’t know how to tie their shoes yet with a pair of shoelaces, but trust me that they make a big difference. I suggest that you apply the following shoe lacing technique for your child to get maximum support and stability from the shoes.
Remember to please be proactive as children with MTA may have an increased risk for developmental dysplasia of the hip. Keep in mind that children with very rigid or severe MTA may need surgery.
I speak with parents of children with MTA frequently and some of these parents had MTA themselves and now they have to deal with terrible pain because of it. These parents are always telling me how they wish their parents did more when they were younger, but back in the day, they didn’t know how to treat it.