Best Shoes to Help Children with Achilles Tendonitis

Does your child actively play sports and has been complaining about heel pain? Did your medical professional diagnose your child with Achilles tendonitis? Consider this is a fairly common condition in older children who participate in sport activities, typically caused by overuse. The good news is that treatment is quite effective and includes resting, stretching, and wearing supportive shoes to help significantly reduce or fully eliminate your child’s heel pain. I am going to show you a list of the best shoes to help children with Achilles tendonitis based on my vast experience in shoe fittings.

Pro Tip: If you’re pressed for time here is a list of the most supportive shoes for kids with Achilles tendonitis.

What Causes Achilles Tendonitis in Children?

This is a question that your medical professional will be able to answer better than I, but I have been told that not having adequate rest between training sessions, wearing poor-fitting or unsupportive shoes, and having foot conditions such as flat feet are all contributing factors.

These medical professionals explain to me how with rest, Achilles tendonitis typically gets better within 6 weeks to a few months. The issue is that most children have a hard time waiting that long to recover, especially if they are playing sports at a competitive level. In those cases, children can benefit from wearing supportive shoes, and depending on the degree of their pain, orthotics as well.

I usually recommend to start by wearing supportive shoes. If the condition doesn’t get better after a month of wearing the shoes, then I suggest fitting the child in a pair of orthotics.

Is Your Child More Prone to Develop Achilles Tendonitis?

Children who are involved in sports that put extra strain on their heels such as basketball, tennis, soccer, figure skating, skiing, or dancing, are more prone to develop Achilles tendonitis. If your child has poor flexibility in the legs that can also increase the risk for this condition.

Can the Shoes I Recommend Help Treat and Prevent Achilles Tendonitis?

It’s important for your child to wear supportive shoes that fit properly to prevent undue stress on the tendon. All of the shoes that I recommend provide two key features:

1️⃣ Firmer Heel Counters: This feature cushions and protects your child’s heels every time they come in contact with the ground. This is one of the most important features since the heel counter of the shoes it’s the one that provides heel and ankle support. Take a look at the picture below to learn where the heel counter of the shoe is located and the difference between a shoe that provides a firm heel counter versus a shoe that doesn’t:


2️⃣ Supportive Outsoles: This feature provides a stable base of support and minimizes the impact that your kids’ heels take every time they come in contact with the ground. Avoid shoes with flimsy and unsupportive outsoles. Below you can see the difference between a shoe with a supportive outsole versus a shoe with an outsole that is too thin and doesn’t provide the correct amount of support:


To find out if your child’s current shoes provide supportive outsoles you can press on the midsole of the shoe and check whether that area of the shoe feels firm or flimsy. You shouldn’t be able to bend the shoe in half as shown in the left image below:

Before I show you a list of the best shoes for children with Achilles tendonitis, I want to emphasize the importance of wearing shoes in the correct size. Did you know that the proper fit of the shoes is just as important (if not more important) than the support or the material that the shoes are made of?

Children’s feet come in all types of different shapes and sizes. For example, do you know whether your child’s feet are narrow, medium, wide, or extra wide? Do you know if your child has a high instep or not? If the shoes don’t fit the shape of your child’s feet properly, your child won’t get the full benefits that the shoes have to offer.

There is a great resource I created where I describe the best fitting children’s shoe stores by state. If you don’t happen to have a shoe store close by, take a look at this great resource I created where I help families determine their child’s exact foot length and shape from home.

Now you are ready to take a look at a list of the best shoes to help children with Achilles tendonitis. 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 to Help Children with Achilles Tendonitis

Take a look at the information below each shoe to determine:

  • The foot shape the shoe can accommodate (narrow, medium, wide, extra wide)
  • The best size to order allowing for growing room
  • Other important information such as material

Are these Shoes Going to Help Eliminate Your Child’s Heel Pain?

The goal of fitting children in supportive shoes is to significantly reduce or fully eliminate their heel pain. With that said, every child is different, and what might work really well for some children might not work as well for others. Your child’s needs will be slightly different depending on the type and severity of the Achilles Tendonitis, and lifestyle factors like how active your child is. If your child has an underlying condition such as flat feet that can also play a role in the effectiveness of the shoes.

How to Lace Kids’ Shoes to Get Extra Support and Stability

Step Number One: Lace your children’s shoes as you normally would but leave the top two eyelets of the shoe unlaced as shown in the image below:

Step Number Two: Go through the top eyelet first as shown in the image below:

Step Number Three: Go through the eyelet that you left open as shown in the image below:

Important Tip: Make sure that your child takes the time to undo the laces of the shoes before taking them off and putting them on. This will help preserve the support of the shoes.

Does Your Child Need a Pair of Cleats or Sports Shoes?

If your child plays a specific sport and needs a pair of cleats that can help prevent his or her heel pain, then I suggest that you ask your question in the comments section below or contact me via email: You can also reach out if you are unsure about which specific shoe style might work best for your child’s feet:

[email protected]

You can also refer to additional free resources I created that describe the best soccer and basketball shoes for kids with heel pain.

What is the Best Shoe Brand for Kids with Achilles Tendonitis?

I don’t believe there is a specific shoe brand that works best for children with Achilles tendonitis. There are specific models among each shoe brand that are a lot more supportive than others, and those are the ones I showed you before.

Does Your Child Complain that the Shoes Hurt?

Some children might have a hard time wearing shoes as they are getting pain from the pressure of the back part of the shoes. All of the shoes I recommended above have extra padding around the heels to help prevent your child from putting too much extra pressure around the heels. The image below shows how the shoes that I recommend have extra cushion and padding to prevent the hard material of the shoes from rubbing them in the wrong way:

Should You Provide Your Child with a Pair of Insoles/Orthotics?

As I mentioned before, I suggest waiting at least a month of wearing supportive shoes to decide whether your child should wear an orthotic for extra support.

Heel pain in children is common, but that doesn’t mean it should be left untreated. I always recommend parents to be proactive and don’t take the “wait and see approach” when it comes to treating their children’s foot conditions, as waiting for the condition to resolve on its own might lead to the condition getting worse.

Always consult your medical professional regarding your child’s heel pain. Although most heel pain can be resolved with conservative treatment like rest, stretches, and supportive footwear, prolonged heel pain can indicate something more serious.

Help me make this resource even better by sharing what shoes have worked well for your child’s feet! I am sure other families will benefit from reading about other parent’s experiences.