Has your child been diagnosed with hypermobility (HJS)? This condition is also referred as “loose joints” and can cause foot, leg, and lower back pain as well as discomfort after exercising or having an active day.
This condition tends to run in families, and its exact cause remains unknown. Hypermobility is more common that you think, since it’s estimated that 10 to 15% of children have it. One interesting fact is that girls are usually more hypermobile than boys.
The feet are the most significantly affected area for hypermobile children, due to their complex mixture of bones and soft tissues. This condition only becomes a problem when it’s symptomatic.
Hypermobile children usually have the following symptoms:
- Pain or stiffness in their joints and muscles.
- Flat feet.
- Poor balance and coordination.
- Frequent strains and sprains.
Children with hypermobility tend to avoid being active due to pain and discomfort. They also tend to get tired easily, and might need more time to rest during the school day and their participation in PE might be affected by pain and joint instability. This puts children at risk for obesity and I have also seen several cases of children who drop out of sports.
Once children’s participation in daily activities start being affected by their hypermobility it’s time to start treating the condition. It all starts by improving your child’s posture, protecting and strengthening the muscles around their joints, and involving your child in physical therapy.
Allowing your child to go barefoot is not recommended. Children with hypermobility that have flat feet have a harder time balancing, and when they go barefoot their over-used muscle groups are further over-used. This leads to your child feeling exhausted and might also lead to foot, leg, and lower back pain.
If your child is attending a school that requires to remove the shoes in the classroom, please request special accommodation due to your child’s foot condition. Removing the shoes might lead to your child’s physical capabilities being impaired. Would you ask a child who wear glasses to take them off while performing a physical task?
How to Treat Hypermobility? – Supportive Shoes!
Hypermobile children require extra support around the arch and ankle area.
The two most effective treatment techniques involve physical therapy and supportive shoes that provide good arch and ankle support. Depending on the degree of your child’s hypermobility your child might need to wear orthotics as well.
Maintaining a good posture while standing is extremely important. However, this is very hard to accomplish if your child has flat feet, weak ankles, or impaired joint position sense. When children have flat feet, their whole body is thrown out of alignment, which usually leads to poor posture habits.
Let me prove this to you.
Let’s take a look at an image of a hypermobile child with flat feet. Do you notice how the child’s feet are collapsing and turn inwards when standing?
Now let’s take a look at an image of the same child wearing a pair of supportive shoes. Do you notice how the child’s feet look a lot straighter?
The substantial sole of the shoes is preventing the child’s feet from collapsing and turn inwards. This will allow the child to walk and run straighter, which will improve the child’s overall posture.
There is only a small selection of shoes that help improve children’s posture. The good news is that I know exactly which shoe styles these are from having fitted them before. I have been working for a specialized children’s shoe store for over 10 years now.
This experience has afforded me many insights into children’s shoes and the way they fit. Our store specializes in shoes for children with foot and leg problems, but we provide regular shoe fittings as well. From my experience fitting thousands of kids, I have become familiar with the best shoe styles for children with hypermobility.
The correct type of shoes is not only going to help improve your child’s posture, they will also help decrease your child’s fatigue.
Hypermobile Shoes for Children – The 3 Most Important Ones!
These are the 3 most important features that your kids’ shoes must provide:
✅ Solid Heel Counter: This is the back part of the shoes that provides heel and ankle support. The firmer the heel counter is, the better support that it provides. The heel counter is located in the back part of the shoe. Take a look at the image below for clarification purposes:
✅ Substantial Sole: This feature will prevent your child’s feet from collapsing and turn inwards/outwards, helping improve your child’s overall posture.
✅ Lightweight/Flexible: The shoes need to be supportive but lightweight and flexible at the same time. This will allow the shoe to follow your child’s foot natural movements.
I will provide you with a selection of shoes that provide all of these 3 important features. In addition, the shoes must fit the shape of your child’s feet perfectly. I have noticed how a lot of children have wide or extra wide feet, which makes it harder to find shoes that fit properly. The shoes I recommend are available in different widths such as medium (“M”), wide (“W”), and extra wide (“XW”), so please make sure that you choose your child’s shoe width accordingly.
Now that you know how to treat your kids hypermobility, you are ready to take a look at the best shoes for hypermobile kids.
The Best Shoes for Hypermobile Kids ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
I only review shoe styles that I have fitted before, and these shoe styles provide targeted support in the arch and ankle area, which will help strengthen and straighten your child’s feet.
The goal of these shoes is to significantly reduce or fully eliminate your child’s foot pain, prevent injuries, and stabilize join function.
Here you can find a selection of the best shoes for hypermobile kids. Please remember to choose your child’s foot width accordingly.
Disclosure: We may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases.
As you can see, all of these shoe styles come with shoelaces instead of Velcro closure. The main reason for this is that shoelaces will provide better support and stability to your child’s feet.
Please keep in mind that while I always recommend parents to allow a certain amount of growing room inside their kids’ shoes, a child with hypermobile joints doesn’t need as much growing room. More specifically, I recommend providing 3/8 of an inch between your child’s longest toe and the end of the shoes. This usually translates to a half a size in terms of shoe size.
If you don’t notice an improvement in your child’s walking gait and posture after wearing these shoes for 1 to 2 months, you should strongly consider providing your child with a pair of orthotics.
The correct type of orthotics can be used to protect and support your child’s feet while improving your child’s overall posture.
Kids’ Orthotics for Hypermobility – Let’s Support Your Child’s Feet!
I have found one particular orthotic that has proven to be the most effective one in helping treat hypermobility. This orthotic will help reduce your child’s foot fatigue, joint pain, and improve your child’s posture and stability.
As you can see, there are many benefits associated with providing your child with an orthotic. However, you need to stay away from orthotics that are too rigid. In fact, the orthotic needs to be as less restrictive as possible, in order to allow for the natural movement of your child’s feet.
These are all the benefits that your child will get from this orthotic:
✅ Medically approved with targeted cushion around the arch and ankle that will support your child’s feet and improve posture.
✅ Deep heel cup that helps treat and prevent heel pain/Sever’s disease.
✅ Developed by Australian podiatrists this orthotic is extremely effective in providing relief to growing pains.
✅ Made from lightweight yet supportive, cushioning material with shock-absorbing padding.
✅ Helps improve low muscle tone.
✅ Improves hip and and lower extremities strength.
✅ Creates a straighter and more normal gait.
The Best Orthotics for Hypermobility ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Please don’t forget to remove the original insole of your child’s shoes before placing the orthotic inside the shoes. If you leave the original insole inside the shoes you will be raising your child’s feet up and give your child the impression that his/her feet are coming out of the shoes.
Here you can find the best orthotics for hypermobility. This first orthotic will fit children between the ages of 4 to 9, who wear a shoe size 11, all the way up to a big kid shoe size 3.
If you have an older child who wears a shoe size 3 1/2 or above, the orthotic below will accommodate the shape of your child’s feet.
Make sure that your child’s shoes are tied properly, or your child won’t get the full benefits that the orthotics have to offer. You can refer to another article that I wrote where I describe the best way to tie shoes with orthotics:
If this orthotic doesn’t come in your child’s foot size, please contact me directly and I will send you an alternative orthotic: firstname.lastname@example.org
Now that you know which are the best shoes to help treat hypermobility, you are ready to improve your child’s posture and keep your child’s feet and legs healthy.
Have you found a particular shoe style that has been effective in treating your child’s hypermobility? Please share your findings below so other parents can benefit from your experiences.