Has your child been complaining about heel pain? Have you noticed your child walking and running differently? As soon as you notice your children walking differently, you must start by checking the shoes that they are currently wearing.
It’s important for parents to understand that heel pain is common in children, but that doesn’t meant it should be left untreated. If you don’t take early action, heel pain can lead to difficulty in walking that will require complicated therapy.
These are the most common signs that a child is experiencing heel pain:
- Difficulty running, jumping, or participating in sport.
- Pain in the back or the bottom of the heel.
- Waking on toes.
Most children experience heel pain between the ages of 8 to 14, since the heel bone is not fully developed until at least age 14. This doesn’t mean that children cannot start experiencing heel pain at a younger age.
I have helped several children that were dealing with heel pain find the correct type of shoes, and in some cases orthotics, to significantly reduce and in some cases completely eliminate the pain.
Did you know that there are certain shoes that will help reduce or fully eliminate your kids’ heel pain?
I have been working for a specialized children’s shoe store for the last 10 years, where we specialize in children with foot and leg problems, but we provide regular shoe fittings as well. I am an expert when it comes to fitting shoes and orthotics, and I am familiar with the best shoe brands for children and the best shoe styles among those brands.
I have been contacted by several parents who ask why their children are experiencing heel pain. The most common reason why children experience heel pain is the inflammation of the growth plate, due to repetitive stress. This condition goes by the name Sever’s Disease.
I have helped several families with children that were experiencing Sever’s disease (which remains the most common cause of heel pain in kids). Most parents don’t know what Sever’s disease is so let me clarify what it is:
Sever’s disease is NOT a true disease, it is an inflammation of the heel’s growth plate and it normally occurs in children that are very active and are putting constant stress on their feet (that’s why it’s so important to wear supportive shoes).
If your children are not wearing the correct type of shoes that’s when they might start experiencing heel pain, but sometimes heel pain can occur if your children have flat feet, low muscle tone, or rolled ankles.
When children come to the shoe store experiencing heel pain, the first thing that I do is to check the shoes that they are currently wearing and press on the heel counter of the shoes. Do you know what the heel counter of the shoe is? The heel counter is the back part of the shoe that provides heel support. Let’s take a look at the picture below for clarification:
I have been contacted by several parents who want to know which are the best shoes that provide heel support to reduce or completely eliminate their children’s heel pain. There is a small selection of shoes that I have fitted before that have proven to significantly reduce or completely eliminate children’s heel pain.
Before I provide you with a selection of the best shoes with heel support, let’s START by checking the shoes your child is currently wearing
Children with Heel Pain – Let’s Start by Checking Their Shoes!
Did you know that shoes that don’t provide heel support can be the main cause for your child’s heel pain?
If your child is experiencing heel pain, the first thing I want you to do is to grab your kids’ shoes and press on the heel counter and notice whether it feels firm or soft? If the heel counter feels too soft, then start by replacing the shoes by one that has a firm heel counter ( I will show you a selection shortly).
Here you can find an example of a shoe that has a soft heel counter (notice how the heel counter bends as I press on it):
Shoes that don’t come with a substantial sole can also contribute to your child’s heel pain, so always make sure that you provide your child with shoes that provide good support. Supportive shoes will reduce the impact that your child’s feet and heels take every time they come in contact with the ground.
Children are always running and jumping, and they tend to put a lot of stress on their feet and legs. If they are not wearing the correct type of shoes, this can lead to foot and leg pain.
Providing your child with a pair of shoes that provide good arch and heel support will keep their feet and legs healthy.
If you have a child that is complaining about heel pain, START off by checking the shoes that your child is wearing.
I am always emphasizing this to parents: It doesn’t matter how many features a particular shoe styles provides, if the shoes are not the right size, your child won’t get any of the benefits that the shoes have to offer. Let me show you how to make sure you know your child’s correct foot size.
Are You 100% That Your Child is Wearing the Correct Shoe Size?
Do you happen to have a children’s shoe store in your area that you trust? I always recommend parents to take their children to their local children’s shoe store, where a shoe fitter can properly measure their feet and find shoes that properly fit. The issue is that most stores have been closing down.
START by taking a look at a map I created where I break down the best kids’ fitting shoe stores by state (these are fitting stores not big retailers):
If after looking at that map you still can’t seem to find a store in your area, then proceed to taking a look at an article along with a video I created explaining the simplest, yet most effective way to figure out your child’s foot size from home:
Now that you know what features your children’s shoes must provide and how to figure out their foot size, let’s take a look at a selection of the best shoes with heel support.
Best Shoes with Heel Support – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Please keep in mind that I only review shoe styles that I have fitted before, since that is the only way for me to tell how well-made the shoes are, the amount of support that they provide, and how they fit.
Here you can find a selection of the best shoes with heel support: (ages 3 to 12):
Notice how there are two shoe styles with shoelaces and two shoe styles with Velcro closure. I always recommend parents to provide their children with a pair of shoes that come with shoelaces, since they will provide more support and stability to your kids’ feet. They will also push your kids’ heel back, securing them against the back of the shoe and allowing for maximum support.
This selection of shoes fit ” true to size”, which means that you need to get your children a half a size longer of the size that they measured in the standard foot measuring scale (Brannock device), in order to allow for growing room.
We always want to leave around 3/8 of an inch between your children longest toe and the end of the shoe in order to allow growing. This normally comes up to a half a size of growing room.
Wearing the correct type of shoes and stretching often will greatly reduce the pain that your child is experiencing. Don’t forget to make your child stretch!
There will be certain cases where a pair of good supportive shoes will not e enough to reduce your child’s heel pain. In those cases, your child will need extra support inside the shoes, but before you decide to try an orthotic, start by trying a heel cup.
Heel Cups for Kids – The Best Alternative to Orthotics
I have fitted several heel cups before and they are extremely effective in reducing and eliminating heel pain.They are very easy to fit in shoes (they fit in most shoes), and they are more affordable than an orthotic.
I have fitted a particular heel cup that I have found to be the most effective one since it provides maximum shock absorbing protection to your child’s heels and I have fitted it several times before. I have seen how this heel cup has significantly reduced or fully eliminated the pain that children were experiencing.
Here you can find the most effective heel cup for children that are dealing with heel pain:
Heel cups won’t fit in any type of shoes. In order for the heel cups to fit inside your kids’ shoes properly, the shoes must be supportive and deep. All of the shoe styles I describe above provide these two features. If you want to learn more about how this heel cup works, I explain in more detail the features and how to fit them in your kids’ shoes in another article. Go to the link below:
If after trying good supportive shoes with heel cups your child is still experiencing heel pain, you should consider providing your child with an orthotic.
Now that you know which are the best shoes and heels cups for heel support, you are ready to keep your child’s feet and legs healthy!
Please let us know the name of the store and where you are located that way other parents from the same area can take their children to be properly fitted for shoes there as well.