Best Soccer Shoes for Kids with Ankle Pain

Has your child been complaining about ankle pain during soccer practice or soccer games? Did you know that ankle sprains are the most common injury in youth soccer players? Children who play soccer are more susceptible to ankle sprains since soccer involves quick direction changes, running on uneven ground, changing speed and landing from a jump. Let me show you a list of the best soccer shoes for kids with ankle pain.

The most common reasons why children experience ankle pain are:

  • Ankle sprains
  • Heel pain (Sever’s Disease)
  • Stress fractures

Pro Tip: If you’re pressed for time, you can go straight to the selection of soccer shoes for children with ankle pain.

What Role Do Soccer Shoes Play in Preventing Ankle Pain?

Certain soccer shoes can help reduce the risk of injury, improve balance, increase confidence, and enhance game performance.

Supportive soccer shoes that are fitted correctly can significantly reduce stress being placed on the ligaments of your child’s ankles.

Several physical and occupational therapists refer families to the shoe store to be fitted for supportive shoes, and depending on the degree of the child’s foot condition, orthotics as well.

Easily over 80 percent of children who come to the shoe store are wearing the wrong soccer shoes in the wrong size. In most cases, the soccer shoes that they are wearing are either too short or too narrow.

Can Soccer Shoes Help Prevent Ankle Pain?

Most soccer shoes are typically designed to fit tight for a better feel and control of the ball. Unfortunately, too many children wear shoes that are too narrow and/or too short, and this might contribute to injury. 

Providing your child with soccer shoes that don’t provide good support or that are too short/too narrow can cause ankle instability, sprains, and even fractures.

How Do Soccer Players Protect their Ankles?

Wearing soccer cleats that provide firm heel counters and extra cushion around the heels can help cushion and protect your child’s feet and ankles. Tying your kids’ shoes correctly can also help secure your child’s feet against the back of the shoes. I will shortly show you a specific shoe lacing technique that will allow your child to get the full support and stability from the cleats.

What Cleats Have the Best Ankle Support?

I have fitted certain soccer cleats that provide firm heel counters and extra cushion around the heels. Take a look at the images below for better visualization purposes.

1️⃣ Targeted Cushion Around the Heels: The soccer shoes that I recommend provide extra padding and cushion around the heels:

2️⃣ Firm Heel Counter: The heel counter is the back part of the shoes, and the firmer it is, the better heel and ankle support that it provides. One good exercise that I recommend parents to do is to grab their child’s current soccer shoes and press on the heel counter area. This will help you determine whether your child’s shoes provide good ankle support or not. Take a look at the image below for better visualization purposes:


3️⃣ Targeted Cushion Below the Heels: The shoes that I recommend provide extra padding and cushion below the heels, to minimize the impact that your child’s feet take when they come in contact with the ground


I suggest to stay away from soccer shoes that are lightweight and focus specifically on improving speed, and look for shoes that provide a firm and secure heel counter and cushioned insole to protect your child’s ankles.

Keep in mind that soccer shoes that are higher on the ankle area won’t necessarily provide better support than regular soccer shoes.

Let’s now take a look at a selection of the best soccer shoes for kids with ankle pain.  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 Soccer Shoes for Kids with Ankle Pain

The soccer shoes below provide all of the 3 features that I mentioned before, and they are available in medium (M), wide (W), and extra wide (XW) widths. Take a look at the description below each shoe image to check whether that specific style can fit the shape of your child’s feet:

Read This Before Ordering Your Kids’ Shoes Online

You can provide your child with the most supportive pair of shoes, but if the shoes are not fitted correctly (proper length and width), your child won’t get any of the benefits that the shoes have to offer.

I suggest that you start by taking a look at a resource I created where I showcase the best children’s shoe stores by state.

If after looking at that resource you don’t find a specialized children’s shoe store close in your area, I suggest that you take a look at this resource, where I help parents determine their children’s exact foot length and shape (narrow, medium, wide, extra wide, high instep).

Apply This Shoe Lacing Technique to Your Child’s Soccer Shoes

1️⃣ Step 1: Start by lacing your kids’ sport shoes as you would normally do until you get to the top two holes of the shoes:

2️⃣ Step 2: Grab the shoelaces and go through the top eyelets (shoe holes) first as shown in the picture below:

3️⃣ Step 3: Grab the shoelaces and go through the eyelets that you left open:

If your child is already wearing a pair of supportive soccer shoes in the correct size but the ankle pain persists, I suggest trying a pair of sport insoles or heel cups inside of the shoes for extra support.

Sport Insoles for Extra Ankle and Heel Support

Both of the sport insoles below are slim and/or low volume to fit in a low-profile tight-fitting soccer or football cleat.

If you can’t invest in a pair of sport insoles for your child I suggest looking into a pair of heel cups as they are more affordable and can be as effective as sport insoles.

Are Any Other Shoe Choices Available?

Let me know if you have any questions or need a different pair of shoes to help treat your child’s ankle pain. My e-mail address is:

[email protected]

What Are the Best Everyday Sneakers for Children with Ankle Pain?

There is a different resource that describes the best everyday sneakers to help treat and prevent your child’s ankle pain.

The Final Fitting

More expensive cleats don’t automatically translate into better cleats for your child. The most expensive soccer shoe will not make for a better player or prevent injuries, but proper fit and comfort will. 

Children often just want the newest and coolest pair of shoes. If your child wants to wear fashionable soccer shoes instead of supportive ones, they have a right to do so, just keep in mind that they might continue dealing with their ankle pain.

If your child is complaining about ankle pain I strongly suggest that you make an appointment with your medical professional to find out whether your child is dealing with an injury and determine the proper treatment.