Have you noticed your toddler walking or running differently lately? Has your toddler been diagnosed with flat feet and overpronation? If your toddler is experiencing foot and leg pain, I recommend parents have the child checked out by their pediatrician, physical or occupational therapist.
Do you know how a child with flat feet looks like? Does the picture below looks familiar? Since there is no arch to keep the feet straight, as soon as the child is standing and putting pressure on his or her feet, the feet collapse.
When toddlers overpronate, they are putting pressure in parts of their body where they are not supposed to, and this can lead to foot, leg, and back pain.
The good news is that if you provide your kids with a pair of supportive shoes, you can improve their posture considerably and allow them to walk and run straighter.
Let me prove it to you…
Let’s take a look at a picture of a child that is flat footed and is wearing a pair of unsupportive shoes. Do you notice how the child’s feet are collapsing and turning inwards? The shoes are not supportive enough to keep this child’s feet from collapsing:
Now let’s take a look at a picture of the same child but this time she is wearing a pair of supportive shoes. Do you notice how much straighter her feet look compared to the previous picture? The shoes are preventing her feel from collapsing and turning inwards”
This proves that something so simple such as providing children with the correct type of shoes can align their feet and legs, helping them walk and run straighter. There will be certain cases where providing your child with supportive shoes will not be enough to keep your child’s feet from overpronating. In those cases, you will need to provide your toddler with a pair of orthotics for extra support.
Whether your child needs a pair of supportive shoes or orthotics, I got you covered!
Your toddler’s feet are regarded as the foundation for their entire body, and parents should start monitoring their toddlers’ feet right from when they start taking their first steps.
Let me show you a selection of the best toddler shoes for flat feet, and I will also show you what features the shoes must provide and how to make sure that your toddler is wearing the correct shoe size.
The Best Toddler Shoes for Flat Feet –⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Please keep in mind that I only review shoe styles that I have fitted before, since that’s the only way for me to tell how the shoes FIT and how well made they are.
Shoes can run short, long, narrow, or wide, and depending on how they fit you will have to adjust the size that you provide for your child.
We always want to provide children with a half a size longer of the size that they measure in the shoe measuring scale in order to allow for growing room.
For example, if your toddler measures a shoe size 8 and the shoes “fit short”, then you will have to provide your toddler with a whole size longer of the size that he/she measured in the shoe measuring scale (in this case a shoe size 9). On the other hand, if the shoe style “fits long”, then you will have to provide your toddler with the same size that he/she measured at the shoe measuring scale (since the shoes already fit long).
If a particular shoe style fits “true to size”, then you must provide your toddler with a half a size longer of the size that he/she measured at the shoe measuring scale.
Here you can find a selection of the best toddler shoes for flat feet (these shoe styles will fit a toddler with medium, wide, or extra wide feet):
This selection of shoes fit “true to size”, which means that you need to provide your child with a half a size longer of the size that he/she measures at the shoe measuring scale in order to allow for growing room.
How Can you Tell if Your Toddler is Flat Footed?
I have helped hundreds of flat-footed children find the correct pair of shoes, so it’s easy for me to tell whether a child is flat footed or not.
I recommend taking a look at your toddler’s feet from the back and noticing if the feet are collapsing or not. Remember the picture I showed you at the beginning of the article? It looked like this:
Do you notice how the child’s feet are collapsing and turning inwards?
Let me show you the difference between a flat foot and a foot with a normal arch. Do you notice how in the first picture the foot has no arch?
Now take a look at how a foot with a regular arch looks like:
The other way to tell if your child is flat footed or not is to check the shoes your child has been wearing (this will work if your child has been wearing the shoes for over a month).
Take a look at your child’s shoes from the back, do you notice any sign of the shoes collapsing or turning inwards?
Let me show you the difference between a shoe that a child has been wearing and pronating in versus how the shoe look when it was new. Do you notice how in the first picture the shoe is turning inwards? This means that your child is flat footed, and the shoes were not strong enough to keep the child from overpronating.
In this picture you can see how much straighter this shoe style looks:
Now let me show you what features the shoes must provide for a toddler with flat feet.
Toddler Shoes for Flat Feet – The Features
The most important feature that your kids’ shoes must provide is a substantial sole. Most toddler’s shoes don’t come with arch support, but a substantial sole will prevent their feet from collapsing.
Here is a breakdown of what features your toddler’s shoes must provide (in addition to a substantial sole):
- Firm Heel Counter: Do you know what the heel counter of the shoe is? The heel counter is the back part of the shoes that provides ankle support. Take a look at the picture below to identify where the heel counter of the shoes is:
Before you purchase your toddler’s shoes you must make sure that they come with a firm heel counter. You can check this by pressing on that area of the shoe. If you press on the heel counter of the shoe and it feels soft and flimsy, then you must stay away from that shoe style. Take a look at the image below:
- Flexible and Lightweight: The shoes must be supportive, but lightweight and flexible at the same time, in order to prevent your toddler’s feet from getting tired.
- Traction: This feature will prevent your toddlers from slipping and falling down (especially if they are walking on slippery surfaces).
- Breathable: This feature will allow your toddler’s feet to breathe and prevent the formation and buildup of bacteria inside the shoes.
The selection of shoe styles that I described above provide all of these features, and they will keep your toddler’s feet and legs healthy.
I am always explaining to parents that if they don’t provide their toddlers with the correct shoe size, they won’t get any of the benefits that the shoes have to offer. What’s even worse, they will end up creating all sort of issues to their feet such as blisters, calluses, and corns.
Are you 100% Sure that your Toddler is Wearing the Correct Shoe Size?
I always recommend parents to take their toddlers to be properly fitted for shoes at their local children’s shoe store, where a shoe fitter can properly measure their feet and find shoes that FIT properly.
The issue is that most parents don’t have a local children’s shoe store in their area, and they must end up purchasing their kids’ shoes online.
If you identify with this, START by looking at a map I created where I describe the best fitting children’s shoe store by state:
If after reading that article you still can’t seem to find a children’s shoe store in your area, then I describe the simplest, yet most effective way to figure out your toddler’s foot size from home:
Orthotics for Toddlers with Flat Feet – When the Shoes are Not the Solution!
There will be certain cases when the shoes that you provide for your toddler will not be supportive enough to prevent his or her feet from collapsing. In that case you will have to provide your toddler with an orthotic.
Do you know what an orthotic is? An orthotic is simply a shoe insert that is specifically designed to provide cushioning, support, stability, and relief pressure areas of the foot. Orthotics can be extremely effective in preventing your kids’ feet from collapsing and aligning their feet and legs.
Here is the most effective orthotic that I have fitted for toddlers before that as proven to reduce, and in most cases fully eliminate the pain that they were experiencing due to their flat feet:
Orthotics must always be fitted in shoes that are supportive and deep. The good news is that the shoes I described above are all supportive and deep.
Deep shoes will allow the orthotic to fit deeply inside your toddler’s shoes and prevent raising your toddler’s fit up (this can give your toddler the impression that his/her feet are coming out of the shoes).
Now that you know which are the best shoes and orthotics that will prevent your child’s overpronation, you are ready to make the most informed decision.
Is there a particular shoe style that you would recommend for a toddler with flat feet? You can leave a comment in the section below, that way other parents can benefit from your experiences too.