Best Wide Shoes for Kids with Flat Feet – Supportive and Round Toe-Boxes
Has your child been diagnosed with flat feet and you are having a hard time finding a pair of supportive shoes that are also capable of accommodating your child’s wide feet? Has your child been complaining about foot pain and your medical professional recommends to start by trying a pair of supportive shoes? I know which are the best wide shoes for kids with flat feet as I have worked for a specialized children’s shoe stores for over 10 years.
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It can be challenging to find a pair of shoes that provides good support for a child who has flat feet, and it gets even more challenging when the shoes also need to accommodate the shape of a wide foot.
How Do I Know which Shoes Work Best for Kids with Wide and Flat Feet?
I have been working for a children’s shoe store for over 10 years where we specialize in helping children with foot conditions such as flat feet, low muscle tone, overpronation and “complicated” foot shapes such as wide or extra wide feet.
Physical and occupational therapists are constantly referring children with flat feet to the shoe store that I work for to be fitted for supportive shoes.
Is it Common for Children to Have Flat Feet?
Yes, it is common for children to have flat feet. Several children don’t develop their arches until the age of five. However, there are different degrees of flat feet and pronation, and that determines how early you should intervene.
Children who are 5 years old or older and have flat feet are highly likely to remain flat footed for the rest of their lives.
Can Shoes Help Treat Flat Feet?
Yes, providing children with the correct types can make a tremendous difference when it comes to improving your child’s foot posture and walking gait. The shoes need to provide certain features such as substantial outsoles, firm heel counters, and straight lasts.
What Are the Best Shoe Brands for Children with Wide and Flat Feet?
My go-to shoe brands are:
- New Balance
- Stride Rite
Keep in mind that not all shoes from those 3 shoe brands are effective for children with flat and wide feet. Certain styles that will work a lot better than others, and I will show you a list of those styles shortly.
Is It Normal for Toddlers to Have Flat Feet?
Yes, it’s normal for toddlers to have flat feet. However, flat feet is going to produce a problem sometime in life. Children under the age of 5 don’t have pain, they don’t complain, but they have a treatable condition.
When children are growing, the normal development of the pelvis and the spine will suffer if there is a foot imbalance.
I have helped hundreds of children with flat feet at the shoe store that I work for and for the last 5 years I have been helping families find the correct pair of shoes for their children online. Let me show you some examples of before/after images of children with flat feet standing barefoot and wearing a pair of the shoes that I recommend.
Images of a Toddler Standing Barefoot and Wearing a Pair of Supportive Shoes
The toddler below has flat feet and is dealing with moderate to strong pronation. Do you notice how the toddler’s feet are collapsing and turning inwards?
Let’s see what happens when we fit that same toddler in a pair of the supportive shoes that I recommend. Do you notice how the toddler’s feet are a lot straighter? The substantial outsole of the shoe and the firm heel counter are preventing the toddler’s feet from collapsing and turning inwards.
Let’s take a look at another example of a flat footed child standing barefoot and wearing a pair of the supportive shoes that I recommend.
Images of an Older Child Standing Barefoot and Wearing a Pair of Supportive Shoes
Do you notice how the chid’s feet are collapsing and turning inwards?
Let’s take a look at how straighter the child’s feet look when fitted in a pair of the supportive shoes that I recommend:
Wow! What a Difference the Correct Types of Shoes Can Make!
It’s pretty amazing how something so simple such as providing your child with the correct pair of shoes can make such an impact on the child’s foot posture and walking gait.
Are the Shoes that I Recommend Orthopedic Shoes?
No, the shoes that I recommend are regular sneakers that simply provide better support than others. Not all families can invest over $100 in a pair of orthopedic shoes that their child might outgrow anywhere between 4 to 5 1/2 months.
What Makes the Shoes that I Recommend Effective for Flat and Wide Feet?
1️⃣ Substantial Outsoles: Supportive shoes that provide good arch support can help improve your child’s foot posture. Below you can see the difference between a shoe with a substantial outsole versus a shoe with an outsole that is too thin and doesn’t provide the correct amount of support:
2️⃣ Straight Lasts: This feature prevents the forefoot from pushing out. You need to stay away from shoes that have an excessively curved last as they lack heel stability. Most Nike, Adidas, and Under Armour shoes come with a curved or semi-curved last. Take a look at the image below for better visualization purposes:
3️⃣ Firm Heel Counters: When a child has flat feet you don’t only support the arch, you mechanically control the parts of the foot that causes the foot to be flat, including the heel bone. The heel counter is the back part of the shoe that provides ankle and heel support. Always make sure that the heel counter of your kids’ shoes feels firm and sturdy.
4️⃣ Round Toe-Boxes: This feature is going to help accommodate your child’s wide feet. Take a look at the image below that shows two shoes that are the same size in length but have very different toe-boxes. Do you notice how the shoe on the right has a rounded toe-box compared to the shoe on the left?
Where Can You Find Shoes that Provide These 4 Important Features?
I strongly suggest that you visit your local shoe store as that is the best way to have your child’s feet properly measured and the shoes properly fitted. I know that most specialized children’s shoe stores have been closing due to COVID, so I came up with a system that helps families retrieve their child’s exact foot length and shape from home.
I suggest that you start by taking a look at a resource of the United States that showcases the best children’s shoe stores by state.
If after looking at that resource you don’t find a local shoe store, I suggest that you take a look at a resource I created where I help families determine their child’s exact foot length and shape from home. In the article below I help families retrieve whether their children have medium, wide, extra wide feet and/or a high instep:
Now let’s take a look at the best wide shoes for kids with flat feet. 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 Wide Shoes for Kids with Flat Feet
Take a look at the description below the image of each shoe to check whether that specific style can fit wide or extra wide feet. Keep in mind that all of the shoes that I recommend below provide a lace-up closure for a secure fit.
Make sure that your kids’ shoes are properly tied at all times so your child can get the full support and stability that the shoes have to offer.
Are There Any Other Shoe Choices Available? – Get a Personalized Suggestion
Do not hesitate to contact me directly at my email if none of these shoes are available in your child’s shoe size or if you are having a hard time finding a different pair of shoes for your child’s flat feet.
Feedback from Families! – Get Inspired!
These are some reviews from families who already tried the shoes that I recommend and they have seen an improvement in their child’s walking gait and posture.
Do the Shoes that I Recommend Provide Built-In Arch Support?
If you remove the original insoles of the shoes that I recommend you will notice that there is not a built-in-arch support inside the shoes. However, this doesn’t mean that the shoes don’t good provide support.
Allow me to elaborate. When children have flat feet, you don’t simply support the arch, you mechanically support the pieces of the foot that causes the foot to be flat such as the heels. This means that the shoes need to provide a substantial outsole (to prevent the foot from collapsing), a firm heel counter (to help straighten the heels), and straight lasts (to prevent the forefoot from pushing out).
Make Sure that Your Kids’ Shoes Are Tied Properly!
Did you know that your child won’t get the full support and stability that the shoes have to offer if the shoes are not properly tied? I understand that it’s hard to keep up with your child’s untied shoelaces, but it’s really important that your kids’ shoes are tied properly. There is a specific shoe lacing technique that I recommend as it allows children to get the full support and stability that the shoes have to offer.
Are Wide Shoes Better for Kids with Flat Feet?
This depends on your child’s foot shape. If your child has wide and flat feet then you must find a pair of shoes that fit on the wider side. Not all children who have flat feet have wide feet. I have seen children with flat feet who have narrow feet.
Does My Child Also Need an Orthotic?
This depends on the degree of your child’s flat feet and your medical professional is the one who can guide you in the right direction.
Sometimes providing children with a pair of supportive shoes is not enough to improve the child’s foot posture and walking gait. The correct type of orthotics can help your children walk and run straighter, by aligning their feet and legs and reducing the stress that they are putting on their feet.
If you believe that your child might be a good candidate for orthotics there is one specific orthotic that provides excellent arch and heel support, and at the same time is not as invasive as other orthotics. This means that this orthotic allows the child’s foot and leg muscles to develop on their own while supporting them. You can learn more about this specific orthotic in a different article I created.
Don’t take the “wait and see approach” when it comes to treating your child’s foot condition. Waiting for the condition to resolve on its own or “magically disappear” might only make it harder to manage.
Let me know in the comment section below if you have any questions or if you have found a specific pair of shoes that worked well for your child’s flat feet.