Children with Foot Problems – When Their Feet are Different
When parents find out that their children have a particular foot condition such as flat feet, rolled ankles, or low muscle tone, they tend to worry too much. I am always explaining to parents how most children’s foot conditions can be treated by wearing the correct type of shoes, and depending on the degree of your child’s foot condition, orthotics as well. Children with foot problems can strongly benefit from wearing the correct types of shoes in the correct size.
The key is to be proactive and don’t leave those foot conditions untreated, since that can lead to foot, leg, and back problems in the future.
Do you have a child that has developed a foot condition? Some of the most common foot problems among children involve:
- Flat Feet
- Rolled Ankles
Other foot conditions that are not as common involve:
- Low Muscle Tone
- Toe Walking
While some of these problems are hereditary, some of these problems could have been prevented by wearing the correct pair of shoes.
Do you know what all of these foot conditions have in common? They are directly related to the shoes that your child wears and how they fit. I know for a fact that the correct pair of shoes can help prevent and treat any of these foot conditions.
My Experience Fitting Children’s Shoes and Orthotics
At the shoe store where I work, my coworkers and I evaluate children with foot problems daily, and based on the pain that they might be experiencing, we might recommend a pair of supportive shoes, or a pair of shoes with orthotics.
Let’s assess all these foot conditions and let me show you how the only thing that your child needs is a pair of supportive shoes and in some cases they must be accompanied by an orthotic.
Flat Feet – Overpronation – Rolled Ankles
When children overpronate, have flat feet or rolled ankles, their feet tend to turn inwards or outwards, and this throws their whole body out of alignment, which leads them to put pressure on parts of their body where they are not supposed to.
Did you know that something so simple as providing your children with the correct pair of shoes can help straighten their feet and legs and improve their overall posture?
Let me prove it to you!
Below is a picture of a flat-footed child standing barefoot. Does this picture look familiar? You might have a child at home that is also flat-footed. Do you notice how the feet are turning inwards since there is no arch to prevent the feet from collapsing?
The first picture shows a child wearing a pair of unsupportive shoes made by Nike. Do you notice how the feet are still pronating and turning in?
Now let’s take a look at a picture of the same child wearing a pair of supportive shoes made by New Balance. Do you notice how the child’s feet look a lot straighter?
The shoes are preventing the feet from collapsing and will help the child walk and run straighter.
What Shoes Work Best for Children with Flat Feet, Overpronation, or Rolled Ankles?
If your child has any of the foot conditions mentioned above, you should take a look at a couple of different resources I created that describe the best shoes for kids with flat feet, overpronation, and ankle pain.
You might be asking yourself, why does my child have flat feet? Existing literature points towards flat-footedness being hereditary or genetic. I always ask the parents who come with a flatfooted child to the store if there is a family history of flat feet in the family. Over 90 percent of the parents always give the affirmative answer “yes”.
Blisters – Calluses – Corns
All of these foot issues are also related to the shoes that your child wears and how they fit.
Children normally develop these 3 foot issues when they are wearing shoes that are too long, too short, too narrow, or too wide.
If a shoe is too short or too narrow, your child’s toes will rub against the front or the side of the shoes, and that constant friction will lead to blisters and calluses. On the other hand, if your child’s shoes are fitted too long or too wide, this will allow your child’s feet to move too much inside the shoes and that constant rubbing will also lead to the formation of blisters.
Another reason why children develop these foot issues from not wearing socks, since socks act as a barrier between your kids’ feet and the shoes.
To prevent these foot issues you need to provide your child with the correct shoe size —this involves the correct shoe length and the correct shoe width— Make sure that your child always wears socks with his or her shoes.
I always recommend parents take their children to their local children’s shoe store that they trust, the issue is that most stores have been closing down and parents need to end up buying their kids’ shoes online. There is nothing wrong with this, but you must know your child’s exact foot size to know what size to order. I created a resource that describes the simplest, yet most effective way to figure out your child’s foot size from home.
In that article I help parents determine their child’s exact foot size and whether the child has narrow, medium, wide, or extra wide feet. I also will be able to tell you whether your child has a high instep or not.
Low Muscle Tone – Knock-Knees – Toe Walking – Bow Legs
When children first learn how to walk, and you see them “toe walking”, this is somewhat normal, since they are learning how to stay up and balance. After they have learned how to walk, if they are still up on their toes, it might be a sign of muscular issues and you should ask your physical/occupational therapist or doctor how to “ground” them.
Walking all the time on their toes is not normal and may require certain shoes or even orthotics to help the child achieve a “heel to toe strike”. Firmer, stiffer shoes will help prevent it and stop them from walking on their toes.
I have fitted several children that were toe-walkers. The key is to find a stiffer shoe that is not flexible and doesn’t bend in the top as much. Less growing room in the shoe will also prevent your child from toe-walking. You also have to compromise on the length of the shoe as well, since if you leave too much growing room in the shoe this will make your child more prone to standing on his or her toes.
What Shoes Work Best for Kids with Low Muscle Tone, Toe Walking, or Knock Knees?
Orthotics for Children with Foot Problems
A pair of well-fitted orthotics with a pair of well-fitted shoes, will allow your child to walk and run straighter. Orthotics are important in realigning your child’s body posture as well as strengthening the muscles. They also might be a short-term solution to your child’s foot problems if early intervention is provided. Keep in mind that in some cases children might need orthotics for a prolonged period of time.
If your child is experiencing leg or foot pain, you must act on it as soon as possible. Pain in our kids’ feet and legs is not normal, and it must not bereft untreated. They might not just be growing pains, so always start by checking the shoes that your child is wearing.
What Are the Best Orthotics for Kids?
I have fitted several different types of orthotics throughout the years, but there is a particular one that I have found to be the most effective one in helping children walk and run straighter and reducing or fully eliminating their feet and leg pain.
These orthotics are made of extremely comfortable materials, provide arch and ankle support, and it will help align your kids’ feet and legs by preventing your child’s feet from collapsing when walking or running —as long as it’s fitted in the correct pair of shoes.
These are the 4 most important features that these orthotics provide:
1️⃣ Footlogics orthotics are crafted from premium medical grade PU foam for children with heel and arch support problems.
2️⃣ The orthotic is designed to mold over time to fit each child’s unique foot.
3️⃣ The orthotic is made of premium medical grade PU foam for kids with heel and arch support problems.
4️⃣ The orthotic is also made of a new soft step material that drastically increases comfort.
The main advantage of these orthotics is that they are easy to fit in shoes, the only thing you need to do is to remove the original insoles of the shoes that your child is wearing, and then insert the orthotic inside the shoe. If the orthotic is too big, trimmed it so it matches the length of the original insoles of the shoes.
Here you can find a great resource that describes a list of good supportive shoes to accommodate the orthotics that I recommended.
Now that you know which are the best shoes and orthotics for children with foot problems, you are ready to make the most informed decision.
Is your child experiencing leg or foot pain? Certainly, contact me via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or in the comments section with further questions that I will most likely be able to answer.