Corrective Shoes for Toddlers – The Most Effective Way to Treat and Prevent Common Foot Conditions!
Do you have a toddler that is dealing with a foot condition that is affecting your toddler’s walking gait and overall posture? Toddlers who are diagnosed with foot conditions such as flat feet, low muscle tone, overpronation, etc. need shoes that provide good arch and heel support to absorb shock and reduce the impact that their feet and legs take every time they come in contact with the ground. I am going to show you a list of the best corrective shoes for toddlers based on my many years of shoe fitting experience.
If you are in a rush, you can go directly to the selection of the best orthotics for toddlers.
Is It Normal for Toddlers to Have Flat Feet?
One of the most common foot conditions that toddlers experience is flat feet. It is a fact that most toddlers are flat-footed and they usually develop an arch by the age of 3, but taking corrective action at a young age helps prevent more serious foot issues in the future.
Corrective shoes are one of the most effective ways to improve toddlers’ body posture and help them walk and run straighter. When toddlers experience a certain foot condition such as overpronation, rolled ankles, low muscle tone, or knock knees, their whole bodies are thrown out of alignment which leads them to put pressure on parts of their bodies where they are not supposed to.
The most common reasons why toddlers might need a pair of corrective shoes are:
- Rolled Ankles
- Low Muscle Tone
- Knock Knees
- Toe Walking
Does the Picture Below Look Familiar?
Take a look at the picture below, does it look familiar? To help treat your toddler’s foot conditions, I always recommend parents try a pair of corrective shoes first before trying a pair of orthotics or leg braces.
Something so simple such as providing toddlers with the correct pair of shoes can prevent their feet from collapsing and the knees from turning inwards/outwards, improving their overall posture. Let me prove it to you!
What a Difference the Correct Pair of Shoes Can Make!
Let’s start by taking a look at a picture of a flat-footed toddler standing barefoot. Do you notice how the toddler’s feet are collapsing and turning inwards?
Now let’s take a look at a picture of the same toddler wearing a pair of supportive shoes. Do you notice how the supportive shoes are aligning the feet by preventing them from collapsing and turning inwards? This is helping improve the toddler’s overall posture.
While corrective shoes are extremely effective in helping stabilize toddlers’ feet by allowing them to walk and run straighter, there is only a small selection of corrective shoes available for toddlers.
Most parents think of orthopedic or corrective shoes as bulky and ugly, but the ones I describe below are fashionable and supportive at the same time.
Before I provide you with a selection of the best corrective shoes for toddlers, let’s first make sure that you know your toddler’s exact foot size.
Find Out Your Toddler’s Foot Size
I always recommend parents take their toddlers to their local fitting children’s shoe store that they trust, the issue is that most fitting 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 showcases the best-fitting children’s shoe stores by state.
If after looking at that resource you still can’t seem to identify a shoe store in your area, then proceed to take a look at an article I created 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 length 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.
Now that you know how to figure out your toddler’s foot size from home, you are ready to take a look at a selection of the best corrective shoes for toddlers. 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 Corrective Shoes for Toddlers
Below you can find the best corrective shoes for toddlers. Most of the shoes below are made of natural materials such as 100% leather which ideally adapts to the toddler’s foot, without causing discomfort and skin irritation.
What Shoe Size Should You Order?
In each of the descriptions of the shoes, I indicate whether you need to order a half size or a whole size bigger than your toddler’s current foot size to provide the correct amount of growing room.
*A half a size bigger translates to 3/16 of an inch or 0.4 centimeters of space between your child’s longest toe and the end of the shoes.
*A whole size bigger translates to 3/8 of an inch or 0.8 centimeters of space between your child’s longest toe and the end of the shoes.
These are the 5 most important features that the corrective shoe I recommended above provide:
1️⃣ Firm Heel Counters: This feature helps strengthen, straighten, and support your toddler’s heels by keeping the foot in the right position.
2️⃣ Substantial Outsoles: This feature minimizes the impact that toddlers’ feet take every time they come in contact with the ground. This part of the shoe must also provide good traction to minimize the likelihood of your toddler slipping and falling.
3️⃣ Extra Depth: This shoe provides extra depth, which allows you to fit an orthotic in case your toddler needs extra support from the shoes.
4️⃣ Rounder Toe-Boxes: This feature prevents your toddler’s toes from rubbing against each other or the side of the shoes. It’s important to always allow the proper amount of room for your toddler’s toes to prevent discomfort and foot issues.
5️⃣ Lightweight and Flexible: While the shoes need to be supportive, they must be lightweight and flexible at the same time to prevent your toddler’s feet from easily getting tired.
If you try any of the shoe styles I recommended for 2 to 3 months and your toddler’s foot condition hasn’t improved, then I recommend that you try an orthotic inside the shoes.
Can Orthotics Help Treat and Prevent Your Toddler’s Foot Conditions?
Let’s start by clarifying what an orthotic is: Orthotics are shoe inserts that are specifically designed to offer cushioning, support, stability, and relief pressure areas of the foot.
The correct type of orthotics fitted in the correct type of shoes will help straighten and strengthen your toddler’s feet and legs, allowing them to walk and run straighter. If your toddler is experiencing foot or leg pain the orthotics will help significantly reduce or fully eliminate the pain.
Let’s take a look at a picture of a flat-footed child and notice how the feet collapse (turn inwards).
Now let’s take a picture of the same flat-footed child standing in a pair of orthotics. Do you notice how straighter the feet are?
The orthotics and the shoes work together in improving your toddler’s foot conditions whether your toddler is experiencing overpronation, rolled ankles, low muscle, knock knees, or tip toe walking.
The Best Orthotic for Toddlers
Below you can find the most effective toddler orthotics that I have fitted before. The main reason why I recommend this orthotic is that it 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 toddler’s foot and leg muscles to develop on their own while supporting them.
Don’t forget to remove the original insoles of your toddler’s shoes before placing this orthotic inside the shoes, otherwise, you will raise your toddler’s feet too much. The shoe style that I recommend above comes with a removable insole.
Allow your toddler a couple of days to get used to how the orthotics feel. Your toddler is not used to feeling a bump below his/her feet, so he might have a hard time adjusting to this orthotic at first.
Now that you know which are the best corrective shoes and orthotics for toddlers, you are ready to make the most informed decision.
Do not hesitate to contact me directly via email if you have any further questions or if you need a different pair of shoes for your toddler.
Have you found a particular pair of corrective shoes that have worked well for your toddler’s foot condition? Please share your findings in the comments section below so other parents can benefit from them.