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Heel Cups for Kids – How to Stop Heel Pain


Editor’s Note: This post has been updated and revised for accuracy on March 2022 and reflects an up-to-date selection of the best heel cups for kids.

I want to start by clarifying that foot and leg pain is never normal, and I always recommend parents to be proactive when it comes to treating their kids’ foot conditions to prevent the issue from getting worse. Stop ignoring your child’s heel pain – it is not normal and there are steps to take to reduce and eliminate the pain.

Has your child been complaining about heel pain and been diagnosed with Sever’s disease or plantar fasciitis? These are two of the most frequent causes of heel pain in children.

My Experience Fitting Children’s Shoes

I have been fitting working for a specialized children’s shoe store for the last 10 years, specializing in children with foot and leg problems, but we provide regular shoe fittings as well. Over the years I became familiar with the most effective ways to help treat and prevent heel pain.


The most effective method in treating and reducing your kids’ heel pain is using a heel cup. I have fitted several heel cups for children with heel pain, but there is one that has proven to be the most effective one.

What Makes the Heel Cups I Recommend Effective for Kids with Heel Pain?

☑️ The heel cup I recommend offers superior shock absorption, protects the heel, and prevents foot fatigue. 


☑️ The heel cup acts as a shock absorber for your child’s feet as it provides multi-layers of cushion as shown in the image below:


This is one of the most advanced shock-absorbing heel cups available today and will significantly reduce or fully eliminate your child’s heel pain.

Most children’s heel pain is caused by the repeated minor trauma that occurs when they are performing high-impact activities, such as running and jumping. Soccer, basketball, and gymnastics are some of the sports where children put a lot of stress on their feet and legs. This repeated trauma caused by your children’s feet impacting the floor, can be significantly reduced by wearing a pair of heel cups along with supportive shoes.

If the heel cups I recommend are paired up with a pair of supportive shoes your child’s heel pain will be significantly reduced or fully eliminated. Before I show you the best heel cups for kids, I want to first explain what is causing your child’s heel pain.

What Is Causing Your Child’s Heel Pain? – Let’s Find Out!

Children are always running and jumping, and some of them are involved in sports that require high-impact movements. Did you know that without treatment, heel pain associated with Sever’s Disease may last several years? Some parents tend to confuse the term plantar fasciitis and Sever’s disease.

Let me explain the difference so parents can understand it better and figure out which one of the two their child might be experiencing.

Plantar fasciitis is another common cause of heel pain in children, but the main difference with Sever’s disease is that children with plantar fasciitis generally experience the most pain at the beginning of an activity. The pain then starts dissipating and eventually will go away after 10-15 minutes. However, in Sever’s disease, the pain tends to increase with activity.

Other contributing factors of why children experience heel pain are believed to be due to excessive pronation and being overweight.

Sever’s disease, also known as calcaneal apophysitis, is by far the most common cause of heel pain in children. Sever’s disease is caused by muscle strain and repetitive stress on the foot, which can be reduced by wearing heel cups along with supportive shoes. It can be defined as an inflammation in the heel’s growth plate, an injury to a child’s foot that is still developing.

Young athletes and children who have problems with pronation such as flat feet are at the highest risk. Sever’s Disease usually occurs in children between the ages of 8 and 14, which is still the stage during which children’s bones are still growing and the growth plates have not ossified. Although it can affect both heels, it normally affects just one.

Sever’s disease tends to cause pain and tenderness along the heel when walking or standing, and the heel becomes painful when touched.


The Most Effective Way to Treat and Prevent Heel Pain

If your child is experiencing heel pain, I recommend a particular heel cup that has been helping children live a pain-free lifestyle.

The heel cups I recommend provide these 3 most important features:

✅ Every time the heel hits the ground, the impact is reduced by the larger and higher waffle pattern while the lower and denser waffle pattern reduces the “high pressure” and final force spike of each heel strike.

✅ Tuli’s Heavy Duty Heel Cups provide your child with immediate heel pain relief by cushioning the area where the pain is located.

✅ The extra cushion that this heel cup provides prevents and eliminates problems such as sore heels and shin splints, and helps your child maximize his/her athletic performance.

I only write reviews of shoes and heel cups that I have fitted before, so I can personally assess how well-made they are, the amount of support that they provide, and how well they fit. Without further ado, let’s take a look at the best heel cups for kids.

The Best Heel Cups for Kids ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Tuli’s Heel Cups are the #1 Podiatrist recommended heel cups in the world. Below you can find the best heel cups for kids that will help treat and prevent your child’s heel pain. Disclosure: Keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases.

What Heel Cup Size Should You Order?

Small Size – Fits from a little kid shoe size 10.5 to a big kid shoe size 6.

Regular Size – Fits big kid shoe size 6 and above.


This heel cup acts as a shock absorber for your children’s feet. I have fitted this heel cup in several different children’s shoes, and in most cases, the pain was significantly reduced or eliminated. I have tested several different heel cups, and nothing works better or lasts longer than Tuli’s Heel Cups. They are perfect for children who are involved in high-impact activities and sports.

Tuli’s Double-Ribbed Heavy Duty Heel Cups provide the following features:

  • Absorbs shock
  • Returns energy
  • Reduces pain
  • Enhances performance

In addition, if fitted in a good pair of supportive shoes, this heel cup will instantly relieve pain from:

  • Plantar fasciitis and heel pain
  • Heel spurs
  • Shin splints
  • Achilles tendonitis

Choosing the Correct Heel Cup Size for Your Child – Get it Right!

Small Size– Best for children under 80 lbs. Fits from a little kid shoe size 10.5 to a big kid shoe size 6.

Regular Size – Men’s shoe sizes 7 and under. Women’s shoe sizes 9 and under. (Weight up to 175 lbs.). Fits big kid shoe size 6 and above.

Large Size – Men’s shoe sizes 8 and up. Women’s shoe sizes 10 and up. (Weight over 175 lbs.)

Shoes for Heels Cups – Deep and Supportive!

For your children to get the full benefits that this heel cup has to offer you need to provide them with a pair of supportive shoes. The correct type of shoes will help reduce the impact and strain on the developing bone and muscle structure of kids’ feet.

The shoe must provide good cushioning in the footbed, shock absorption around the heel area, and support in the outsole.

Keep in mind that once you fit a heel cup in your kids’ shoes, it might raise your kids’ feet, giving them the impression that their feet are coming out of the shoes. To prevent this from happening, you need to provide your child with a pair of shoes that come with extra depth for the heel cup to fit deeply inside the shoes.

Below I show you a selection of the deepest and most supportive kids’ shoes for a child that is experiencing heel pain and needs a heel cup. These shoes are made from high-quality materials, with great arch and ankle support. Disclosure: Keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases.

Best Shoes to Fit Heel Cups ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Take a look at the description below each shoe to find out whether it can fit your child’s foot shape (medium, wide, extra wide).

What Shoe Size Should You Order?

In each of the descriptions of the shoes I indicate whether you need to order a half a size or a whole size bigger than your child’s foot size to provide the correct amount of growing room.

Are Any Other Shoe Choices Available?

If none of these shoes are available in your child’s shoe size or if you need the shoes to be made of a specific color don’t hesitate to email me at:


I recommend shoes that come with shoelaces since they provide better support and stability than velcro closure. I suggest that you read a different article I wrote that describes the best shoe lacing technique for children who wear orthotics or heel cups inside their shoes:

How to Tie Shoes with Orthotics – Stop Heel Slippage

If you are a woman who is experiencing heel pain, you should take a look at an article I wrote where I describe the best shoes for women with heel pain:

The Best Heel Cups for Heel Pain – The Most Effective Way to Stop Your Women’s Heel Pain

Once we eliminate the painful symptoms of Sever’s disease, it is important that you emphasize to your child the importance of stretching often, especially before and after vigorous exercise! You should also keep investing in supportive shoes.

Is your child suffering from heel pain? Have you tried this heel cup before? Please share your experiences below so other parents can benefit from them.


I created this webpage to help parents understand the importance that shoes have in healthy foot development and how they can prevent foot problems in the future.Join the rest of the parents who are taking care of their kids feet and get my guide for free: 10 Mistakes Parents Must Avoid When Buying Shoes for their Kids.

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24 Comments on Heel Cups for Kids – How to Stop Heel Pain

  1. Hi Juan, thank you for your post, it’s amazing how problems can be solved if you know how!
    My children have never had heel problems but I had when I was a little girl, and I steel do. I didn’t know about this heel protector.
    I think my main problem is the shock when I walk, and if the heel cup absorbs the shock it may be a solution for my problem. And you say that there is available for adults.
    Can you please tell me where can I buy the heel cup?

  2. My daughter is only 2 years old. I see that your article mentions kids between 8 and 14 years old are mostly the ones that complain about heel pain. I was wondering if you had any articles that relate to toddlers and any problems they may have with shoes, socks, or feet! Thanks in advanced!

  3. As a podiatrist I can definitely vouch that yes…Sever’s IS the MOST COMMON cause of heel pain in active kiddos!

    Great article educating the public on a quick remedy that often provides relief!

    Do you also recommend icing, stretches and a “break” from physical activity when you are treating Sever’s?

    Thanks again for sharing your knowledge! ((:

    • Dr. Baker,

      You can answer these questions better than me! Stretching probably is key when treating foot or leg pain. Sometimes proper stretching is all they need in order to reduce and eliminate the pain.

  4. Wow!

    Thank you for putting this post out there.

    I had never heard of this before and as my son is approaching 8 years old it is definitely something I am glad I came across. He has complained in the past of aching heels and the arch in his foot and I have assumed it was growing pains, so its nice to be aware of other possibilities.

    These heel cups look interesting and I think they would be very handy for active growing little feet. I got a pair for him!

    • Nae,

      You will definitely see a difference in your child feet and leg pain after wearing this heel cup. Please remember, he MUST be wearing a good supportive shoe, or he won’t get the full benefit of the heel cup. Good luck!

  5. Wow!

    Thank you for putting this post out there.

    I had never heard of this before and as my son is approaching 8 years old it is definitely something I am glad I came across. He has complained in the past of aching heels and the arch in his foot and I have assumed it was growing pains, so its nice to be aware of other possibilities.

    These heel cups look interesting and I think they would be very handy for active growing little feet. I got a pair for him!

    • Nae,

      You will definitely see a difference in your child feet and leg pain after wearing this heel cup. Please remember, he MUST be wearing a good supportive shoe, or he won’t get the full benefit of the heel cup. Good luck!

  6. Awesome article!

    As a podiatrist, I can vouch that yes…Sever’s IS the MOST COMMON CAUSE OF HEEL PAIN in active kiddos!!!

    Do you also recommend frequent icing, stretches and rest from physical activity for those that you treat with Sever’s!

    Thanks again for this awesome article educating the public! You will help MANY people! ((:

  7. You know, I developed some bad heel pain from a new pair of shoes that I bought and wore just a few times. It took a LONG time to heal too. I imagine that would be very bad for a child. And the way children are growing so fast, it make perfect sense that you would need to pay special attention to their shoes and feet. I was happy to learn that your heel cup comes in adult sizes, since I am going to use it for extra support. Thank you!

    • Jim,

      I have tested this product in children, not adults. They do come for adults, so I will be curios to see how it works out for your feet. As far as children concern, it has taken care of their heel and feet pain they were experiencing. Remember that you must wear the heel cup with a good supportive pair of shoes, in order for the heel cup to provide you with the support needed.

  8. Do you have any specific brand of soccer cleats that you have found work best with the Tuli heel cups? Size 10 in US shoe sizing. Thanks!

    • Hello Tim,

      There is a specific soccer shoe brand for kids that I have found works best to fit heel cups and it’s called Zephz. The main reason for this is that they make very deep cleats, allowing the heel cups to sit deeply inside the shoes and don’t raise the child’s feet up (giving him or her the impression that the shoe are coming off the heels).

      The main problem is that this shoe brand doesn’t make cleats as small as a size 10, since they start their selection from a size US12 and up.

      Another deep soccer cleat I have fitted for kids that comes in your son’s shoe size is the Nike Bravata. You can find an example here:

      Deep Soccer Cleats for Boys

      I hope this helps!

    • Hello Kathy,

      You didn’t specify whether you have a boy or a girl. The shoes need to provide a firm heel counter and fit in the narrower side.Shoelaces will provide better support than Velcro closure.

      Please find below my recommendations:

      Shoe with Heel Support and Narrow Fit: Option 1

      Shoe with Heel Support and Narrow Fit: Option 2

      Please let me know if you have any other questions.

  9. Thank you for your article. My daughter is seven, almost eight and has been told she has flexible flat feet. Today we are getting back from a day at the amusement park, and her heel is hurting so much that she does not want to stand. Same complaint on school days. It is not tender to touch. She is not really involved in any sports extensively. Is this something we should address with a heel cup, or are their shoes that you might recommend it? Yeah okay

    • Hi Samir,

      The heel cups and the shoes actually work together in reducing or fully eliminating heel pain. I recommend providing your daughter with a pair of the Tuli’s heel cups and supportive shoes. The shoes that I recommend to wear with heel cups are described in this article. Make sure that your daughter ties her shoes properly in order to get the full benefits of the heel cups.

    • Hi Ken,

      I hope you are well.

      Tuli’s is manufactured by Medi-Dyne Healthcare Products and has been for the last 20 years. They are still in business today and plan to continue for many years to come. Some of their distributors do change periodically and thus previous distributors could be relaying incorrect information. For additional information, I recommend contacting Medi-Dyne at 800-810-1740.

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