Are you looking for a pair of shoes with ankle support for your child? Has your child been diagnosed with rolled ankles and overpronation?
I have been working at a specialized children’s shoe store for over 10 years now, and I handle approximately two hundred shoe fittings and try-ons per week. I have fitted hundreds of children’s shoes, and I am familiar with which shoe brands and which shoe styles are better than others.
We specialize in children with foot and leg problems, but we provide regular shoe fittings as well.
Is your child experiencing ankle pain? Has your physical or occupational therapist recommended supportive shoes with ankle support?
Ankle pain in children is more common than you think, but if left untreated it can lead to other issues such as foot, leg, and back pain and your child being less active and refusing to participate in sports and other activities.
I will be able to show you which shoes provide more ankle support than others, since the shoes play a key role in significantly reducing or fully eliminating the pain that your child is experiencing.
In order to HELP YOU identify which shoes provide better ankle support than others, you must get familiar with what the heel counter of the shoe is. The heel counter of the shoes is the part of the shoes that provides ankle support. If you don’t know where the heel counter is located, please take a look at the image below for clarification:
Now that you know what the heel counter of the shoe is, let’s take a look at how we can identify supportive shoes with ankle support.
When a family comes to the shoe store with a child that is experiencing ankle pain, I always START by checking the shoes that the child is currently wearing. I noticed that most of these children had one thing in common: They were all wearing shoes with soft heel counters.
Before you decide to take your child to the doctor to have his or her feet evaluated, I want to make sure that the shoes your child is wearing are providing the correct amount of support. Grab your kids’ shoes and press on the heel counter, does it feel firm or soft?
If you press on the heel counter and it bends and feels soft (like the image below), then you need to purchase a new pair of shoes for your child with a firm heel counter. Something so simple just as providing your child with a pair of shoes that provide a firm heel counter can STOP your kids’ ankle pain and save you a trip to your doctor.
Shoes that provide good ankle support come with a firm heel counter (see image below). Every time you press on the heel counter of the shoes it must feel firm.
Now that you know how to check if your kids’ shoes are providing good ankle support, you are ready to keep their feet and legs healthy.
If you checked your child’s shoes and the heel counter felt soft, keep on reading because I will provide you with the best selection of shoes that provide good ankle support. These shoe styles are all DEEP (meaning that you can fit an orthotic in case you have to) and they will be available in different widths such as medium, wide, and extra wide (meaning that they will fit the shape of your child’s feet no matter how wide they are).
IMPORTANT TIP: Shoes that come with shoelaces will always provide more ankle support than shoes that come with Velcro closure. The main reason for this is that shoelaces will hug and secure your kids’ heels better, allowing your child to get the full benefits from the shoes.
Only provide your child with shoes that come with shoelaces if you are positive that the shoes will remain tied.
Where Can you Find Shoes with Ankle Support for your Kids?
For the last three years, I have dedicated myself to helping families find their kids’ shoes ONLINE. However, I always recommend parents to take their children to their local 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 kids’ shoe store that they TRUST, so they must end up purchasing their kids’ shoes ONLINE. If you are one of these parents, you should FIRST take a look at an article I wrote where I describe the best children’s shoe stores in the United States:
If after reading that article you still can’t identify a children’s shoe store in your area, I suggest that you take a look at an article I wrote where I describe the simplest, yet most effective way to figure out your child’s foot size from home:
Did you know that your child won’t get any of the benefits that the shoes have to offer if you don’t provide them with the correct shoe size?
Shoes with Good Ankle Support – What Features Must They Provide
We already went over the most IMPORTANT feature which is for the shoes to provide a firm heel counter. However, there are other 3 important features that the shoes must provide in order to keep your kids’ feet and legs healthy:
- Lightweight and flexible: The shoes must provide good support, but they must be lightweight and flexible at the same time in order to prevent your children’s feet from easily getting tired.
- Breathable: This feature will prevent the formation and build-up of bacteria inside the shoes.
- Shoelaces instead of Velcro closure: I always recommend parents to provide their children with shoelaces instead of Velcro closure (specially the child is experiencing any sort of foot pain), since shoelaces will provide much more support by securing the heel area and providing maximum support.
Now that you know how to check if your kids’ shoes provide good ankle support, how to measure your kids’ foot size from home, and what features the shoes must provide in order to provide good support, you are ready to take a look at a selection of the best kids’ shoes with ankle support.
Here you can find a selection of the best shoes with ankle support for toddlers (ages 1 to 4):
All of these shoe styles fit “true to size”, which means that you need to get your child a “half a size longer” of the size that he or she measured in the Brannock device (standard foot measuring device) in order to allow for growing room.
Here you can find a selection of the best shoes with ankle support for older children (ages 4 to 12):
All of these shoe styles also fit “true to size”, which means that you need to get your child a “half a size longer” in order to allow for growing room.
The Best Heel Cups for Kids – STOP your Kids’ Ankle Pain!
If you try a pair of these supportive shoe styles and your child’s ankle pain still persists, then I will recommend that you try a heel cup inside your kids’ shoes, since they work wonders in reducing or completely eliminating your kids’ ankle pain.
I always recommend parents to try a pair of heel cups before trying an orthotic inside their kids’ shoes (this might be the most cost-efficient solution). I have found that heel cups are extremely effective in reducing or fully eliminating ankle pain.
There is a particular type of heel cup that I have fitted before and I know it’s the most effective one since it provides maximum shock absorbing protection to your child’s heels and I have fitted it several times before. This heel cup will minimize the impact that your kids’ feet take every time they come in contact with the ground.
Tuli’s Heel Cups are the #1 Podiatrist recommended Heel Cups in the world! You can find the heel cup I recommend here:
I provided you with a selection of the best shoes with ankle support and also what are the best heel cups in case the shoes don’t reduce or eliminate the pain.
Please remember that foot and leg pain in children is never normal, and it’s better to attack the problem at an early stage in order to reduce further complications as they get older.
Have you tried any of the particular shoe styles or the heel cup that I recommend? Please share your thoughts and experiences below so other parents can benefit from your experiences.