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How Can You Tell If Your Kids’ Shoes Provide Good Ankle Support? – Follow this Simple Step!


Editor’s Note: This post has been updated and revised for accuracy on April 2022 and reflects an up-to-date selection of shoes with good ankle support.

Are you looking for a pair of shoes that provides good ankle support for your child? Is your child experiencing heel pain and has been diagnosed with rolled ankles or overpronation?

My Experience Fitting Children’s Shoes

I have been working at a specialized children’s shoe store for over 10 years now, where we specialize in children with foot and leg problems, but we provide regular shoe fittings. I have fitted hundreds of children’s shoes, and I am familiar with which shoe brands and which shoe styles are better than others.


Have you taken your child to your physical or occupational therapist and they recommended a pair of supportive shoes with ankle support?

Ankle pain in children is more common than you think, and 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 always recommend parents to be proactive and don’t take the “wait and see approach” when it comes to treating their kids’ foot and leg conditions. This can only lead to your child’s foot condition getting worse.

I will be able to show you which shoes provide better ankle support than others, as the shoes play a key role in significantly reducing or fully eliminating the pain that your child is experiencing.

What Makes the Shoes I Recommend Effective for Ankle Support?

The shoes I recommend provide targeted support to the ankle and heel area of your kids’ feet. Let me show you the difference in support between one of the shoes I recommend and another shoe. The shoe on the right provides better padding and support below the heels.


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 of the shoe is located, please take a look at the image below for clarification:

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.

How Can You Tell If Your Kids’ Shoes Provide Good Ankle Support?

Before you decide to take your child to the doctor to have his or her feet evaluated, you should make sure that the shoes that your child is wearing provide 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 firmer heel counter. Something so simple such as providing your child with a pair of shoes that provide a firm heel counter can significantly reduce or fully eliminate your child’s heel pain.

Shoes that provide good ankle support come with a firm heel counter (image on the right). Every time you press on the heel counter of the shoes it must feel firm and not soft.


If you check your child’s shoes and the heel counter feels soft, keep on reading because I will provide you with a selection of the best kids’ shoes with ankle support. These shoes all provide extra depth — meaning that you can fit an orthotic inside the shoes — and they will be available in different widths such as medium, wide, and extra wide.

Please note that shoes that come with shoelaces always provide better ankle support than shoes that come with velcro closure. The main reason for this is that shoelaces are always more effective in hugging and securing your kids’ heels better, allowing your child to get the full benefits that the shoes have to offer.

Where Can you Find Shoes with Ankle Support for your Kids?

For the last 5 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 by state:

The Best Kids’ Shoe Stores In The United States – Where To Go For Proper Fittings

How to Retrieve Your Child’s Exact Foot Length and Shape

If after looking at that article you still can’t find a shoe store in your area then 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:

How To Measure Your Kids’ Shoe Size From Home – In Less Than 30 Seconds!

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.


Did you know that your children 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 – The 3 Most Important Features!

These are the 3 most important features that the shoes I describe below provide:

✅ Lightweight and Flexible: The shoes provide good support, but they must be lightweight and flexible at the same time to prevent your children’s feet from easily getting tired.

✅ Breathable: This feature helps 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 —especially if the child is experiencing any sort of foot pain— as shoelaces provide better support by securing and supporting the heel area.

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 your kids’ shoes must provide, you are ready to take a look at a selection of the best kids’ shoes with ankle support. Disclosure: Keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases.

Best Kids’ Shoes with Ankle Support ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Below you can find a selection of the best kids’ shoes with ankle support. All of these shoe styles are available in different widths such as medium (M), wide (W), and extra wide (XW) widths. 

What Shoe Size You Should 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.

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 persists, the next step is to try a heel cup inside your kids’ shoes, as they work wonders in reducing or completely eliminating your kids’ ankle pain.

I always recommend parents to try a pair of heel cups inside their kids’ shoes before trying an orthotic — as this is a more cost-effective solution — I have found that the correct type of heel cups are extremely effective in reducing or fully eliminating ankle pain.

There is a particular type of heel cup that is the most effective one for kids as it provides maximum shock-absorbing protection to your child’s heels. This heel cup helps minimize the impact that your kids’ feet take every time they become in contact with the ground.

Tuli’s Heel Cups are the #1 Podiatrist recommended Heel Cups in the world. Please find below the best heel cups for kids:

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.

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 fully eliminate the pain.

Please remember that foot and leg pain in children is never normal, and it’s better to treat the problem from an early stage to reduce further complications as they get older.

Are Any Other Shoe Choices Available?

Do not hesitate to contact me directly at my e-mail if you have any further questions or if you need a different pair of shoes for your child. My e-mail address is:


Have you tried any of the particular shoes or heel cups that I recommend? Please share your thoughts and experiences below so other parents can benefit from your experiences.


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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