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How to Figure Out if Your Child Has Flat Feet – The Best Shoes for Children with Flat Feet

Kids With Flat Feet

Children with flat feet that overpronate tend to experience foot, leg, hip and lower back pain. I get contacted by parents from all over the world asking me if I can help them determine if their children are flat footed or not.

I have been working for a specialized children’s shoe store for over 10 years now.  This experience has afforded me many insights into children’s shoes and the way they fit.  Our store specializes in shoes for children with foot and leg problems, but we provide regular shoe fittings as well. From my experience fitting thousands of kids, I have become familiar with the best shoe brands for children with flat feet and the best styles among those brands.

Did you know that the way that your child’s feet strike the ground has a significant effect on their body? When children are flat footed, they don’t have an arch below their feet to minimize the impact that the feet take when every time they touch the ground. This means that your children’s feet are not able to absorb the force of their bodies. The muscles and joints in their feet need to work harder to try to correct that imbalance. This often leads to issues in other parts of their body such as the knees, hip, and lower back.

Most parents of flat footed children are referred to the store by their physical/occupational therapists, to have their children fitted for supportive shoes and in certain cases orthotics as well, depending on their degree of pronation. We also see hundreds of families who come to the store and have no clue that their children are flat footed.

I want to help you identify whether your child is flat footed or not, since this is one of the most common reasons of why children experience foot and leg pain.

Keep in mind that it’s normal for most babies to be flat footed. As your baby starts growing up, you will notice how the arch starts to develop under the foot. Children can develop an arch until the age of 5, and this is because the feet go through an ossification process where the feet develop arch support and bone tissues for proper development of the feet. In some cases, the feet remain flat.

The biggest problem with being flat footed is how the feet collapse and roll inwards when standing. This throws the body out of proper alignment, leading to poor posture habits.

Overpronation occurs when your child’s feet roll inwards or outwards excessively, leading to foot, leg, hip, and back pain. Not all children that are flat footed experience overpronation, but most of them do. Whether your child has overpronation or not depends on how much their feet roll inwards.

For example, let’s take a look at how the feet of a flat footed child with overpronation strike the ground. Do you notice how the left foot is rolling inwards as it strikes the ground?


The shoes required for flat footed children need to provide a substantial sole and a firm heel counter, in order to prevent the feet from collapsing and reduce the impact on the child’s feet and legs. How much support the shoe needs to provide depends on what degree of pronation your child has. You will notice how all of the shoes that I recommend come with shoelaces instead of Velcro closure, since shoelaces provide better support and stability. If your child must wear a pair of shoes with Velcro closure, please contact me directly with your child’s shoe size (length and width), and I will send you specific Velcro shoe recommendations

I have put together a selection of images from flat footed children, which will help you identify whether your child is flat footed or not. How much your kids’ feet roll inwards will help us determine what type of shoes your child will need. In certain cases, children might be candidates for orthotics as well.

Let’s take a look at the images and describe what is happening in each one of them.

Mild Pronation: In this case the child’s feet are experiencing mild pronation and have a fully correctable position.  We can see how in this picture the child’s is reduced yet visible. We can also notice how the child has minimal heel eversion.

Kids With Flat Feet

In cases with mild pronation the child usually just needs a pair of supportive shoes to correct the condition.

Moderate Pronation: In this case we can see how the arch is so low that is almost coming in contact with the ground, and the child is also experiencing heel eversion.


In cases with mild pronation the child usually just needs a pair of supportive shoes to correct the condition.

Strong Pronation: In this case the child’s arch is not visible. The child’s heel is rolling inwards and the knees are almost touching one another. In addition to providing your child with supportive shoes, you will strongly have to consider investing in an orthotic as well.



These are all images from children experiencing a certain degree of pronation. When trying to figure out what degree of pronation your child has, you need to take a look at your child’s feet from behind barefoot. It’s always better if your child is not wearing socks, since this will help you take a better look at how much low your child’s arch us.

If after looking at these images you are still unsure on what degree of pronation your child has, you can email me a picture of your child’s feet and I will be able to clarify this for you:

Whichever degree of pronation your child has, you are going to have provide him/her with a pair of substantial and supportive shoes.

The 990V5 made by New Balance is the most effective shoe style when it comes to treating flat feet. There are 3 main reasons why I recommend this shoe style for flat footed children:

✅ Substantial Sole: This shoe style comes with one of the most supportive soles that provides good shock absorption. This sole will prevent your child’s feet from collapsing and keep your kids’ feet straight.


✅ Firm Heel Counter: This feature will provide ankle support to your child and support child’s heels in case your child is dealing with heel eversion or inversion. Here is where the heel counter of the shoe is located:


Certain shoes provide firmer heel counters, while some other come with soft and flimsy ones. Let me show you the difference between a shoe with a firm heel counter vs a shoe with a soft one:



✅ Lightweight and Flexible: While we want the shoes to be supportive, we want them to be lightweight and flexible at the same time in order to prevent your child’s feet and legs from easily getting tired. Your child’s shoes should be able to bend at the ball of the foot but no further:


If you can flex your kids’ shoes like a spiral, then it means that the shoes are too flexible and won’t provide good support to your child’s feet.


Let me show you why I believe the 990V5 is one of the best shoe styles to help treat and prevent overpronation.

Let’s take a look at the image below of a flat footed child without wearing shoes:


I asked the mother if she could send me another image of the same child wearing his current shoes, in order to check whether the shoes were supporting the child’s feet properly. Here is the image of the child wearing his sneakers. Do you notice how the shoes are trying to prevent the chid’s feet from rolling inwards but the feet are still collapsing and turning inwards?


I advised the mother of the child to provide him with a more supportive and substantial shoe style, to be more specific I asked her to try the 990V5 shoe style.  Here is an image of the same child wearing his new pair of shoes:


Do you notice how straighter the child’s feet look? The shoes are preventing the child’s feet from collapsing, which is improving the child’s overall posture.

As you can see, the type of shoes that you provide for your child play a key role in keeping your child’s feet healthy. Something so simple such as providing your child with the correct pair shoes can help treat and prevent most foot problems.

The correct type of shoes will allow your children to perform their everyday activities without pain. However, in order for your child to get the full benefits that the shoes have to offer, you are going to have to provide your child with the correct shoe size.

You might have a good fitting children’s shoe store in your area that you are not aware of, so start by taking a look at a map that I created where I describe the most specialized children’s shoe stores by state:

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

If after looking at that map you still can’t seem to locate a shoe store in your area, then proceed to taking a look at a video I created where I describe the simplest, yet most effective way to figure out your child’s foot size from home:

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

Now that you know what features your kids’ shoes must provide and how to figure out your child’s exact foot size from home, you are ready to take a look at the best shoes for kids with flat feet.

The Best Shoes for Kids with Flat Feet ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

The shoes below will help your child maintain a corrected foot position, distribute pressure evenly and provide support to the bottom of the feet and ankles.

Disclosure: Keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases.

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In order to allow for growing room, I highly recommend that parents order this shoe style a half a size larger than the size their children’s feet measure. This translates to 0.3 inches or 0.7 centimeters of space between your child’s longest toe and the end of the shoes.

Please make sure that your children tie their shoes properly, since if the shoelaces are not properly tied, your child won’t get as much support and stability from the shoes.

I hope this post is useful for you, feel free to share your experiences in the comments section below.


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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