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How to Fit Orthotics in Shoes – Learn the Most Effective Method Here!


Editor’s Note: This post has been updated and revised for accuracy on April 2022 and reflects up-to-date information on how to fit orthotics in shoes.

Has your child been diagnosed with flat feet, overpronation, or rolled ankles? Has your physical or occupational therapist recommended that your child wears a pair of orthotics inside the shoes? Let me show you the most effective way of how to fit orthotics in shoes.

There are only a few shoes that are compatible with your children’s orthotics and if you don’t choose the correct type of shoe you will decrease the efficiency of the orthotics. The shoes are the ones that connect the orthotic to the ground and if the shoe doesn’t offer the correct type of structure and support, the orthotics will not benefit your child as they are intended.

My Experience Fitting Children’s Shoes and Orthotics

I have worked at a children’s shoe store for 10 years fitting shoes and orthotics, and we specialize in children with foot and leg problems, but we provide regular shoe fittings as well. Over the years I became familiar with the best shoes for orthotics and the most effective way to fit orthotics inside shoes.


If you need to fit a pair of orthotics inside your kids’ shoes, I will show you exactly how to do it.

What I have learned through my years of fitting children’s shoes is that the type of shoes that fit best with an orthotic are the ones that provide 2 features:

Extra Depth: Shoes that provide extra depth allow the orthotic to fit deeply inside the shoes and help prevent the top part of your child’s feet (instep) from rubbing against the top part of the shoes.


Rounder Toe-Boxes: Shoes with rounder toe-boxes help prevent the orthotic from poking a hole against the side or front part of the shoes.


Never buy larger shoes to accommodate the orthotic inside the shoes, as this will only end up compromising your child’s stability and leading to foot issues.

Let’s start by making sure that you have the correct type of shoes to fit your child’s orthotics:

Deep Shoes for Orthotics – The Best Kids’ Shoes for Orthotics

If you already have the correct type of shoes and orthotics, let me show you which steps you need to take to make sure your child’s orthotics are fitting correctly inside your kids’ shoes.

How to Fit Orthotics in Shoes – Follow These 4 Simple Steps

☑️ First Step: Remove the Original Insoles

The first step before you fit the orthotics inside the shoe is to remove the original insoles of the shoes:


This is a very important step because if you leave the original insoles inside the shoes you will end up raising your kids’ feet and they might rub against the top of the shoe. This will lead to discomfort as well as foot issues such as blisters, calluses, and corns.

☑️ Second Step: Make Sure the Orthotic Length Matches the Insole Length

The second step is to check if the length of the orthotic matches perfectly with the length of the shoe. If the orthotic is too large, you can trim the orthotic at the “toe end” with a pair of scissors. I always recommend using the existing insole of the shoe as a template.


☑️ Third Step: Open the Shoe Widely

The third step is to open the shoe widely to get it ready to insert the orthotic inside the shoe. The wider the shoe opens up the better, as it will make the whole process of inserting the orthotic inside the shoes less time-consuming. Take a look at the picture below for clarification:


☑️ Fourth Step: Place the Orthotic Inside Your Kids’ Shoes

The fourth and final step is to insert the orthotic inside the shoe and make sure that it’s sitting properly inside the shoe. Start by sliding your hand into the front of your kids’ shoe and feel the length and width of the orthotic in comparison to the shoe. The orthotic should lie flat on the base of your kids’ shoe and not tilt up either side or bunch up inside the shoe.

Check if the orthotic is sitting properly inside of the shoe and not bunching up. Let me show you the difference between an orthotic that is fitting properly inside the shoes and one that doesn’t. Do you notice how the orthotic is fitting a lot deeper in the New Balance sneaker (image on the bottom) compared to the Saucony sneaker (top image)?


If you follow these 4 easy steps you will be able to fit the orthotic inside your kids’ shoes easily!

Certain orthotics take more space than others, as some will have a lower profile while some will be thick and take a lot of space inside the shoe. This is the main reason why shoes are available in different widths such as medium (M), wide (W), and extra wide (XW).

In my experience, most of the time a child needs a pair of orthotics to be fitted inside the shoes I end up needing a wide or an extra wide shoe. Certain shoes have wider toe boxes than others, and I have learned this from actually having fitted the shoes before.

If you already have a pair of shoes to fit the orthotic that’s great, but if you don’t take a look at a selection of the best shoes that fit orthotics. Disclosure: Keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases.

Best Shoes that Fit Orthotics ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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.

Since orthotics take extra space inside the shoes you might need to order a whole size larger which 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.

Most of my shoe recommendations are made by the shoe company New Balance. Did you know that New Balance shoes are the most recommended by podiatrists for custom orthotic inserts? The main reason for this is that they offer some of the most supportive children’s sneakers. New Balance also makes the deepest shoes that are available in different widths such as medium, wide, and extra wide.

If your child starts complaining that the orthotic is making his or her heels slip in the shoes, please do not feel that you need to buy a smaller shoe size. If you chose a shoe that comes with shoelaces – this is what I recommend over velcro closure, there are a variety of different lacing techniques that will help minimize heel slippage and make your kids’ shoes and the orthotics fit and feel entirely much better. I describe this shoe lacing technique in an article I wrote called:

How to Tie Shoes with Orthotics – Stop Heel Slippage

Please keep in mind that if you don’t provide your child with the correct shoe size, your child won’t get any of the benefits that the shoes and the orthotics have to offer. This is the main reason why I always recommend parents to take their children to be properly fitted for shoes at their local children’s shoe store.

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

If you don’t have a local children’s shoe store and you must get your kids’ shoes online, start by reading an article I wrote where I describe the simplest, yet most effective way to make sure your children’s shoes fit: 

How to Measure Your Kids’ Foot – 2 Simple Steps to Determine Foot Length and Foot Width

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.

Now that you know how to fit an orthotic inside a pair of shoes and how to make sure you provide your child with the correct shoe size, you can keep your kids’ feet and legs healthy.

If you need any other type of shoes such as dress shoes, summer sandals, winter boots, or sport shoes, you can find them all in a tool I created which lets you filter by the type of shoes you need. This tool is extremely effective since it will show you shoes in different widths such as narrow, medium, wide, and extra wide. I also tell you exactly how each shoe style fits (short, long, narrow, or wide) and will let you filter by the instep of your child’s foot. You can even find shoes that will accommodate an orthotic. Go to the link below:

Find the Best Shoe Style for Your Child’s Unique Feet

Are Any Other Shoe Choices Available?

If there is a particular shoe style that you have been trying to fit your children’s orthotic but can’t seem to make it work, please don’t hesitate to contact me and I will help you find a workaround or another shoe style that will actually fit the orthotics:



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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Shoe Sizing Chart

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