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How to Take Shoes Off – Stop Your Child from Yanking His Shoes Off!


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

Are your children always yanking their shoes off instead of taking them off properly? Please keep in mind that this might end up wearing down the shoes faster and your child will also not get the full benefits that the shoes have to offer. The heel counter of the shoes will also start getting softer and your child won’t get as much heel support from the shoes.

It doesn’t matter how supportive and well-made your kids’ shoes are, if your children keep yanking their shoes off without undoing the velcro closure or the shoelaces, the shoes will wear down faster.

How many times have you asked your children to take their shoes off properly by undoing the velcro straps or the shoelaces? I know it must be frustrating to keep reminding them but this is important, especially if your child has foot issues and wears orthotics inside the shoes.

My Experience Fitting Children’s Shoes

I have been working for a specialized children’s shoe store for over 10 years now that focuses in helping children with foot and leg problems, but we provide regular shoe fittings as well. We carry some of the most supportive children’s shoes and orthotics, and I am familiar with which shoe brands and which shoe styles are better than others.


The heel counter of the shoe plays a key role in keeping your kids’ feet and legs healthy. Why is the heel counter of the shoes so important? This is the part of the shoes that provide your child with ankle support and prevents ankle sprains. It also helps your child with his or her lateral movements.

You can imagine this is particularly important for children who are involved in sports such as tennis, basketball, or football since all of these sports require a great deal of lateral movement. The firmer the heel counter of the shoe is the better support and protection that it provides:


When children don’t take their shoes off properly, the shoes start getting all stretched out and the amount of ankle support becomes minimal to non-existent.

When the heel counter of the shoe starts getting softer, the child begins walking and running in a shoe that provides no ankle or heel support. The child might start complaining about pain, and this ends up stressing the parents out and taking the child to a physical therapist to have their feet and legs checked, when truly all the child needed was to take proper care of the shoes.

If your kids keep yanking their shoes off, get ready to start replacing their shoes every 2 to 3 months. Let me prove it to you!

The image below shows how the heel counter of the shoe on the right got stretched out because the child kept yanking the shoes off without undoing the velcro strap. The shoe on the left is how the shoe looked when it was brand new, and the shoe on the right is how the shoe looks after being worn for only 2 months. You can tell how the heel of the shoe got all stretched out, and the marks you see on the side of the shoe are from the child using his opposite foot to yank the shoes off.


When I am working at the shoe store, I always try to explain to kids how taking their shoes off correctly is a matter of making it a good habit. Once children start taking the shoes off properly, they won’t even have to think about it doing it the right way anymore.

There are certain kids’ shoes that open up widely and are easier to put on and take off, which might prevent your child from yanking the shoes off all the time. I will show you a selection of these shoe styles shortly, but first, let’s find out why it’s particularly important for kids to take their shoes off properly when they wear orthotics.

Does Your Child Wear Orthotics? – Let’s Take the Shoes Off Properly!

At the children’s shoe store that I work for, we carry all sorts of different types of orthotics for different types of foot issues. For most parents, buying an orthotic for their children is an investment they are willing to make, since they are taking proper care of their kids’ feet and legs, and avoiding future back and leg problems. However, orthotics are not cheap, and they can range anywhere from 50 to 150 dollars.

I always explain to parents how if their children are not going to take the shoes off properly, they might as well not invest in a pair of orthotics. If the shoes get stretched out, your child will simply not get any of the benefits that the orthotics have to offer.

The orthotics and the shoes always work together in trying to support and protect your children’s feet and legs. If the shoes are not supportive, it defeats the whole purpose of wearing an orthotic.

Common Signs That Your Child is Not Taking the Shoes Off Properly

Take a look at the way the shoe below has been worn down. Some parents will come to the store complaining about the wear of the shoe, when actually it has nothing to do with the shoe wearing down quickly from regular wear. This is actually a sign that the child has been using their opposite foot to take the shoes off. That particular spot is generally where they use their opposite foot to yank the shoes off.


The shoes I describe below are easy to take off and put on because they come with a well padded heel counter that won’t fit too snugly around your kids’ heels, allowing them to easily remove the shoes without having to pull them off. Disclosure: Keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases.

The Easiest Shoes to Put On and Take Off ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Below you can find a selection of the easiest shoes for kids to put on and take off. The shoes below will fit a child that has medium (M), wide (W) or extra wide feet (XW) —as long as you choose the show width accordingly.

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:


Do your kids take their shoes off without undoing the velcro strap or untying the shoelaces? Are their shoes all stretched out from not undoing the velcro or the shoelaces? Please share your thoughts and 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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12 Comments on How to Take Shoes Off – Stop Your Child from Yanking His Shoes Off!

  1. My 6 year old boy and 3 year old girl both wear Nike shoes. They wear out fast and I thought they were just hard on their shoes (technically they are).

    I had no idea taking them off properly was most likely the main culprit of the wear and tear. They are both Nike shoes as well. I will now have to consider a new brand and start making sure they understand the importance to taking their time when removing their shoes. Thank you for sharing this!

  2. I loved your article.

    My kids never undo their shoe laces or undo their velcro. Is it like a habit they are born with because they all seem to do it.
    Seriously is it really that hard? I tell them all the time they ruining their shoes and taking away any support from the feet but they till don’t listen.

    I buy them really good shoes too.

    Anyway, great article and will look into more of what you have to offer.
    Thanks for a great read

  3. Wow! I don’t have children, but I have many nieces and nephews that need to see this! I had no idea (although it makes GREAT sense!) that not taking shoes off properly would do such a thing. Kids definitely need good supportive shoes, as active as they are. I also had no idea that brands such as Nike and Under Armour offered so little support. What a great read, I will definitely pass your site along to my sister!

    • Hello Jen,

      I am glad you found the post informative. Help me spread the word! Several parents associate Nike and Under Armour shoes with quality shoes, but this is far from the true. Their shoes ar more fashion oriented than anything else. The structure and support of their shoes is awful, but as kids’ start getting older, they start sking for the more popular brands!

  4. This is a very in depth article you come across as very passionate about this subject. I agree with you that most children seem to do this with their shoes, I know my 2 children did! I am sure many people will find your article very interesting and helpful. I completely agree with you that the durability of the shoes are greatly reduced by taking the shoes off this way!

    • Hello Marie,

      I don’t know what it is but most children love yanking their shoes off! For some parents it is a lost battle. I am glad you enjoyed reading the article!

  5. You are very knowledgable! I had no idea about the negative impact of not taking your shoes off properly!

    I told my son to start taking care of his shoes! He is always asking to get Nike shoes, and I always thought Nike shoes where the best type! I guess it was all their marketing efforts! I definitely won’t be buying them for anyone in my family again. Thank you for the information!

  6. Wow, I didn’t realize that the right kind of shoe support was even an issue for children! I have a 1-year-old and a 3-year-old and I haven’t come across this problem of taking their own shoes off the right way but now I feel like I have the advantage because I can teach them this from the beginning and hopefully avoid this bad habit altogether! Now if only I could get myself out of this bad habit too haha!

    Do you know where I can get cheap women shoes online? I will start running soon and I want a good supportive pair! Do you know anything about women running shoes? Thanks in advance!

    • Hello Laura,

      It is important that you show them how to take their shoes off the correct way since they are young so they can start making it a good habit.I actually have fitted hundreds of mother’s that come to the kids’ shoe store where I work in kids’ shoes.

      Did you know that f you wear a women shoe size 8 1/2 or smaller you can wear children’s shoes? You will get the same support and structure than the womens’ version, but you will pay half of the price! I can’t explain it here, but you can read a post I wrote where I describe how the shoe translation works between women and kids:

      Women Aad Kids Shoe Size Conversion – Save Big Buying Kids’ Shoes!

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