How to Take Shoes Off – Stop Your Child from Yanking His 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 support and stability that the shoes have to offer. Children who wear orthotics can strongly benefit from taking their shoes off properly, so let me show you how to take shoes off to preserve the support of 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. In addition, the heel counter of the shoes will also start getting softer and your child won’t get as much heel support from the shoes.

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.

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 part of the shoe provides your child with ankle support and prevents ankle sprains. It also helps your child with his or her lateral movements.

Where is the Heel Counter of the Shoe Located?

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 that 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.

What Shoes Are Easier to Take On and Off?

Some shoes come with oversized openings which makes it easier for children to get their shoes on and off. I am also going to show you a list of shoes that 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.

Below you can find a selection of the easiest shoes for kids to put on and take off. The shoes below can fit children with medium (M), wide (W) or extra wide feet (XW) —as long as you choose the shoe width accordingly. Disclosure: Some links in this post may be affiliate links and we may receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you) when you click our links and make purchases.

The Easiest Shoes to Put On and Take Off

Would You Rather Get Specific Shoe Recommendations Based on Your Child’s Foot Shape?

If you tell me your child’s foot shape (narrow, medium, wide, extra wide) and the country that you are contacting me from I can provide you with specific shoe recommendations. You can contact me via email:

[email protected]

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.