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How to Tie Shoes for Heel Pain – The Most Effective Way!


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

Do you have a child who has been experiencing heel pain? Do you feel like you have tried several different shoes but the pain persists and intensifies when your child participates in high impact activities? Heel pain can be very painful, and might lead children to refuse to participate in activities that they used to enjoy.

I have been contacted by several parents explaining to me how they have tried everything that their doctor recommended, from wearing supportive shoes, orthotics, and heel cups, to using ice packs and stretching exercises, but their kids’ heel pain persists.

Certain shoes provide extra ankle and heel support, and they are extremely effective in helping treat a child’s heel pain.  However, I am always emphasizing to parents how if the child’s shoes are not tied properly or have too much extra space around the ankle area, your child won’t get the proper heel support that the shoes have to offer.

First of all, when children experience heel pain, I always recommend wearing shoes that come with shoelaces instead of another closure alternative such as velcro, since shoelaces are more effective in hugging the kids’ feet and securing the heels against the back of the shoes. This will allow your child to get the proper heel and ankle support, and also feel more stable when walking and running.

If your kids’ shoes are not tied properly, you will notice a lot of extra space around the heels. Look at the example below:

I have helped hundreds of children with heel pain find the correct pair of shoes to significantly reduce or fully eliminate heel pain. I am confident that I can help reduce or fully eliminate your child’s heel pain as well, as long as you provide your child with the correct shoe style, the correct shoe size, and try to implement the particular shoe tying technique that I will recommend shortly.

For this shoe tying method technique to work, we need to make sure that your child is wearing shoes that are supportive and provide a firm heel counter. We can simply check this by pressing on the heel counter of the shoes. Always make sure that the heel counter of the shoe feels firm instead of soft. The firmer the heel counter is, the better heel support that it provides. Take a look at the image below to visualize what I mean.


Now that I clarified those points, let me show you which is the most effective shoe tying technique for children who are experiencing heel pain.

How to Tie Shoes for Heel Pain – Follow These 3 Simple Steps!

✅ Start by lacing your kids’ shoes as you would normally do but leave the first top two holes (eyelets) of the shoes unlaced.

✅ Loop the lace through the top hole first as shown in the image below.

✅ Loop the lace through the hole that we left open and make sure you tie them properly.

Take a look at your child’s feet from behind and you will notice how the heels look tighter and more secure.

I have found this shoe tying method to be the most effective one since it pushes the feet back, secures the heels against the back of the shoes and allows children to get the full support from the shoes.

Please remember that this shoe lacing technique will only be effective as long as your child is wearing supportive shoes with firm heel counters.

The idea is to tie your kids’ shoes so they are tight enough to cushion and support your child’s heels, without being so tight that they feel uncomfortable.

This technique is also extremely effective for children who wear orthotics or heel cups inside the shoes. The issue with fitting an orthotic or a heel cup inside your kids’ shoes is how it usually raises the feet, giving the child the impression that the feet are coming out of the shoes.

One common concern parents seem to have is how their kids’ shoelaces keep coming untie all the time. I recommend staying away from flat shoelaces, since they tend to become untied pretty quickly:


What Kind of Shoelaces Stay Tied?

There is a particular shoelace made by New Balance that I have found that stays tied better than regular shoelaces. I called them the “bumpy shoelaces” since they come with bumps all along the shoelace. This type of shoelace tends to stay tied better than any other type of shoelace.

Most children don’t learn how to tie their shoes until they reach the age of 5 or above, since they lack the fine motor skills and coordination. In my experience, most girls tend to start learning how to tie their shoes when they reach the age of 6, while most boys start learning how to tie their shoes when they reach the age of 7 or older.

Some parents have told me how they have tried all different types of shoes, heel cups, and orthotics, and that their kids’ heel pain persists and intensifies with activity. You need to keep in mind that not all shoes, heel cups, and orthotics are made the same way, and some of them are going to be more effective than others when it comes to treating your child’s heel pain.

Resources for Children with Heel Pain

I have written several articles on the best shoes, heel cups, and orthotics for children with heel pain. I am going to leave you with the most popular ones below so you can make the most informed decisions.

The Best Kids’ Shoes for Heel Pain – Shoes That Will Help Treat and Prevent Heel Pain!

Heel Cups for Shoes – How to Stop Heel Pain!

Best Sandals for Heel Pain – Let’s Treat Your Child’s Heel Pain During the Summer!

Do not hesitate to contact me directly to my e-mail if you have any further questions or if you need a different pair of shoes to help treat your child’s heel pain. My e-mail address is: fittingchildrensshoes@gmail.com

Have you found a particular shoe style, heel cup, or orthotic that has been effective in treating your child’s heel pain? Please share your findings 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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