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How to Tie Shoes with Orthotics – Stop Heel Slippage


Did you know that the way that you tie your kid’s shoelaces has a direct impact on determining the benefits that they will get from the shoes and the orthotics that they wear? Tying your kids’ shoes properly is the only way to make sure that your child gets the full support and stability that the shoes and orthotics have to offer. Let me show you how to tie shoes with orthotics.

When parents decide to invest in a pair of orthotics for their children, they are making a wise investment. However, if the shoes are not tied properly, children will not get the full benefits of the orthotics.

My Experience Fitting Children’s Shoes and Orthotics

Orthotics usually take up a lot of extra space inside of the shoes, which can give children the impression that their feet are coming out of the shoes since the orthotics are raising your feet. This can create a great deal of discomfort, to the point that they might want to stop wearing them.

I have worked for a specialized children’s shoe store for over 10 years, and my co-worker who has over 30 years of shoe fitting experience taught me the best way to tie shoes for children who wear orthotics. This shoe lacing technique will push your kids’ feet back and secure them against the back of the shoe, preventing heel movement and heel slipping.

How to Tie Shoes with Orthotics – Follow These 3 Simple Steps

There is one shoe tying method that I call “reverse the shoelaces technique” which works best for children or adults who wear any sort of shoe insert or orthotic inside their shoes.

This is the most effective way to tie shoes with orthotics, and I have tried it on several children’s shoes and I apply this method to my shoes as well. Below are the 3 steps to follow for the “reverse the shoelaces technique”:

1️⃣ Start with leaving the two eyelets (shoe holes) of the shoe open.

2️⃣ Go through the top hole first.

3️⃣ Go through the holes that you left open.

If your child is wearing a pair of sneakers with shoelaces —which I always recommend if the child has to wear an orthotic— then I recommend you try this shoe lacing technique since it will also make your child feel more comfortable and stable.

Most people are not aware of what the extra eyelets (shoe holes) at the top of the shoe are for, and they do not take advantage of the many benefits that using them can provide. The “reverse the laces” technique prevents heel slippage by making the shoe fit more securely around your kid’s ankle

Important Tip: Please explain the importance to your kids of undoing the shoelaces or the velcro strap of the shoes every time they take the shoes off. This will keep the shoes in the best shape possible, especially the heel counter which is the back part of the shoe that offers ankle support.

Properly Tying Your Kids’ Shoes Might Help Prevent Injuries!

When you tie your children’s shoelaces properly, you are just not preventing falls and injuries, you are also providing your children with more support and stability. This will allow your kids to run and play with confidence. Implement the “reverse the laces technique” has many benefits such as:

1️⃣ It makes the shoes feel tighter around the ankle and your child won’t feel like the feet are coming out of the shoes.

2️⃣ It prevents blisters by keeping the feet from moving when walking or running —reducing friction between your kid’s foot and the shoe.

3️⃣ It prevents injuries by providing your child with better support and stability.

Wearing a pair of shoes with shoelaces allows you to control the pressure that you put on your foot better than shoes that come with velcro straps or toggle laces. Lace up shoes offer more options and adjustments, which provides a customized fit.

The Best Shoelaces for Kids ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

These shoelaces are great because they are durable and your child won’t have to worry about having them become untied all the time.

Many shoe styles don’t come with shoelaces that are long enough for your child to be able to tie them properly and allow your child to double-knot them. The shoelaces need to be long enough, especially when your child is learning how to tie his/her shoes. However, we don’t want them to be too long that they will make your child step on them and fall.

To get the correct shoelace length for your child, you need to count how many eyelets (shoe holes) there are in your kids’ shoes. If you need assistance in figuring out the right shoelace length for your child’s shoes, take a look at the picture below to find out what shoe length your child needs:


Is Your Child Having a Hard Time Learning How to Tie His/Her Shoes?

Nowadays there are a lot of velcro shoe options, and I believe this is the main reason why children are learning how to tie their shoes at an older age. While girls start tying their shoes between the ages of 5 and 6, most boys start learning how to tie their shoes at age 7.

If you are having a hard time teaching your child how to tie his or her shoes, I wrote a post where I describe the simplest, yet most effective method for them to learn. Go to the link below:

How to Teach a Child to Tie His Shoes – Follow These Easy Steps

The Importance of Getting the Right Shoe!

If your child is wearing a pair of orthotics in a pair of non-supportive shoes, your child won’t get any of the benefits that the orthotics have to offer. The shoes that you provide for your child need to be substantial and supportive enough to hold the orthotic in place. Don’t invest in an orthotic assuming that it will solve all of your kid’s foot problems. If you invest in an orthotic, you must invest in a pair of good supportive shoes as well.

What are the Best Shoes for Kids Who Wear Orthotics?

I have put together a selection of the best shoes for kids who wear orthotics. Go to the link below:

The Best Kids’ Shoes for Orthotics – Supportive and Comfortable Shoes

Have you tried this shoe lacing technique before? Is there any other shoe lacing technique that you can recommend for a child who wears orthotics? Share your findings in the comment section 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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14 Comments on How to Tie Shoes with Orthotics – Stop Heel Slippage

  1. I think that remembering that orthotics and shoes work together are a great point. It seems like it can be easy to forget this. It also sounds like a simple tip to remember but it can make a big difference.

  2. It is so good to read a helpful post about how to tie shoe lace with orthotics. Reverse the laces techniques is something new for me. I would like to try this. Have you considered posting a video which demonstrates this. I think your 3 steps helps. I think this is important especially for parents when tying the laces of their children.

    • I love the “reverse the laces technique”. I use it when I am on the treadmill, playing soccer, or when I have had a long day at work and my feet hurt. It works wonders for children who have orthotics. I will provide parents with a video shortly!

  3. Wow! I never would have thought that just the way you tie your shoes would make a difference. Also never heard of the reverse tying technique, but it sounds very effective. Sounds like you are giving good advice here, especially with orthotics. Helping kids is always important. Great post! Wish you good luck!

    • Kevin,

      The way we tie our shoes makes all the difference. If your children are wearing their shoes too loose, then they are not getting all the support and stability from the shoes AND from the orthotics. The “reverse the laces” technique is the most effective way of tying shoes I have ever tried. I enjoy working with kids, and the fact that I am able to make a difference, it means a lot to me.

  4. I am so glad that you brought light to the importance of using those ankle eyelets!!! Sooo very important for those growing feet!

    You are doing a fabulous job informing the online world of little “tricks” that can benefit their youngsters feet for the rest of their lives!

    Thank you!

    • Dr. Baker,

      That is the purpose of the website. Inform parents so they can make the most informative decision when taking care of their children feet.

  5. This is very informative article. My sisters daughter have to wear one of those special shoes as her foot is flat and if not treated it can bring many health problems to her in the future. Thank you for this info, I will forward your website to my sister to learn more. 🙂

    • Lenka,

      I believe she will benefit from it. A shoe needs to be properly tied in order to get the full support of the orthotic and the shoe.

  6. This was a helpful article because both of my kids need orthotics, only on one foot, but still. My son plays football so I need his orthotics to stay in place or his ankles and knees will get aggravated. I will definitely follow your article. I must say that I never knew about the reverse laces until now. Very neat!

    • Atar,

      You will see what a difference that lacing technique makes! is your child wearing the orthotics in only one foot for a particular reason? The only time I have seen this happened is when there is a height discrepancy between the legs.

  7. I had no idea that the way you tied your shoes made such a big difference in the way your foot sits in the shoe. If you’re wearing orthotics, I can see how this would be important, but I’ve never actually thought about it before. I suppose the more you know, the better off you’ll be, so thanks for sharing.

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