Do you have a child that is complaining about ankle pain? Did you know that an ankle sprain is a common injury in children? There are several methods and steps that you can take in order to minimize or fully eliminate your child’s ankle pain, but the most effective one and the one that will reduce the chances of your child spraining his/her ankle again is to provide your child with the correct pair of shoes.
I have been working for a specialized children’s shoe store for the last ten years, and I am familiar with the most common children’s foot problems. We are one of the few children’s shoe stores in the country that is certified to fit orthotics, so we need to carry the most supportive shoes to fit these orthotics.
If you noticed that your child’s ankles are swollen, then you must take action before the issue escalates. Just so we are in the same page, an ankle sprain can be defined as an injury in which the ligament in the ankle is stretched or torn.Your kids may have twisted their ankle playing sports or landed on their foot in a strange way to cause this injury.
Wearing the correct type of shoes can prevent this condition from happening and they are also the best treatment if the condition is already present. I believe that the type of shoes that you provide for your child play a key role in preventing ankle sprains. However, if you provide your child with the wrong pair of shoes, then they can be a contributing factor to the problem.
I know which shoe brands and which shoe styles provide more support than others, and I will HELP YOU find them.
Children are always running around and involved in high impact activities, so you need to provide them with shoes that provide good support, cushioning, traction, and protection from the punishing effects of hard surfaces. If your kids are involved in sports, then they are stressing their feet and legs at a whole different level.
I want to clarify that high-top shoes won’t provide more support than regular sneakers. The first and most important feature that we must find in your kids’ shoes is a firm heel counter. Do you know what the heel counter of the shoe is? It’s the back part of the shoe that provides ankle support and here you can see a picture for clarification:
We always want the heel counter of the shoe to be firm, since the firmer it is, the more support it will provide to your child’s ankles. A firm heel counter will also prevent your kids’ ankles to move too much inside the shoes. Let’s take a look at a picture that shows a shoe with a firm heel counter and another shoe with a soft heel counter:
In this article I will show you how to treat the sprained ankle by providing you with a selection of the best children’s shoes that come with a substantial sole and a firm heel counter.
Signs and Symptoms of an Ankle Sprain – Take Note!
If you notice that your child is having a hard time walking, mild to severe pain around the ankle area, or less movement in the ankle, then it’s very likely that your child has a sprained ankle.
Has your child been complaining about ankle pain? Pay close attention to any of these signs:
- Swelling and bruising around the front and side of the ankle.
- Tenderness around the areas of the bones.
- Little or no tenderness over the bony prominences.
There are a couple of simple methods that you can start taking at home as soon as your child has sprained his or her ankles:
- Rest the ankle for the first 24 hours.
- Put ice packs onto the swollen or sore area for 30 minutes every four hours for three days.
- Raise your kids’ ankle above the level of the heart to help reduce the swelling.
The Best Shoes to Treat and Prevent Ankle Sprains – The Features!
There are certain features that your kids’ shoes must provide in order to provide your child with good support around the arch and ankle area. The features that the shoe must provide are:
- Support: A shoe that provides the correct amount of support will minimize the impact that your kids’ feet take every time they come in contact with the ground. When children are running or jumping their feet take a beating, and in particular the ankles.
- Flexible and Lightweight: The shoes must be supportive but lightweight and flexible at the same time in order to prevent your kids’ feet and legs from easily getting tired.
- Firm heel counter: The shoes that you provide for your child must come with a firm heel counter in order to protect your kids’ ankles. A shoe that comes with a soft heel counter can be a direct contributing cause for a sprained ankle.
- Shoelaces vs Velcro: I always recommend parents to provide their children with shoelaces instead of Velcro closure, especially if you want to prevent sprained ankles. Shoelaces will hug your kids’ ankles and allow your child to get the full support from the shoes. They will also reduce any remaining gap between your kids’ feet and the shoes.
Can we find a pair of shoes for your child that provides all of these features?
Yes, we can! I have fitted shoes with all of those features before and I will show them to you shortly.
I want to expand a little more in the importance of tying your child’s shoes properly. There is actually a shoe tying method that if done correctly it will secure your kids’ ankles by pushing them against the back of the shoe and filling up any remaining gap around that area (this will also reduce ankle movement and prevent injuries). You can learn more about this shoe tying method in an article I wrote called:
Please keep in mind that the shoes must fit the shape of your child’s feet perfectly, which involves getting the correct shoe length and the correct shoe width. It’s extremely important for the shoes to not be too wide or loose around the ankles, since too much ankle movement can lead to injuries and foot issues.
This is the reason why I always recommend parents to take their kids to be properly fitted for shoes at their local shoe store, where a shoe fitter can properly measure their feet and find shoes that FIT. The issue is that most parents don’t have a local kids’ shoe store that they trust and must end up purchasing their kids’ shoes online.
There is nothing wrong with buying your kids’ shoes online as long as you know your exact kids’ shoe size (length and width).
Let’s first START by checking if you have a good fitting children’s shoe store in your area. You can do this by checking a map I created where I describe the best fitting children’s shoe stores by state:
If you don’t have a children’s shoe store in your area, then take a look at an article I wrote where I describe the simplest, yet most effective way to figure out your child’s foot size from home:
Now that you know what features the shoes must provide in order to keep your kids’ feet healthy and how to make sure that your child is wearing the correct shoe size, you are ready to see a selection of the best shoes for a child with a sprained ankle.
The Best Shoes for Sprained Ankles – The Secret revealed!
Please keep in mind that all of the shoes I recommend are shoe styles that I have fitted before and I have tested the quality and support that they provide. That is the only way for me to also tell how the shoe fits.
The thing is that shoes can run short, long, narrow, or wide, and depending on how they fit you will need to adjust the size that you provide for your child. For example: we always want to provide children with a half a size longer of the size that they measure in the shoe measuring scale in order to allow for growing room.
If your child measures a size 8 in the shoe measuring scale but the shoes fit “short” then you will need to provide your child with a whole size longer instead of a half a size longer (so you will provide your child with a size 9 instead of a 8½). But if the shoes fit “long” then you need to provide your child with the same size 8 (since the shoes already fit long).
Does this make sense to you?
Here you can find a selection of the best kids’ shoes to prevent and treat sprained ankles:
All of these boot styles fit “true to size”, which means that you need a half a size longer of the size that your child measures in the standard shoe measuring scale (Brannock Device) in order to allow for growing room.
Now that you know how to treat the sprained ankle you can keep your kids’ feet and legs healthy.
Do you have a child with a sprained ankle? Is there a particular shoe style that you have tried that has worked well for your child’s feet? Please share your thoughts and experiences below so other parents can benefit from your experiences.