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Is your Toddler Complaining About Foot Pain? – The Proven Method to Reduce or Fully Eliminate your Toddler’s Foot Pain!


Editor’s Note: This post has been updated and revised for accuracy on February 2022 and reflects up-to-date shoe and orthotic recommendations for toddlers with foot pain.

Is your toddler complaining about foot pain? Did you know that foot pain in toddlers is mostly related to the shoes that they wear and how they fit? Toddlers are affected by many of the same foot conditions that adults are, including flat feet, heel pain, overpronation, and ingrown toenails.

My Experience Fitting Children’s Shoes

I have been working for a specialized children’s shoe store for the last 10 years, where we focus in helping children with foot and leg problems, but we provide regular shoe fittings as well. I have helped children with common foot conditions such as flat feet, rolled ankles, low muscle tone, and overpronation find the correct pair of shoes to prevent and help treat the condition.


I will show you a selection of the best toddler shoes that have proven to reduce or completely eliminate foot pain. These are not orthopedic shoes, they are everyday sneakers that provide better support to targeted areas of your toddler’s feet.

The correct pair of shoes can make a tremendous difference in the way your toddler walks and runs, and they also help improve your toddler’s overall posture.

Don’t take my word for it, let me prove it to you!

What a Difference the Correct Pair of Shoes Can Make!

Let’s say you have a toddler that is flat-footed and is dealing with overpronation as well as foot and leg pain. When children have flat feet, their feet collapse, and this leads them to put pressure on parts of their bodies where they are not supposed to.

Below is a picture of a flat-footed toddler standing barefoot. Do you notice how the toddler’s feet are collapsing and turning inwards?

Before Image


Now let’s take a look at another picture of the same toddler wearing a pair of supportive shoes. Do you notice how much straighter his feet are?

After Image


What a difference the correct pair of shoes can make!

What Makes the Shoes I Recommend Effective for Treating Foot Pain?

When parents bring their children to the store complaining about foot pain the first step I take is to start by checking the shoes that they are wearing. Let me show you another example of why shoes can be a contributing cause of your toddler’s foot pain.

Do you know what the heel counter of the shoes is? The heel counter is the back part of the shoes that provides ankle support. Certain shoes provide a firm heel counter while others provide heel counters that are too soft and too flimsy. Below is a picture of where the heel counter of the shoe is located:

From now on, before you buy your toddler a pair of shoes, I want you to always press on the heel counter and make sure that it feels firm. Take a look at the image below for clarification purposes:


As you can see certain shoes will help protect and support your toddler’s feet better than others, and I am here to help you find them.

Before l provide you with a selection of the best shoes for toddlers with foot pain, I want to first show you the 4 most common areas in which toddlers experience foot pain:

  • Pain around the heel area.
  • Pain in the bottom of the foot (arch pain).
  • Pain in the toes (blisters, calluses, or corns).
  • Pain in the top of the foot (high instep).

While some of these conditions are hereditary, most toddlers experience these conditions from not wearing the correct type of shoes. Let me expand on this…

  • First Scenario: 

Let’s say your toddler is flat-footed and is experiencing foot or leg pain from putting pressure on parts of the body where he/she is not supposed to. The correct pair of shoes with arch and ankle support will help correct your toddler’s posture by preventing your toddler’s feet from collapsing and turning inwards.

  • Second Scenario:

Let’s say your toddler has rolled ankles and is experiencing heel pain. A shoe with a firm heel counter will provide better support to your toddler’s heels and help treat ankle pain.

To prevent foot issues such as blisters, calluses, and corns, you need to provide your toddler with shoes that are the correct shoe size. The shoes can’t be too wide, too narrow, too short, or too long, they must fit just right.

If your toddler is experiencing foot pain in the top of the foot, then it’s very likely that your toddler has a high instep. Do you know what the instep of the foot is? The instep is the top part of the foot, and when it’s high you need to find deeper shoes to prevent the top part of your toddler’s feet from rubbing against the top part of the shoes.

Let me show you a picture of a toddler with a high instep:


To accommodate the shape of a toddler with a high instep, we need to find shoes that provide extra depth, as there is going to be a lot of extra foot volume to fit inside the shoes.


Most parents are confused as to how they are supposed to find shoes that provide extra depth if shoes don’t come labeled as “extra deep”. That’s why I am here for, as I know which shoes are deeper than others from having fitted them before.

Now let me show you the 5 most important features that the shoes I recommend are going to provide to your toddler’s feet:

 Toddler’s Shoes – The 5 Most Important Features!

✅ Support: The shoes that you provide for your toddler must be lightweight and flexible, but supportive at the same time to minimize the impact that your toddler’s feet take every time they become in contact with the ground.

✅ Firm Heel Counter: This is important to provide your toddlers with good ankle support. This is especially important for toddlers as most of the time they are performing lateral movements.

✅ Lightweight: The shoes must be lightweight and flexible for your toddler’s feet and legs to not become tired easily. Some toddlers don’t have the strength to bend shoes with harder soles.

✅ Traction: This feature helps prevent your toddler from slipping and falling, especially when walking around slippery surfaces.

✅ Breathable: This feature helps prevent the buildup of bacteria inside the shoes and prevent foot odor.


Do You Know Your Toddler’s Exact Foot Shape and Length?

One thing I always emphasize to parents is that if they don’t provide their toddlers with the correct shoe size, they won’t get any of the benefits that the shoes have to offer.

That is the reason why I always recommend parents to take their toddlers to be properly fitted for shoes at their local kids’ 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 in their area to take their kids to be properly fitted for shoes, and they must end up purchasing their kids’ shoes online. There is nothing wrong with this, as long as you know what exact size to provide your child with. 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:

How to Measure Your Kids’ Foot – 2 Simple Steps to Determine Foot Length and Foot Width

In that article I help parents determine their child’s exact foot size and whether the child has narrow, medium, wide, or extra wide feet. I also will be able to tell you whether your child has a high instep or not.

Now that you know what features the shoes must provide and how to make sure that your toddler is wearing the correct shoe size, let’s take a look at a selection of the best toddler shoes to prevent and treat their foot pain. Disclosure: Keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases.

The Best Toddler’s Shoes for Foot Pain 

The shoes I describe below are available in different widths such as medium (M), wide (W), and extra wide (XW).

I always recommend shoes that come with shoelaces instead of velcro closure, as shoelaces provide better support and stability to your toddler’s feet.

What Shoe Size Should You Order?

In each of the descriptions of the shoes I indicate whether you need to order a half a size or a whole size bigger than your child’s foot size to provide the correct amount of growing room.

*A half a size bigger translates to 3/16 of an inch or 0.4 centimeters of space between your child’s longest toe and the end of the shoes.

*A whole size bigger translates to 3/8 of an inch or 0.8 centimeters of space between your child’s longest toe and the end of the shoes.

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 your toddler has narrow feet and needs a different selection of shoes. My e-mail address is: fittingchildrensshoes@gmail.com

Orthotics for Toddlers with Foot Pain

There will be certain times in which the shoes that you provide for your toddler might not be enough to reduce or fully eliminate your toddler’s foot pain. For those cases, your toddler might need a pair of orthotics to be fitted inside the shoes for extra support.

If you have tried a pair of supportive shoes for your toddler (for at least 2 months), and your toddler still complains about foot pain, then the next step is to try an orthotic inside the shoes for extra support. An orthotic is simply a shoe insert that is specifically designed to provide cushioning, support, stability, and relief pressure areas of the foot.

Orthotics can be extremely effective in reducing or fully eliminating your toddler’s foot and leg pain. Below is the most effective orthotic for toddlers that has proven to reduce, and in most cases fully eliminate their pain. The main reason why I recommend this orthotic is that it provides excellent support but is not as invasive and it allows the toddler’s muscles to develop on their own.

For this orthotic to be effective, it must always be fitted in shoes that are supportive and extra deep. The good news is that the shoes I described above are all supportive and deep. Deeper shoes allow the orthotic to fit deeply inside the toddler’s shoes and prevent raising your toddler’s feet — as this can give your toddler the impression that his/her feet are coming out of the shoes.

Let’s take a look at what a difference a pair of deeper shoes can make when you need to fit an orthotic inside the shoes. Do you notice how the orthotic is sitting deeply inside the shoe on the right image compared to the shoe on the left image?


Deeper shoes also help prevent the top part of your toddler’s feet (instep) from rubbing against the top of the shoes.

I want parents to remember one thing: Never ignore your toddler’s foot and leg pain thinking that it might be “growing pains”. I always recommend parents to be proactive and don’t take the “wait and see approach” when it comes to treating their toddlers’ foot conditions. Leaving your toddlers’ foot conditions untreated can only lead to the condition getting worse.

Do you have a toddler who is experiencing foot or leg pain? Have you found a particular shoe that has worked well for his or her feet? 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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