Do you have a child that is complaining about foot pain in the side of the foot? Are you having a hard time identifying where the pain is exactly coming from and why is it happening?
I have been working for a specialized children’s shoe store for the last ten years, where we specialize in children with foot and leg problems, but we provide regular shoe fitting as well.
I created this website to help those parents who don’t have a local children’s shoe store in their area that they TRUST find their children’s shoes online, and I have been doing this for the last three years.
When a child is experiencing foot or leg pain, the FIRST STEP is to check the shoes that they are wearing. Shoes play a key role in keeping your children’s feet heathy, and if they are not fitted properly or provide the correct amount of support, they can be a contributing cause to your child’s foot pain.
For example, when children put repeated pressure on a particular area of their feet, that area and nerve can become irritated, causing an enormous amount of pain. Providing your child with the correct type of shoes and the correct shoe size, it will greatly reduce or fully eliminate the pain!
I have noticed that most of the time a child complains about foot pain in the side of the foot, the pain is related to either the shoes being too narrow or too flimsy (meaning that they are not supportive enough).
After helping several children who were experiencing foot pain in the side of the foot, I found out that the pain was related to two common factors:
- Not wearing the correct shoe size: Several children were experiencing foot pain in the side of the foot due to wearing shoes that were too narrow.
- Not wearing supportive shoes: There was also a large amount of children that were experiencing foot pain in the side of the foot due to wearing shoes that didn’t provide good support.
Follow these steps in order to minimize or fully eliminate the pain that your child is experiencing in the side of his or her feet:
- The first step is to check if the shoes are the correct size. I always recommend parents to take their children to their local kids’ shoe store, where a shoe fitter can properly measure their feet and find shoes that FIT properly. However, if you don’t have a local children’s shoe store in your area to take your child to be properly fitted for shoes, take a look at the article below that has been helping those parents who must purchase their kids’ shoes online find the correct shoe size for their children from home (the article also has a video that will help you visualize the process of measuring your kids’shoe size from home):
- The second step is to make sure that the shoes that your child is wearing are supportive. I have noticed that when children experience foot pain in the side of the foot, sometimes it’s due to the shoes not being supportive enough. The shoes that you provide for your child must come with a substantial sole (to provide arch support), and a firm heel counter (to provide ankle support). Several children that were experiencing foot pain in the side of the foot was because they were flat footed and needed extra support from their shoes. A lot of parents don’t know what the heel counter of the shoe is, so here is a picture for clarification:
- The third step is to make sure that your child is tying the shoes properly or pulling the Velcro straps tight. If the shoes are too loose your child won’t get the full support from the shoes.
You must be wondering…
What type of children’s shoes provide good arch and ankle support?
If you have a child that is experiencing foot pain in the side of the foot, I will describe in this article the best shoes for children with arch and ankle support (that are also available in different widths such as medium, wide, and extra wide).
Kids’ Foot Pain – How It Can Affect Their Everyday Activities?
Did you know that foot pain in children can directly affect their daily activities and the simple things that they enjoy doing?
Our feet are one of our hardest working parts of our bodies, and we must take proper care of them. I want to clarify something to parents: Never ignore your child’s foot or leg pain foot, it’s NOT normal, and no, it might not be just “growing pains”.
The reason why I mention this is that sometimes when parents take their children to their physical or occupational therapist, their response is to not worry about it since it’s likely just growing pains.
At the children’s shoe store that I work for, several physical and occupational therapists refer families to the store to have their children fitted for shoes and orthotics. However, sometimes parents come to the store worried explaining how their therapists said that their children pain was due to “growing pains” and that they shouldn’t worry about it, but they obviously are since their kids are complaining about pain.
I always start by checking those children’s shoes and sometimes the pain was simply due to them wearing shoes that were not the correct size or were not providing the correct amount of support.
So please remember to always START by checking the shoes!
Why It’s Important To Check Your Kids’ Shoes Regularly?
I have noticed that most children won’t speak up when they are experiencing foot or leg discomfort, and when they do, it’s because the pain has significantly intensified.
Now that you know the two reasons why your child might be experiencing foot pain in the side of the foot, let’s take a look at the best kids’ shoes that come with a substantial sole and provide good arch and ankle support:
Here you can find a selection of the best shoes for toddlers who are experiencing pain in the side of the foot (ages 1 to 4):
The shoes below will fit a child with medium, wide, or extra wide feet.
This selection of shoes fit “true to size”, which means that you need to go a half a size longer of the size that your child measures in the shoe measuring scale in order to allow for growing room.
Here you can find a selection of the best shoes for orthotics for older children (ages 4 to 12):
This selection of shoes fit “true to size”, which means that you need to get your children a half a size longer of the size that they measure in the Brannock device.
All of these shoe styles are also durable, meaning that it’s highly likely that your kids will outgrow their shoes before they destroy them. Since children outgrow their shoes in a short period of time, they should always outgrow their shoes before they are ready to be replaced. Even if your children are extremely active, they shouldn’t be destroying their shoes before they outgrow them, so maybe what your child simply needs is just a pair of more durable shoes.
I created a couple of scenarios that will help you identify where your child’s foot pain is coming from:
- Pain in the bottom of the foot: your child might be flat footed, or the shoes are not supportive.
- Pain in the top of the foot: this is probably due to your child having a high instep or the shoes being too shallow.
- Pain in the side of the foot: this is probably due to repetitive strain on the foot or the shoes being too narrow.
- Pain in the back of the foot: this is probably due to your child having ankle pain, or the shoes not providing a firm heel counter.
Before you leave, please let us know if you have a good fitting children’s shoe store in the area that you live in, that way other parents from the same area can also take their children to be properly fitted for shoes.
If you are unsure whether you have a good fitting children’s shoe store in your area, take a look at a map I created where I break down the best fitting children’s shoe store by state:
Now that you know which are the best shoes for children and how to make sure that they are wearing the correct shoe size, you are ready to STOP the pain and allow them to run and play comfortably.