Kids’ Shoes for Cavus Foot – Extra Depth and a Firm Heel Counter!

Have you noticed that your child has an excessively high arch? Have you looked at your child’s feet from behind and noticed that your child’s heels turn inwards? Children who have high arches and heels that turn inwards usually experience foot and leg pain as well as other foot deformities such as bunions. This condition is also referred to as pes cavus or cavus foot. I am going to show you a list of the best kids’ shoes for cavus foot that I have fitted before.

To correct a child’s posture and prevent foot and leg pain, I always recommend that parents try supportive shoes and orthotics before trying a more invasive approach such as surgery.

What Are the Complications of Having High Arches?

Due to the high arch, most of the child’s weight is placed on the ball and heel of the foot. This usually leads to excessive inward ankle rolling due to instability in the muscles of the lower leg.

The issue with having high arches and heels that roll inwards is that it throws the body out of alignment, and it also leads to uneven weight-bearing. This is what often leads to foot, leg, and lower back pain in the future.

What Causes Children to Have High Arches?

Most parents ask me why their children developed a cavus foot. In certain cases, it can be an inherited structural abnormality. However, this condition can also be caused by a neurologic disorder or other medical conditions such as cerebral palsy, Charcot-Marie Tooth disease, spina bifida, polio, muscular dystrophy, or stroke.

It’s important for your child to wear the correct type of shoes to prevent ankle sprains and stress fractures. However, finding shoes for a child with a high arch can be a frustrating and extremely time-consuming experience. Most parents find themselves trying a whole bunch of different shoes just to end up empty-handed.

The Challenges of Finding Shoes for Children with High Arches

Most families contact me to explain how challenging it is to find shoes for their child with high arches. The main issue is that in addition to finding a shoe that is supportive, we need to find a shoe that can accommodate the shape of your child’s high arch.

One of the most common mistakes that I see parents make is to try longer and wider shoes to prevent the top part of the child’s feet (instep) from rubbing against the top part of the shoes. In reality, the most important feature that you need to look for in your kids’ shoes is extra depth.

You might be asking yourself how are you supposed to find shoes with extra depth if children’s shoes don’t come labeled that way. The only way to tell if a shoe provides extra depth is from having fitted them before, and here is when I come into play. Let me show you an example of a shoe that provides extra depth versus one that doesn’t:

I have experienced firsthand the positive impact that supportive shoes can have in treating foot and leg pain, as well as helping a child walk and run straighter.

What a Difference the Correct Types of Shoes Can Make!

The correct pair of shoes will help align your child’s feet, preventing them from collapsing, which will allow your child to walk and run straighter. Don’t take my word for it, let me prove it to you.

Let’s take a look at a picture of a child with a high arch and heels that turn inwards:

Now let’s take a look at a picture of the same child wearing a pair of supportive shoes. Do you notice how straighter the feet are? The shoes are preventing the feet from collapsing and turning inwards.

I am going to provide you with a selection of the deepest and most supportive kids’ shoes, but first, let me show you how you can figure out if your child has cavus foot or not.

Keep in mind that in certain cases, you will also have to fit an orthotic inside your kids’ shoes for extra support.

How Can You Tell if Your Child Has Cavus Foot?

You will notice how the arch of your child’s feet is visibly high, like the one shown in the image below:

Some of the symptoms that you will notice are:

  • Calluses on your child’s feet.
  • Hammertoes.
  • Frequent ankle sprains.
  • Pain on your child’s feet when standing or walking.

If every time you put your child’s shoes on you have a hard time getting the shoes on, or you notice that the top part of your child’s feet is pushing against the top part of the shoes, then it’s highly likely that your child has a high arch.

What Makes the Shoes I Recommend Effective for Cavus Foot?

There are 3 key features that the kids’ shoes I recommend provide to accommodate the shape of their high arch and support their heels.

1️⃣ Extra Depth: We already went over this feature and it basically consists of trying shoes that provide extra depth to allow the child’s feet to fit deeply inside the shoes, preventing the top part of their feet from rubbing against the top part of the shoes. Certain shoes are deeper than others. Let me prove this to you by comparing a shoe that provides extra depth versus one that doesn’t. For better visualization purposes, there is an orthotic fitted inside the shoes. Do you notice how the orthotic inside the shoe on the right fits deeper compared to the shoe on the left?

2️⃣ Ankle Support: Children with cavus foot usually experience rolled ankles. It’s important to keep this area of your child’s feet properly supported and protected. Let’s take a look at the image below for clarification purposes. Do you notice how the heel counter of the shoe on the right is much firmer compared to the shoe on the left?


3️⃣ Lightweight and Flexible: Your kids’ shoes must be supportive, but lightweight and flexible at the same time to prevent your kids’ feet and legs from easily getting tired. Your kids’ shoes should always bend at the ball of the foot but not any further. Let’s take a look at the image below for clarification purposes:


Now we are a step closer to finding shoes for your child with pes cavus. The last thing I need you to do is to ask yourself this question: Are you 100% sure of your child’s exact foot size?

The reason I ask is that it doesn’t matter how many features a particular shoe provides, if the shoes are not fitted properly, your child won’t get any of the benefits that the shoes have to offer. In addition, if you are going to be ordering your kids’ shoes online you need to know your child’s exact foot size, or you will find yourself wasting a lot of time having to return the shoes back and forth.

I always recommend parents take their children to their local children’s shoe store that they trust, but most parents explain to me how they don’t have a shoe store in their area. I can relate to this since most specialized children’s shoe stores have been closing down.

How to Retrieve Your Child’s Exact Foot Length and Shape

Start by taking a look at a resource that I created that showcases the best-fitting children’s shoe stores by state.

If after looking at that resource you still can’t seem to identify a good fitting children’s shoe store in your area, then take a look at an article that I created where I describe the simplest, yet most effective way to figure out your child’s exact foot size from home. 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.

The shoes I recommend are all shoes that I have fitted and tested before, which means that I know exactly how deep they are, the amount of support that they provide, and how they fit. Now you are ready to take a look at the best shoes for children with cavus foot.

The Best Kids’ Shoes for Cavus Foot

These shoes can fit children with medium (M), wide (W) or extra wide feet (XW). Disclosure: Keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases. 

Are Any Other Shoe Choices Available?

If your child happens to have narrow feet, please contact me directly and I will email you specific shoe recommendations:

[email protected]

Have you found a particular shoe that has worked well in accommodating your child’s high arches? Please share your findings below so other families can benefit from your experiences.