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Kids with Heel Pain – Learn About Other Parents with Similar Experiences!


Editor’s Note: This post has been updated and revised for accuracy on May 2022 and reflects an up-to-date selection of the best shoes for kids with heel pain.

Heel pain is common in children because their heel bone is not fully developed until they reach age 14 or older, until then, the bone is forming at the growth plate, which is a weak area located at the back of the heel. When children place too much stress on the growth plate, then they start experiencing heel pain.

If you want to see the most updated article I created about the best shoes for kids with heel pain I suggest that you take a look at the article below:

The Best Kids’ Shoes for Heel Pain – Shoes That Will Help Treat and Prevent Heel Pain!

The Best Shoes for Kids with Heel Pain

Medium – Wide – Extra Wide Feet

Below you can find a selection of the best shoes for kids with heel pain. These shoes are available in different widths such as medium (M), wide (W), and extra wide (XW). Disclosure: Keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases.

Narrow – Medium Feet

Unsure About What Shoe Size You Should 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.

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

If you want to be 100% sure about what shoe size to order online, I suggest that you follow the instructions in the article below:

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

Kids with Heel Pain – Learn About Other Families with Similar Experiences!

Hi Juan! I found your blog and found it very helpful!

I have an eight-year-old daughter and a five-year-old son, and I have bought almost exclusively Plae shoes for my kids, which has worked out well for the most part, but we are facing a challenge with my daughter that I can’t find an answer for on your blog and I wonder if you can help me and/or write a post about this issue, with recommendations. I tried using your shoe recommendation engine, which is great, but it doesn’t address this issue.

My daughter, Olivia, is a tall, strong, eight years old, who weighs 85 pounds already and is in girls’ size 10-12 clothing, and she wants to be able to walk and run and be athletic. The Plae shoes are fine for every day at school, but the soles are so thin and don’t seem to provide any support, sort of like the Keds I grew up with, they have no cushion or shock absorption, and they are now causing bleeding on the back of her Achilles’ tendon area.

So, the first issue: I’d like a shoe that does have a lot of cushion and shock absorption.

She is used to the wider, asymmetrically shaped, and ergonomically flexible shaped Plae shoes – I know you don’t consider them wide, but they are wider than other shoes we’ve tried, and although I think our kids have “wide” feet, I get that they are actually a “medium” width. It’s hard to find a brand that has a comfy shape. Olivia has, I think, I high instep, so although her feet are probably “normal” width, as you have pointed out, she would need a roomier shoe. So that’s one issue – we need an athletic shoe she can wear for outdoor walk/play days and probably she would wear them to school every day.

Second issue: Even more important: bleeding on the back of Achilles’ tendon area.

Olivia is now getting bleeding rubbed-off skin in a small spot on the back of her heels, on the thin, vertical flesh covering the Achilles’ tendon. This happens with a lot of sandals, flats, and now even with her Plae shoes.

I have this exact same problem! There are ballet-type flat shoes and loafers and pumps that if I wear for even 10 minutes, I have bleeding on the back of my feet in the same way. So, I think this is a genetic issue where we just don’t have much padding over the tendon, and many shoes just don’t work for us. I generally wear Merrell’s “Barefoot” type shoes, with socks, to be comfortable, and am uncomfortable when I have to wear almost any nicer looking shoes.

We bought Olivia some Nike shoes with huge soft padding in the back, and that seemed to help. But her current shoes are all size 3 and from 6 months ago and she is growing fast. It’s time to buy her 1) new athletic/everyday sneakers, 2) summer sandals/shoes to wear without socks – okay if they are big and ugly, we only care about comfort.

What do you recommend? I’ve read all the articles about what to do about this type of issue, and they all say to lubricate the foot with oil or powder, or to wear thick socks, or use large pads or bandages, but I’m hoping to start with the right shoes.

Thanks again. I assume she is now in a size 3.5 and am also wondering if I should be looking at women’s shoes and confused about “little kid” versus “big kid” versus women’s shoe sizes. Any help is much appreciated. Thanks for devoting yourself to helping kids!


San Francisco

Hello Brenda,

I think that PLAE shoes are great and they do fit wide feet, but they are not my preference as they don’t provide a lot of structure and support, which leads to poor shock absorption and your kids’ feet and legs taking a higher impact every time they become in contact with the ground.

PLAE shoes are definitely wider than other shoe brands, but for a child with wide or extra wide feet, I will rather stick with New Balance or Saucony shoes – as they both provide better everyday support.

If Olivia also has a high instep, then we need a pair of shoes that provide extra depth to accommodate her instep. I have fitted several children’s shoes and I have found that New Balance manufactures some of the deepest shoes for kids.

The fact that she is bleeding on the back of the Achilles’ tendon area is a much bigger concern. To treat and prevent this issue, I recommend a shoe with the features I mentioned above – supportive, deep, with a wide toe-box, and also with a well-padded and soft heel counter.

I don’t recommend that you provide her with any type of Nike shoes, especially if she is on the wider side with a high instep. Nike shoes tend to fit on the narrow side and they don’t provide the correct amount of support that you are looking for in a shoe.

I have helped other children with similar issues and the correct type of shoes will make a huge difference. I don’t recommend that you start looking into women’s shoes just yet, as you will end up paying double the price and she still can choose from a decent selection of kids’ sneakers.

Allow Olivia to go barefoot as often as possible around the house, so the back of her feet can heal faster. I have helped several kids with heel pain and I can tell you that the correct type of shoes will make a huge difference in treating the issue.

Below you can find my recommendations for her everyday sneakers:

1st Choice: New Balance

2nd Choice: New Balance

Below you can find my recommendations for her summer sandals – I am assuming that you are looking for a closed-toe, supportive, water-play sandal:

1st Choice: Keen Newport

2nd Choice: Keen Moxie

On a separate note, you mentioned that you had a similar issue with your feet and always have a hard time finding dress shoes that fit. Take a look at an article I wrote where I describe the most comfortable women’s dress shoes with arch support:

Women’s Dress Shoes with Arch Support

Thank you,


Hello Juan,

Thank you so much! That is exactly the advice I needed.

Another possible blog post and I apologize if you’ve written about this already: To get her size fit properly from home instead of going to the store, do you have any recommendations where to go, or is it okay to do at home with a printout or a measuring device?

There was a local, independent shoe store here in San Francisco that we used to go to, and they were great at sizing, but they closed up a shop a couple of years ago, called Brooks Shoes. Now I have no idea where to go and would rather figure it out at home anyway.

Thanks again! So grateful for your help!



Hello Brenda,

I actually already wrote an article where I describe the simplest, yet most effective way to provide your child with the correct shoe size from home. You can find that article below:

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

I also wrote another article where I describe the best device to measure your kids’ feet from home:

Shoe Size Measuring Device – Stop Buying the Wrong Shoe Size

Hello Juan.

Oh thank you!!! Sorry I didn’t find them myself. Thank you again! One last thing, should I be looking to provide Olivia with a particular type of sock? I feel like socks can make a difference in protecting her ankles from rubbing against the shoes.

The issue is that she dislikes the way socks feel, and she feels every bump and lump and always takes them off. Do you know if there is a special type of sock for kids with sensitive feet?

Please let me know!

Hello Brenda,

If Olivia’s skin is sensitive around the ankle area you might want to provide her with a pair of good socks that provide cushion and padding around that area. Did you know that socks play a key role in keeping your kids’ feet healthy? Socks do a lot more than simply act as a barrier between your kids’ feet and the shoes, they prevent the formation of bacteria, blisters, calluses, and corns.

I always recommend parents to get their children seamless socks – this allows your kids to freely move their toes and prevents them from overlapping each other, and also breathable – that way you can prevent foot odors.

There is another article that I wrote where I describe the best seamless socks for kids. Go to the link below:

Seamless Socks for Kids – Let’s Find Some Magical Socks for Your Kids!


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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