I get contacted by parents who need help finding the best type of shoes for their children on a daily basis. In this particular case, this mother contacted me worried about her daughter experiencing foot and leg pain and not being able to find the correct type of shoes to fit the orthotics. Since you might be going through a similar experience, I decided to post the conversation here so all parents can benefit from it.
This is Ruth. I wrote to you under the very informative article (The Best Shoes for Kids with Pronation) that you wrote, and you responded, but when I try to respond to you again it’s no longer allowing me to. So, I took the liberty of emailing you. I hope it’s okay. Like many other parents I will do anything in my hands to help my daughter.
This is the meat of what I initially wrote to you:
My 4-year-old daughter has custom made orthotics, because her flexible flat feet go inwards, one foot more than the other. She complains of knee pain. We will be taking her to an orthopedic once we get the referral, because one of her knees doesn’t rotate as much as it should, and it is related to her hip.
I would like to purchase high-top tennis for her, and ones with real shoe laces not zippers or velcro, but it has become a challenge to find any. She just turned 4 years old and wears a shoe size 8.5 or 9. Are there any high-top shoe styles that you have fitted before and would recommend?
Thank you for taking the time to read this and please get back at me as soon as possible!
I am glad that you find my website informative. The goal is to help parents understand the key role that shoes play in keeping children’s feet healthy and helping them find the perfect pair of shoes for their children.
The issue why the selection of shoelaces is so small is because shoe companies don’t provide a good selection (due to lack of demand) until the child reaches a shoe size 10 1/2 or up (this is when most children start learning how to tie their shoes).
You provided me with her shoe size and told me that she wears a shoe size 8 .5 or 9 but you didn’t tell me what shoe width she needs.
Did you know that getting the correct shoe width has the same importance as getting the correct shoe length?
The shoe styles below are hands down the best shoe styles for a child than needs orthotics. They are deep, supportive, come with a very firm heel counter and they have shoelaces to provide more support and stability. You can find those shoe styles here:
I will rather you provide your daughter with the option 1, since it is more substantial and provides more ankle support. Just so you know, with New Balance shoe styles, the higher the number (KJ990 vs KJ888) the more support the shoe style has to offer.
I hope this helps!
Thank you! I see what you are saying. As far as her width I’m now doubting myself because I never asked, so I’m not 100% sure, but I would always get her a medium. In my opinion her foot is not wide.
Sorry if I was not clear, but she just got her custom orthotics from the podiatrist that cover a little more than 1/2 of the soles of her feet. In the near future we will be taking her to an orthopedist once we get the referral for her knee and hip issue. On a side note, I’ve called many independent shoe stores, but haven’t found one that sells shoes under a size 1.
I have attached pictures of her orthotics so you can recommend me a shoe based on the orthotics. Also, should I get her a wide fit, so the orthotics fit better?
Here is how the orthotics look like:
Thank you for your time, and if there is anything I can do to compensate you for your advice and time please let me know.
You can’t go wrong with that shoe styles that I recommend above and have fitted before since they are our to-go shoes for children who wear orthotics.
I will definitely recommend that you try any shoe style that you choose in a wide width, since the orthotics will be taking extra space and it will make the orthotic fit better inside the shoes and keep your daughter’s feet more comfortable.
Happy Monday! I ordered my daughter the New Balance 990v4 and now I’m wondering if I should permanently remove the insole that comes in the shoe? If so should I put a flat insole to provide cushion under the ball of her foot? I read that somewhere.
Yes, you must always remove the inner sole of the shoes before you try to fit an orthotic inside the shoes. The main reason for this is that if you keep the inner sole and then put the orthotic on top, you will be raising your daughter’s feet and the top of her foot will start rubbing against the top of the shoe.
Besides her feet feeling uncomfortable inside the shoes, that can create several foot issues to her feet such as blisters, calluses, and corns.
Most children’s shoe insoles are easy to pull right off. You don’t need to put any extra insole behind the ball of her foot, just the orthotic.
Another thing I wanted to add that there is a particular way that you can tie your daughter’s shoes that will allow her to get the most support out of them. This method is called “the reverse the laces technique”, and it will secure her ankles and provide your daughter with more support and more stability.
You can learn more about that method in an article I wrote called:
Please follow up with me and tell me how your daughter is doing in her new shoes.
Thank you so much!
I provided my daughters with the more supportive style (KJ990) and she is walking and running so much straighter. She doesn’t have any more foot or leg pain, which is exactly what I was looking for. I actually ended up fitting in the extra wide width shoe since the orthotic wasn’t fitting in the regular width one.
I cannot tell you how grateful I am since I have been trying to find my daughter the perfect pair of shoes for months now!
I am glad that the shoes worked out for your daughter’s feet. It’s actually amazing what a difference a good pair of shoes can have in the way we walk and run. The most important thing is that your daughter doesn’t have any more foot and leg pain.
When we walk inwards or outwards, we are putting pressure in parts of our bodies where we are not supposed, and this generally leads to foot and leg pain. Now the orthotics and the shoes are working together in helping your daughter walk and run straighter.
Please don’t hesitate to ask me if you have any other questions.
One last thing I forgot to mention is which socks will you recommend for my daughter. She always has a hard time with socks and feels every bump and lump. I was wondering if you know about a particular shoe style or a particular socks brand that will be good for her.
It’s really time consuming because she is always fussing about her socks and sometimes she will refuse to wear them. I have noticed marks on her feet from not wearing her socks.
Thank you in advance.
Socks do so much more than simply act as a barrier between our kids’ feet and the shoes. They prevent the formation of bacteria inside the shoes as well as the formation of blisters.
The type of socks I recommend for your daughter are called seamless socks. Have you ever heard of these types of socks? They are great because they are very soft and allow kids to freely move their toes, preventing their toes from rubbing or overlapping against each other.
If you want to learn about which are the best seamless socks for children you can do it in an article I wrote called:
I think we have covered everything you needed now, but if you happen to have any other questions please let me know.
Also before you email me with questions please make sure the answer is not already on my website. For example, on my homepage in the ” Search Bar” you can type a keyword related to the question you might have such as ” The Best Shoes For Orthotics” or ” The Best Socks For Kids” and all the articles related to those keywords will show up.
If you are unsure where the ” Search Bar” is on my website take a look at the image below for clarification:
If you happen to have a family that has a child with foot or leg pain, please refer them to an article I wrote called:
I hope this helps!