Orthotics for Kids with Knock Knees – Let’s Improve your Kids’ Posture!
Do you have a child with knock knees and have been looking for ways to improve your child’s walking gait and overall posture? There are certain orthotics for kids with knock knees that can improve your child’s overall posture by realigning the feet and legs.
Pro Tip: If you’re pressed for time, you can go straight to the selection of orthotics for knock knees.
About My Experience and Knock Knees
If your child has been diagnosed with knock knees and you have been looking for the perfect pair of shoes and orthotics, I will help you find them since I have been working for a specialized children’s shoe store for over 10 years. Several medical professionals such as physical and occupational therapists refer children with knock knees to the shoe store that I work for to be fitted for supportive shoes and orthotics.
Let me first start by clarifying what this condition is: Knock knees which is scientifically known as Genu Valcum is a condition where the two knees touch each other while standing straight. It’s important to understand that knock knees are the opposite of bowlegs, as in the case of bow legs, the knees are far away from each other.
How to Check If Your Child has Knock Knees?
If you are unsure whether your child has knock knees or not, I recommend that you have your child stand up straight —make sure that he/she is looking straight ahead— and check if the knees are touching each other. Take a look at the images below to better visualize how a child with knock knees looks like:
Children with Knock Knees – When Should Parents be Concerned?
The condition usually becomes apparent when a child is 2 to 3 years old, and it may increase in severity until about age 4.
While for younger kids knock knees are just a normal part of growing up, I strongly recommend parents to not leave this condition untreated, as it can lead to complications in the future such as foot, leg, and back pain.
Children with knock knees are doing something that is biomechanically incorrect when they walk or run, and that will have a lasting effect on your child’s muscle structure. Something so simple such as providing your child with the correct pair of shoes and orthotics can have a huge impact in the way your child walks and runs.
The issue is that there are only a few orthotics that are effective in helping straighten your kids’ feet and legs. The good news is that I know exactly which orthotics are most effective in treating knock knees as I have fitted them before.
Orthotics for Knock Knees – What a Difference These Orthotics Can Make!
The orthotic that I recommend helps children walk and run straighter while allowing the child’s foot muscles to develop on their own, but if your child has a severe case of knock knees then you must try a different orthotic such as an ankle brace orthotic.
Let me show you what a difference the orthotics I recommend can make as long as they are fitted in the correct pair of shoes. Let’s take a look at a picture of a flat-footed child and notice how the feet collapse (turn inwards) making the knees come together:
Now let’s take a picture of the same flat-footed child standing in a pair of supportive shoes and orthotics. Do you notice how straighter the feet and legs are?
What Makes the Orthotics I Recommend Effective for Knock Knees?
These are the 2 most important features that the orthotics I recommend below provide:
1️⃣ Arch Support: Most children that have knock knees tend to be flat footed. The orthotics I recommend provide medial and lateral flanges to prevent the feel from collapsing by keeping the foot aligned over the orthotic. I have noticed how most children’s prefabricated orthotics lack this feature and the child’s foot basically pushes through the orthotic and does whatever it wants.
2️⃣ Ankle Support: The orthotic I recommend provides a 30mm heel cup that helps control the alignment of the heel and lower leg, and supports the arch:
How effective this orthotic will be in helping realign your child’s feet and legs depends on the degree of your child’s knock knee condition.
The Best Orthotics for Kids with Knock Knees
This is the best prefabricated on the market for helping treat, prevent, and control knock knees.
Take a look at the chart below to figure out what size to order based on your child’s shoe size:
This orthotic can be shipped everywhere. Within the USA shipping can take about 10-15 days depending on the location and the shipping method. Overseas shipping is available but will be more expensive.
Now that you know which are the best orthotic for kids with knock knees, you need to find a pair of supportive shoes that will accommodate the orthotic.
Shoes for Kids with Knock Knees – They Play a Key Role!
The shoes and the orthotics work together in helping your child walk and run straighter. If you fit a pair of orthotics in a pair of unsupportive shoes, your child won’t get any of the benefits that the shoes have to offer and vice versa.
If you already have shoes at home, please make sure that they provide these 5 important features:
1️⃣ Substantial Outsole: The shoes must provide a substantial sole to hold the orthotic in place and reduce the impact that your child’s feet take every time they come in contact with the ground. Below you can see the difference between a shoe with a substantial outsole versus a shoe with an outsole that is too thin and doesn’t provide the correct amount of support:
2️⃣ Firm Heel Counter: The shoes must come with a firm heel counter that helps provide ankle support and work with the orthotic in reducing the impact that your child’s heels take every time they come in contact with the ground. A firm heel counter will also help straighten your child’s ankles. Let me show you the difference between a shoe that provides a firm heel counter versus one that doesn’t:
3️⃣ The shoes need to be rigid at the front (avoid overly flexible shoes). Your kids’ shoes should always bend at the ball of the foot but no further:
4️⃣ The shoes need to provide shoelaces instead of velcro closure as shoelaces provide better support and stability:
5️⃣ Extra Depth: Shoes that provide extra depth allow for the orthotic to sit deeply inside the shoes, which helps prevent giving children the impression that their feet are coming out of the shoes. If the shoes are not deep enough, the top of your child’s feet (instep) will rub against the top part of the shoes. Let me show you the difference between a pair of shoes that is deep versus one that is not.
I have put together a selection of kids’ shoes that provide all of these features in case you also need to provide your child with a pair of supportive shoes. Disclosure: Some links in this post may be affiliate links and we may receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you) when you click our links and make purchases. This allows us to create free content and resources for many families around the world.
The Best Kids’ Shoes for Orthotics
Below you can find a selection of the best kids’ shoes for orthotics. These shoes are available in different widths such as medium (M), wide (W), and extra wide (XW).
How to Tie Shoes with Orthotics
You probably notice how all of these shoes come with shoelaces instead of velcro closure. The main reason for this is that shoelaces provide better support and stability to your child and also make the orthotics fit better inside the shoes. Therefore, I suggest that you apply the shoe lacing technique outline in another article.
Are You Unsure Whether Your Child Has Knock Knees or Not?
Feel free to send me an email with images of your child’s feet and legs so I can further evaluate your child’s knock knee condition.
Orthotics for Kids with Knock Knees – My Final Thoughts!
I usually suggest that parents wait 10 to 12 months to see if the orthotics and the shoes have made a difference in improving their child’s knock knees, walking gait, and overall posture.
Remember that the orthotic I recommend works for mild cases of children with knock knees. If your child has a more severe case, then you will need to have your child fitted for an ankle brace orthotic or a pair of derotation straps which have proven to be extremely effective. Fitting these devices is very different from fitting an orthotic, and is not an easy task to do, but if you must do it from your house, please reach out to me and I will show you exactly how to do it.
Have you tried a particular orthotic that has worked well for your child with knock knees? Please share your findings below so other parents can benefit from your experiences.