Has your child been complaining about foot and leg pain? Have you taken your children to your pediatrician or physical therapist and they were diagnosed with flat feet or rolled ankles?
Please keep in mind that foot and leg pain in children is never normal, and the first step is to check the type of shoes your child is currently wearing. The shoes that your child wears must be supportive, lightweight, flexible, and they must be the correct size.
If your child is wearing the correct type of shoes and the correct shoe size but the pain persists, then he/she might be a candidate for orthotics.
I have been working for a children’s shoe store for over 8 years now, and I know everything that relates to children’s shoes and the way they fit. The store tat I work for specializes in children with foot and leg issues such as pronation, knock knees, or rolled ankles, just to name a few. I know everything that relates to children’s shoes and they way they FIT, and I have helped hundreds of children walk and run straighter.
We carry only good quality and supportive shoes that are available in different widths such as narrow, medium, wide, and extra wide since this is the only way to guarantee that we can FIT all type of children feet, no matter the shape.
We also carry some of the best orthotics for children. I have seen the positive impact that orthotics have when helping children walk and run straighter, and if they are fitted properly they will help reduce or fully eliminate your kids’ feet and leg pain!
If your child has been experiencing foot and leg pain, he might have pronation or supination. It’s important to identify which of the two your child has, since the shoes you will want to provide for a child with pronation, will be very different than those for a child with supination.
Most parents are not aware of the difference between pronation and supination, but you must know which one your child has in order to provide him or her with the right pair of shoes.
NEVER underestimate your kids’ foot or leg pain. Keep in mind that when our children are growing up, that is the time when their posture will be determined for the rest of their lives and it all begins with the foundation for their entire body, their FEET!
I always recommend parents to take their kids to their local shoe store, where a shoe fitter can properly measure their feet and find shoes that are supportive and FIT properly.
I have been helping parents whose children are experiencing foot and leg pain and don’t have a local kid’s shoe store where they can take them to be able to find the correct type of shoes. I will guide you not only through the process of finding the best type of supportive shoes for your child, but also through the process of providing your child with the correct shoe size!
In this post, I will describe the difference between a pronation vs supination foot!
How To Figure Out If Your Child Has Foot Issues?
It’s important to know which type of signs we must look at in order to figure out whether our kids’ have foot problems or not. Pay attention and check if your child has any of the signs below!
- Your child complains of tired legs.
- Your child asks to be carried or pushed in the stroller.
- Your child refuses to walk.
- Your child seems to be clumsy or uncoordinated.
- Your child refuses to participate in sports.
- You notice an unusual wear pattern on your kids ‘shoes.
What Signs Should We Look For A Child That Pronates Or Supinates?
If your kid is complaining of pain in any of the areas below, it might be a sign that your child might be pronating or supinating!
- Pain in the back of the ankle (Achilles pain)
- Arch Pain
- Low back pain
- Heel Pain
- Knee Pain
- Shin Splints
First let’s discuss what steps to take once your child has been diagnosed with pronation.
What Does It Mean When Your Child Is Diagnosed With Pronation?
Just so you know, the main cause for pronation is believed to be hereditary. Pronation can be defined as a congenital defect that causes your kids’ muscles and ligaments of the foot to become more loosely held in place, which results in their feet turning inwards when they walk or run.
When a child experiences pronation before the age of 4, there is nothing to worry about. While some parents do want to intervene at an earlier age, it is always recommended to wait until the child turns 4 years old or older.
Kids with low muscle tone, flat feet, or rolled ankles are the ones that tend to pronate. The main issue with pronation is that every time your kids take a step when walking or running their foot collapses, twisting their feet, legs, and knees and forcing their body out of proper alignment.
The other issue with pronation is that it leads your kids’ toes to work harder for each step, which leads them to put more pressure on their toes which creates calluses, blisters, and corns, among other foot issues!
How Can You Tell If Your Child Is Pronating? – Learn The Symptoms!
Some parents get really stressed out when it comes to figuring out on whether their children pronate or not.
Trust me when I tell you that figuring out if your child is pronating or not is easier than you think! The first step is to realize is to look for unusual walking or running on your child. If you see your child walking or running differently (feet and legs turning in) that means your child is pronating.
The other way (and the easiest one) to check is to take a look at the shoes your child has been wearing from the back. Notice if the shoe is caving in to the inside. You will be able to notice if the shoe is caving in or not.
Take a look at the picture of the shoe below. This shoe has been worn by a child that pronates. Do you notice how the shoes are tilting to the inside?
Will The Right Pair Of Shoes STOP Your Kids’ Foot Issues?
I have seen the positive impact that good supportive shoes can provide to a child who pronates or supinates. The correct type of shoes will prevent your children’s’ feet from collapsing and turning in and allow your child to walk and run straighter. However, there is a limited selection of kids’ shoes that provide more support and structure and will make a huge difference in the way your children walk!
These are not orthopedic shoes, they are regular running shoes that simply provide more support and better structure than the rest. In order to keep your kids feet and legs healthy, there are three key features a shoe must provide:
- Arch support
- Ankle support
- Shock absorption
There are other important features the shoes must provide such as being lightweight and flexible, but at the same time supportive. If you want to stop your child from pronating or supinating, it all starts with wearing the correct type of shoes and I will describe these shoes below. However, if you have already tried the correct pair of shoes and your child is still pronating, you will have to consider providing your child with a pair of orthotics.
The Best Shoes For Kids With Pronation – The Secret Revealed!
Please keep in mind that the shoes we want for a child that pronates are very different from the ones we want for a child that supinates.
When it comes to a child that pronates, supportive and sturdy shoes are the best type for their feet. Keep in mind that it’s not easy to identify which these shoes are since there are not that many of them available! However, I have fitted these type of shoes for over eight years now and I know exactly which shoes these are!
The first thing I do when I fit a child in a pair of supportive shoes is to take them outside the shoe store to watch them walk and run. I always tell the parents to come outside with me, so they can see the difference for themselves!
I will say that 50% of the time we can see an improvement in the way the child walks right away, but in certain cases it might take up to two weeks to start seeing an improvement.
Below you can find a selection of the best shoes for kids with pronation!
The shoes in the first-row fit “short”, which means that you need to go a whole size longer of the size that your child measures in the shoe measuring scale in order to allow for growing room.
The shoes in the second-row 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.
Keep in mind that I have fitted all of these shoe styles I recommend above and they have proven to improve the way children walk and run. All of these shoe styles have a very firm heel counter, good arch support, and excellent structure to provide your kids with shock absorption!
What Does It Mean When Your Child Is Diagnosed With Supination?
The first thing you must understand about supination is that it is the opposite of pronation and refers to the outward roll of the foot during normal motion. Simply speaking, supination occurs when your kids’ feet roll outward as they walk.
Keep in mind that your children don’t consciously supinate, it happens naturally as they walk and run. The main issue with supination is that all of your children weight and the stress of their gait are placed on their ankle and on the outside edge of their feet as they walk or run.
When our kids don’t supinate or pronate, their body weight is evenly distributed throughout the width of the foot. The problem comes when they place weight on the inside or on the outside of their feet when walking or running, since it creates stress points that will affect their feet, ankles, knees, hips, and even lower-back!
How To Tell If Your Child Is Supinating? – Follow These Easy Steps!
Children with high arches are more likely to have supination. Having a high foot arch tends to force our kids to walk on the outer edge of their feet. However, supination can also be caused by weakness in certain muscles of your kids’ feet and this lack of strength might be a result of wearing shoes that don’t provide enough support or that don’t FIT properly.
For example, if you notice a wear pattern on the outside of your kids’ shoes from heel to forefoot, it’s likely that they supinate. Follow the steps below to figure out whether your child has supination or not:
Take a look at a pair of your kids’ everyday shoes (it can be an old pair or a pair he/she has been wearing for over a month).
Notice the wear pattern on the outsoles of your kids’s shoes. If you notice excessive wear on the outer edge of the sole of the shoe, it’s very likely that your child may be a supinator.
Below I explain another popular method that you can use to figure out whether your child is a supinator or not.
Start by taking off your kids’ shoes and socks.
Make sure you wet your kids’ feet and with their entire weight make them step on a surface where you can see their foot print (such as a brown paper bag).
If very little or none of the arch is outlined, your child is most likely a supinator.
The Best Shoes For Kids With Supination – Learn The Secret!
If your child is wearing shoes that are too rigid all the time it will lead to foot and leg problems. And please remember that your kids’ feet are the foundation for their entire body, which means that ill-fitting shoes can throw their entire body out of alignment.
The type of shoes that we want to provide for our kids with supination are the ones that have a high arch since that will help distribute the pressure on your kids’ feet more evenly.
If you provide your children with the correct type of shoes, their feet and leg pain will decrease since you will be distributing the pressure and stress across their entire feet like it’s supposed to be.
I have fitted all the shoes I recommend below, and they have proven to reduce or fully eliminate the pain the children were experiencing.
Below you can find the best selection of children’s shoes for kids with supination:
All of these shoe styles fit “true to size”, which means that you need a half a size longer of the size that your child measures in the shoe measuring scale in order to allow for growing room.
Please keep in mind that shoes that come with shoelaces will always provide more support and more stability than shoes that come with a velcro closure. This is because shoe laces will hug your kids’ feet better, secure their heels, and allow them to walk and run with more confidence.
What If The Shoes Don’t Improve The Way Your Child Walks?
It has happened before that a pair of supportive shoes will not be enough to improve and correct the way your child walks.
If this is the case with your child, you might need to try a pair of orthotics. They will help redistribute your kids’ body weight, correct the abnormal placement of the foot which will make their gait balanced and efficient!
The orthotics will help improve your kids’ posture and reduce or completely eliminate the stress your kids are putting on their knees and hip joints. While I don’t discuss the importance of providing your kids with orthotics in too much detail in this post, I wrote another post where I describe the best orthotics for children with foot and leg pain which will answer all of your questions and you can find that post below!
Has your child been diagnosed with pronation or supination? Have you found a particular shoe style that has improved the way they walk and run? Please share your thoughts and experiences below so we can all benefit from them!